The recent rise of hate-crimes and Ann Morgan's TedTalk on reading a book from every country served as our inspiration for this project.
Research has shown that cultural competency (having knowledge of other cultures, their practices, beliefs etc.) helps make us as a society more tolerant of our differences. However, achieving cultural competency is difficult. Some don't have the time, others don't have the resources needed to learn about other cultures. But after listening to Ann Morgan's TedTalk, we felt that stories can help us build some cultural competency.
Stories are integral to our society, and humans have long communicated with each other through stories. They have the power to connect us through political, geographical, social, cultural, and regional divides; they transport us away from our reality and open our minds to different ideas, cultures, and people. They let us form connections with cultures we may never otherwise interact with. And this gives them the power to help reduce racism.
But most people never read stories outside of their cultural sphere. In fact, a large portion of books read in American schools about American society as it appears through the lens of white males (the authors). And while some schools are trying to incorporate a more diverse set of stories into their curriculum, they haven't achieved a great deal of success as yet.
We wanted to change this. We wanted to make it easier. So, easy that anyone could engage with cultures around the world with just a tap of their fingers. Hence, we made 'Read The World'
What it does
Read The World is a mobile application (for iOS and Android) that lets you read short stories from cultures around the world. We currently have stories from US, Mexico, India, and Africa, but we hope to add more countries soon. By giving people an access into cultures around the world, we believe we can help create a world with less hate, and more acceptance. Thus, we think our project fits in the social justice theme of this hackathon.
How we built it
We first used Figma to wire-frame the app and then prototyped it using Flutter and Android Studio.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
We improved our Dart skills and became more aware of cultures around the world--as we ourselves read all the short stories posted on the app.