After conducting a research study for Black and POC college students, 88% of respondents stated that they felt the safest when surrounded by other POC, allies, friends, and family. 81% stated that they felt the most afraid when they were alone, in an unfamiliar place, or in a situation where they’re being threatened.

What it does

Bema allows anyone to place a marker on a map at their current location, alerting anyone around them with the app that they need someone for the situation they’re in, particularly in cases of police brutality. Bema was made for Black people and the allies who want to help.

Creating a chat room syncs with the user's own location pin on the map, directing them to a chat room for their situation and activating the pin. We understand that users will not have time to make a long post so the only thing users would have to input is a short title about the situation. Allies of Bema get alerted if a marker was placed on the map within their 10-mile radius, allowing them to view the post. They can click right away to notify the poster that they’re on the way. Or if they cannot make it, they can send them advice about what to do in the pin’s chat room.

For Black people, Bema brings attention to us when we need it the most; alerting other people of our community to stand beside us when we need them. They can also quickly view their rights in the top right corner.

For allies, Bema allows you to become a non-passive ally, using your privilege to help where you can and do the right thing.

How we built it

We used React Native for our frontend and Firebase for our backend. We also wanted to credit link for part of our demo video.

Challenges we ran into

We had time commitments due to school, but we were able to talk through our challenges as a group and modify our plans to meet our goal.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were successful in implementing both the map backend and chat room backend.

What we learned

We learned that time management, clear communication, and consistent teamwork is the key to success for a hackathon.

What's next for BEMA

Our hope with Bema is to encourage active allyship in order to alleviate the fear that Black people face due to police brutality, starting with college campuses.

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