Ferguson Activists To Launch Local Tech Program
Ferguson activists have been doing more than just protesting. Some have been using the momentum of their demonstrations to effect changes on various levels.
Ferguson activists recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe. “Build Ferguson Youth Tech Program” surpassed its $10,000 goal by raising $11,465 with just 156 people in 23 days.
“Thank you to every one for donating, sharing and lifting up this initiative. Although $50,000 is needed to run our program for the year, this campaign will seed fund our pilot program. We will continue to leave the campaign open for donations. (Remember all donations will go towards this initiative.) Our hearts are so thankful. This is incredible!,” said the organizers on the page.
“The response from our grassroots supporters has been amazing,” says Tory Russell, co-founder of Hands Up United, said in a press statement. “Our campaign shows the growing support we have in the community at large for our work to introduce Ferguson youth to web development, IT support and computer programming. This program is one of 10 youth programs we will be rolling out in the upcoming months.”
Hands Up United wants to launch the technology program as a way to counteract the cyber divide. “The digital divide is a tactic being used in the 21st century to deny people of color the same opportunities and rights as other white and privileged Americans, says Abby Bobé, a member of Hands Up United. “The revolution has started and if we want to continue pushing this movement forward we will need to invest in preparing our youth with skills to protect themselves against cyber warfare, mass government surveillance and get them ready to participate in the job market.”
For next year, the program seeks to raise $50,000 to work with 160 Ferguson youth. The $10,000 grassroots effort is just the seed for raising more funds to continue the program. According to the organization, all funds will be used for laptops, stipends, and other materials needed to launch the program.