Beginning in March of 2020, there was a surge of race-related incidents and crimes against Asians because of COVID-19. Moreover, in June of 2020, following the deaths of black people from police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement went global. While most of our newsfeeds were filled with tragic deaths and unsettling violence, we also saw some inspiring stories that gave us glimmers of hope.

What it does

Allied Voices seeks to not only raise awareness of race-related incidents, but also to give users hope with stories of good deeds, and to equip users with the knowledge and resources for how to respond to a race-related incident if they ever encounter one.

How we built it

We designed the platform with Figma, and then developed it in HTML, CSS, Python, and JavaScript, with the help of the Leaflet JavaScript library for interactive maps and OpenStreetMap for the actual map data. To curate the news articles and stories, we used Python to process the articles and to make calls to Fakebox, an API that analyzes news articles to assess whether they’re “real” or “fake” news. And finally, we used GoDaddy to host our website.

We ran three user tests, and we found that first, individuals will enter their own zip code, because they're curious about the happenings in their surrounding area. Second, they'll also enter the zip code of their family members that they care about. Thus, we intend on focusing on the capability to enable users to check the happenings of their own surroundings.

What's next for Allied Voices

  • Continue building out capabilities (July 2020): Build out search and filter capabilities. Build out backend capability to automatically source and filter through news articles. In this respect, we'd love to get connected with machine learning or data science experts.
  • Form partnerships (July 2020): We've already begun conversing with potential partners such as #IAMNOTAVIRUS and A3PCON to see if they would be willing to share their data (i.e. A3PCON has a wealth of data regarding race-related discrimination) and partner with us. We plan to expand our network, so we'd like to get connected with other organizations that collect data or support social movements.
  • Evaluate market performance (August 2020): We will conduct quantitative and qualitative user tests to gauge how people are using the website, and how we can make it as useful as possible for them.
  • Make the data visualization tool available to partners and community leaders (September 2020): Focus on their use cases and build out additional features
  • Raise awareness for product (September 2020): Market to users, community hosts, and partner organizations
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