What I gained from Avanade’s social justice hackathon event

  • Posted on May 12, 2021
What I gained from Avanade’s social justice hackathon event

The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Lauren Quattrocchi.

As part of our INSPIRE Employee Resource Group Social Justice Committee, I was thrilled to be a part of the INSPIRE Social Justice Hackathon event. INSPIRE ERG is Avanade’s Black Employee Network and the Social Justice Hackathon is a platform for Avanade employees to build technology that empowers underrepresented groups, fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, and creates a better world for all. Participating teams will design technology-based solutions to address discrimination, racial and ethnic disparities, and systemic racism plaguing the criminal justice system, healthcare, and corporate representation.

I am passionate about social justice and the idea of putting Avanade’s great minds toward these issues is extremely exciting for me.

I wanted to get involved in this event and the INSPIRE Social Justice committee because I want to be a stronger ally to underrepresented groups. I think, if asked, I would have considered myself an ally for my whole life, but I didn’t really know what it meant to be an ally until college. Even then it didn’t click for me until a couple of years ago and it continues to be a journey. I am still learning and growing each day to be a better ally to my colleagues, friends, family and the greater community that makes up this world.

I think it is said perfectly in a quote by one of Microsoft’s principal program managers, that we incorporated in our kickoff event: “We can’t just think of Social Justice as something happening elsewhere. We have to look internally and ask, ‘What can I do at home?’” In the spirit of this quote, this hackathon is something we as the Social Justice Committee thought we could do at “home” to have a greater impact on social justice issues at Avanade as well as expanding beyond our walls.

Planning this event has been a journey, and I have learned an incredible amount about what goes into hosting a large-scale event. From marketing to legal and finance, I’ve learned a ton around business operations. I am very grateful to all those who answered our questions and to the Social Justice committee and the amazing volunteer committee that helped make this all possible.

My hope for this hackathon is that it brings to fruition some real-world applicable solutions to help mitigate social injustices, to be used at Avanade, and our broader communities. In addition to a real-world impact, I hope our participants learn something new about injustices faced by their colleagues, family, or friends and use this knowledge to be allies to those around them.

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