Undeterred by the sultry D.C. weather, Liberty and Access for All had a productive summer 2017. We presented five L+A labs, made new partnerships, secured a new sponsor, supported an innovative two-week data analytics workshop and laid the groundwork for future programs and events.
Summer 2017 Liberty and Access Labs
At our L+A Labs, students and young professionals get practical information and hard-earned insight from industry veterans, a chance to network with peers, and a delicious lunch!
The L+A labs for summer 2017 addressed such fields as foreign affairs, government relations, social media, data analytics and communications, and were graciously hosted by Google, Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College and Nelson Mullins at their respective D.C. offices. Panel speakers represented organizations from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, including Senator, John McCain’s office, Google, Center for Democracy and Technology, Airbnb, the Washington Post, Lake Research, Koch Companies Public Sector, Facebook, Verizon, the U.S. State Department, and Council on Foreign Relations. The average attendance at this summer’s L+A Labs increased by approximately 25% over that of the summer 2016 labs.
New Partners and Sponsor
Liberty and Access for All made significant new partnerships this summer, including organizations from the tech and progressive communities: Future Kings, a nonprofit that provides workforce development training in STEM fields for youth from underserved communities; TechGirls ( a legacy international program), a training and mentoring program for teenage girls from the MENA region and Change the Game Training, a group of data practitioners, analysts and technologists building the next generation of data experts.
We also secured partnerships with academic and international relations organizations: Heinz College Washington D.C. of Carnegie Mellon University; Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank; and Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity in public service.
Special thanks to the local office of law firm Nelson Mullins for joining on as a new organizational donor and sponsor of L+A programs. Nelson Mullins hosted two of the L+A Labs at their D.C. office, where they graciously invited us to take photos on their terrace with a lovely view of the capitol as a backdrop.
Support for Change the Game Training
In addition to L+A’s support of the day-to-day operations of Change the Game Training: Political and Organizing Data Training for Communities of Color, L+A founder Maram Abdelhamid served on the organizing committee. “Thanks to Jamaa Bickley-King and the rest of the Change the Game Leadership, Liberty and Access For All was able to be part of a truly revolutionary and innovative training over the last 2 weeks,” said Ms. Abdelhamid. “We met some amazing people and were able to help prep participants in the areas of voter registration and cultural considerations. We also assisted participants with resume development and helped them prep for a successful job fair where the participants from all over the country impressed employers. As for myself, I was excited to make new friendships and connections. It is truly awesome to be part of this amazing community of change makers!”
Thanks to our partner Center for Democracy and Technology, L+A’s End of Summer Reception and Networking Lab is Thursday, September 21. We’ll be paying tribute to the individuals and groups who assisted us this summer, as well as presenting a networking lab for a select group of 20 students. This will be an enjoyable evening for all in attendance and it represents a unique opportunity for L+A supporters to see first-hand the work we do.
On November 18, L+A will join Future Kings in presenting the Game Technology Expo & Job Fair. This event is an excellent opportunity for youth from underrepresented communities to learn about many exciting jobs in gaming design and other tech fields, along with what they will need to accomplish in school in order to gain them. Representatives from both the business and academic communities will also be on hand to speak with student attendees.
Looking forward to next year, L+A will partner with PPIA to pilot aspects of the Youth Leadership Academy program in Spring 2018. We plan on working with PPIA to administer a capstone project in which university students conduct research aimed at producing data on diversity and inclusion, with a focus on insights into the retention of public sector employees who come from underrepresented communities.