It’s Week Four of Philadelphia’s school funding crisis. The fight for equitable funding of traditional public schools is rooted in the Pennsylvania state constitution which provides for a “thorough and efficient system of public education.”
The fight for full funding is being waged online (hashtag #phillyeducation) and offline.
Students at Roxborough High School “got the eye of a tiger.” They created video to express their concern about the state’s failure to provide a “thorough and efficient system of public education.” Since 2001, Philadelphia’s public schools have been run by the School Reform Commission, which is controlled by the governor.
At last weekend’s conference at the Church of the Advocate, Bishop Dwayne D. Royster, executive director of P.O.W.E.R., said he’s raring to go. P.O.W.E.R., Philadelphia’s largest faith-based organization, is an interfaith movement that uses prophetic voices to “fight for the least, the last and the lost.”
He said “interposition and nullification are dripping from the lips of political leaders in Philadelphia and Harrisburg. It’s time to hold them accountable:
We must be the source of their nervousness; make them tremble when they see us coming.
Bishop Royster added:
We have to do something that’s going to be transformational.
At last weekend’s Music Hack, a music-related hackathon, the All That Philly Jazz team, Mark Headd, Mike Lamond and the writer, developed the Philly Jazz App, an interactive map where we will tell the story of Philadelphia’s rich jazz legacy.
All That Philly Jazz is mapping historic theaters, legendary jazz clubs, Walk of Fame plaques and public murals. We will take visitors back to the days when jazz legends performed at the Uptown, the Royal, Earle and Lincoln Theaters. To contextualize the images, we will include data curated by Echo Nest and audio samples from Rdio. We’re jazzed that All That Philly Jazz won a one-year subscription to Rdio for the best hack.
Much of Philly’s jazz history has fallen victim to urban upheaval and urban removal. To preserve the history for future generations, we must tap the memories of Philadelphians and visitors. So All That Philly Jazz will be crowdsourced. We will use social media and traditional media, including community newspapers and radio, to ask folks to share their memories and photos.
We will also use technology, including Google Glass and Historypin, to breathe life into legendary jazz clubs like the Showboat, Pep’s Musical Bar, Blue Note, Up Jumped the Devil, Fantasy Lounge, and joints along 52nd Street, aka “The Strip.” Clubs like the Aqua Lounge, Billie's Boomer, Mr. Silk’s Third Base and Foo-Foo Ragan’s.
Indeed, All That Philly Jazz is at the intersection of technology, art and civic engagement. To get involved, contact us via email or Twitter: @PhillyJazzApp.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Black Women’s Roundtable will host its 2nd Annual National Women of Power Summit, “Amplifying the Voices of Women and Girls in the Digital Age.”
The summit will bring together a diverse group of women leaders and emerging leaders from across the country. On Day One, they will make the rounds of Capitol Hill and meet with members of Congress. Melanie L. Campbell, convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, said:
We’re coming together in the nation’s capitol to leverage our vote. In 2012, black women were the highest vote for President Obama and the margin of victory for many in the U.S. Congress. We want to tell our elected officials what we want, which includes ending the sequestration now and becoming a functional government working in the interest of the people.
On Day Two at the Faith and Social Justice Prayer Breakfast, I will receive the BWR Social Innovation Award.
It is an incredible honor to be recognized before a room full of fierce women. I hope you will be able to join us for a power-packed celebration of difference-makers and tree-shakers.
To register, go here. For more information, call (202) 659-4929.
It’s called the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection) but last weekend’s Lady Hacks was for women only.
Philadelphia’s first women-only hackathon attracted 65 hackers. Tristen Hightower, an organizer of the event, said:
The point of this event is to try new things. You’re already successful. You’re here.
And while there, the ladies worked on a wide range of projects, including Hacking the Gender Gap, redesigning the website of Girls Rock Phillyto make it more teen-oriented, and developing a game to motivate girls to get interested in technology.
My team worked on a project that began at TechCamp Philadelphia, namely, how to motivate underrepresented minorities and girls to pursue STEM fields. STEM is short for science, technology, engineering and math.
The problem we addressed was the lack of a central, user-friendly website for teachers, students and parents to find free resources and tools that would expand and enhance the learning process. Right now, STEM information is buried in silos. Our solution, STEMeverywhere, will fix that.
We will curate resources for students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and community members. The one-stop shop will feature a Teachers’ Lounge where we will aggregate content-specific instructional materials that have been peer-reviewed. We will include a real-time, fully indexed library that will be searchable by keyword.
The Students’ Hangout will promote year-round learning and engagement for our target audience of 13-to-17-year-olds. With one click, students will have access to information about internships and mentorships, learning games, contests and challenges, and online learning opportunities.
STEMeverywhere will produce interactive videos to connect students with STEM professionals who can expose them to the possibilities. We will post engaging user-generated YouTube videos tagged “STEM Rocks” or “STEMRocks.”