Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. catalyzed revolutionary social change, plowing through insurmountable odds to usher in the next chapter of racial justice in America. We can honor the sacrifices made in the civil rights movement by forging new paths to opportunity that did not exist yesterday. At the Kapor Center, we frequently reflect upon the state of equality in America – where we have come from and where we want to go. We look to the rich life and legacy of Dr. King and all of the social justice champions who have brought us to this critical juncture today for inspiration and guidance in navigating these waters.

As such, we need not look any further than our own backyard to find the change makers that will usher in the next wave of social justice. At the recent Leveling the Coding Field Hack-a-thon, students as young as 11 presented their ideas for leveraging tech to solve the problems they see everyday in our community. Apps for bridging the gaps in educational access, promoting public safety, and alleviating bullying were just some of the innovations brought to the table. The Kapor Center is dedicated to strengthening the pipeline that retains the talent of young people of color to pursue careers in technology. In doing so, the potential for ripples of social change is vast.

 We envision a tech field that is populated with leaders of color, women, the LGBT community, and all people on the margins of society; a field in which the innovators reflect the rich diversity of our community here in Oakland and communities across the country. Innovators that emerge from diverse backgrounds provide the world with the best potential at solving social affliction.  We are excited to re-dedicate ourselves to this mission in 2014, with upcoming events like our Latin@s in Tech conference preceding SXSW in March that will convene the top Latino tech practitioners and investors for an rousing exchange of best practices.

Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we will be thinking about how to honor those who dedicated their lives to the possibility of a better future, and how we can employ modern tools to continue the fight for equal opportunity in the 21st century.