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BRC Change-a-Thon

BRC Change-a-Thon is al social impact-focused Hack-a-Thon created and produced by the UC San Diego Black Resource Center in collaboration with The Basement. This event was created to bring together students, staff, faculty, and alumni across disciplines and identities to create tangible solutions for issues and obstacles impacting Black communities today.


What is a Hack-a-Thon?

How “hackathon” has been broadly defined:

  • Hacking is creative problem-solving. (It does not have to involve technology.)

  • A hackathon is an event of any duration where people come together to solve problems.

Participants typically form groups of about 2-5 individuals, take out their laptops (if the event is technology themed), and dive into problems.


What does our Change-a-Thon look like?

Some people hear Hack-a-thon and instantly think to participate you need to know how to code or have some type of engineering experience. This isn’t true at all. We encourage people from all academic backgrounds and areas of interest to participate. So what will our Change-a-Thon look like?

Day Of:

On the day of the Change-a-Thon you will need to meet at The Basement for check-in and breakfast. There will be a brief welcome and rundown of the day followed by a panel discussing the current state of smart cities and the possible implications on Black communities and our team-building process. After teams are announced they will get to work on creating solutions within their area of focus of choice. There will be intentional breaks and mini-workshops placed throughout the day to keep energy up. There will also be food provided throughout the day. Each group will pitch their idea/creation to a panel of judges from various backgrounds. The Change-a-Thon will conclude with an Award Ceremony and Closing Reception.


Why should you participate in the BRC Change-a-Thon?

There are many reasons to participate in the BRC Change-a-Thon. This event will create an environment where people from various backgrounds and identities can come together to creatively problem solve problems facing Black communities today.

Technology is advancing more and more every day and creating fantastic opportunities and advances that we could have never dreamt of just ten years ago. Actual self-driving cars are currently on our streets; you can get into your phone or even pay with a fingerprint or glance of your face; doctors are also practicing surgery without having to touch a body. These breakthroughs are definitely to be celebrated but not without critique. With the creation of any new technology, system, process, etc. there should always be questions. One question that we want to make sure to ask is, have you thought about how this may or may not impact Black people?

You will be able to learn about different impacts (positive and negative) of advancing technology and smart cities on Black communities in our three areas of focus: Health & Wellness, Law & Community Enforcement, and Access. A winning team will be chosen from each area of focus and will be awarded access to The Basement's annual incubator program with additional funding and resources. Additional prize announcements to come!


What do you need to do to participate?

Details will be updated once we plan our next Change-a-Thon event.



Envisioning smart cities through the lens of Blackness.


Areas of Focus

Our theme will be broken down into three different areas of focus. Each team will be able to decide which of these areas they would like to focus on for the Change-a-Thon.



    1. Healthcare Disparities

    2. Mental Health

    3. Disability 



    1. Police

    2. Military

    3. White Supremacist Groups

    4. Stand Your Ground

    5. Algorithms used to guide law enforcement practice

    6. Surveillance & Privacy

      1. Data Tracking

      2. Face Recognition

      3. Finger Scans



    1. (Lack of) Access to contracts for Black-owned companies

    2. (Lack of) Access to high paying jobs to create a smart city

    3. (Lack of) Access to technology and subsequently life-altering improvements

    4. Possible obstacles surrounding the 2020 Census


Contact the Black Resource Center, for more information.