Shining a Light on Community: DataKind Hosts Virtual DataDive®️ Event

Across the U.S. and around the world, cities and communities are responsible for addressing the everyday needs of their residents. From providing critical safety net services to fostering economic development opportunities and advocating for individuals in need, local governments have a growing list of responsibilities. Collecting and analyzing data can equip local leaders with insights and capacity to better serve their communities and prepare for their futures. Capitalizing on these opportunities, however, requires the support of multiple stakeholders to adopt new approaches for leveraging open data in decision-making.

With the theme of Shining a Light on Community to Advance a Nation, we’re excited to host our second virtual DataDive®️ event of the year, kicking off  Friday, September 17, 2021 at 6 PM ET with partners from the urban digital divide, policy, and gender equity sectors.

Our DataDive events are high-energy, marathon-style, weekend-long events where the DataKind community comes together to dive into Data Science and AI for Good projects and boost the impact of mission-driven organizations. 

Whether you’re a tenacious techie, humble humanitarian, future-looking funder, wide-ranging expert, or simply passionate about social impact, this event will have something for everyone. No previous DataKind experience and no data science expertise are required. Our DataDive events remain one of the best ways to experience the energy, intentionality, and impact our work has in real-time. We hope you’ll join us for what will no doubt be an exciting, collaborative event!

Do you want to learn more about the organizations involved? Are you interested in volunteering? Do you want to support our future work? Check out the below for more information.           

Introducing our DataDive Project Partners

Ensuring Floridians “See the Girl” with the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center

The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center (the Policy Center) is on a mission to advance the rights of girls, young women, and youth who identify as female, especially those impacted by the justice system. They do this important work through research, advocacy, training, and community programming. The Policy Center relies on accessing and using timely and trustworthy data to advance their key bodies of work and to ground their work in the lived experiences of girls and young women. However, the process of accessing, extracting, transforming, and assessing this crucial data is a deeply resource-intensive, bespoke process. 

If the Policy Center were to be able to produce similarly high quality engagement materials with an automated, or semi-automated data preparation, analysis, and visualization process, they would remove a key resourcing constraint and allow their team to engage in more, and different bodies of work in service of their mission. Volunteers will help the Policy Center make sense of all the data streams at their fingertips and create easy-to-use visualizations that will allow the Policy Center to ensure that all Floridians “see the girl”.

Combating housing insecurity with New America’s Future of Land and Housing Program

Housing insecurity is an acute emergency that has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, which has put 30 to 40 million Americans at risk of eviction, making it one of the most severe housing catastrophes in U.S. history. New America’s Future of Land and Housing (FLH) program partnered with DataKind to study housing instability and displacement across the U.S., producing a series of national-level and “deep dive” heat maps and visualizations that show housing loss across the U.S., illustrating the scale and breadth of two primary mechanisms of displacement: mortgage foreclosure and eviction. The result of this multi-phase partnership is highlighted in two key reports: Displaced in America and Displaced  in the Sun Belt. Continuing the work of two DataCorps projects and our virtual DataDive event in March, volunteers will focus on statistical analyses and data visualization (with a particular focus on mapping) for three Florida counties (Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, and Orange). These insights will allow FLH to better understand not only who is losing their homes, but the broader state of housing assistance in order to better advise local partners on where, how, and to whom to target housing assistance and other aid. 

Understanding broadband equity with University of Chicago’s Center for Data and Computing

Educational and economic opportunity, as well as health outcomes, depend on the availability of affordable, high-speed internet access. The COVID-19 pandemic—and in particular society’s increasing reliance on reliable high-speed broadband internet access during the crisis—has accelerated and magnified existing disparities. As the essential tasks of living move online, internet access is increasingly becoming an issue of economic opportunity. This barrier disproportionately hurts low income families and people of color. One organization seeking to tackle this national challenge is the University of Chicago’s Center for Data and Computing. DataKind has invited them to participate in the DataDive event so our entire community – including Floridan-based technologists – can contribute to this important work which would benefit every state in the union. Volunteers will dive into publicly available data to align broadband performance data at the census tract level across the state of Florida to then replicate this methodology across 8 states. The analysis generated during the DataDive event will summarize how broadband performance relates to access across the country and known higher-level demographic and socioeconomic variables. 

Volunteering for the Virtual DataDive Event

Help us accelerate these projects! If you’re interested in volunteering for the virtual DataDive event, please register. Volunteers interested will be asked to identify what skills they’re looking to share or learn.

Check out the projects we’ve worked on at previous DataDives, powering public data for communities with Save the Children, CARE, Oxfam, and others, supporting democratic freedoms with organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, and helping cities solve societal challenges using AI with Teach For America and the Trust for Public Land.

Are you interested in joining us as a non-volunteer? We’d love to have you! Come to our Kick Off event on Friday, September 17, from 6-8 PM ET. During the Kick Off event, you’ll be able to meet the volunteer team leaders as they introduce the project partner organizations, their work, the project goals, and challenges they might encounter. 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook where we regularly share updates and announcements. We’re looking forward to harnessing the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity with you!

Recognizing Our Sponsors

Huge thanks to our sponsors, Teradata Cares, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, City of Orlando, and IBM. Generous financial contributions from supporters like you make this event and other impactful work possible!

Joining the DataKind Movement

DataKind’s work is possible through the generosity of our volunteers, donors, and corporate sponsors. If you’re moved and can join us in supporting this and our future important work, please become a donor here. Every gift helps DataKind harness the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity.

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