December 7, 2018

From Isha-Charlie McNeely, Outreach and Community Engagement Coordinator, Trauma Informed Oregon

I believe that mobile education and the visibility of people of color in the digital world is important for multiple reasons. For one,  I have observed over the years working in child welfare serving minority communities and families how heavily dependent African Americans and Latinos are on their smartphones. This is a direct result of the lack of access to broadband connection at home, as well as there are fewer options for going online other than their cellphone. They are more likely to search for health, education, and career related information using their phones to access the internet than any other device. I believe this to be positive because it helps to reduce the lack of access to information that would otherwise not be readily available to minority groups due to the gap of other device options. I have found that most people in my community apply for jobs, services, and health-related inquiries on their smart phones, including myself.

Another area, that is slowly but surely increasing, is the presence of minority smart phone apps available on smart phone devices. As the downloadable searchable apps and sites become more diverse, it is my belief that we are able to feel a sense of belonging, influence, and importance in contributing to technology and communication at large. Below are just a few smart phone apps that show the growing presence of minorities in the mobile world and a way to connect, support, and share past and previous knowledge, as well as information on what’s available beyond our devices

Blendoor

A pioneering blind-recruitment mobile application that facilitates job hiring based solely on merit. The app, geared toward promoting diversity in tech companies, does not allow hiring parties to see an applicant’s name, sex, or race during the early stages of the hiring process. Job seekers who use the application will only be shown positions that match their qualifications from companies that value diversity.

Tell Me Who I Am Science Leaders

This kid-friendly app promotes learning and entertainment within an engaging interface. The interactive game inspires students to learn about the accomplishments of African-American and Latino science pioneers in a fun and entertaining way. The app is suitable for children of all ages, although mainly students 9 to 14, and is an interactive educational resource for the entire family to have fun while learning together.

Tuloko

The Yelp-like app gives consumers information at the tip of their fingers on black-owned or black-friendly businesses, curated news, and events, along with a chat messenger service that allows users to connect based on shared interests. It allows users to search, add, and support black-owned businesses and culturally tailored events and news

American Indian Magazine

American Indian is the award-winning magazine of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. From Alaska’s Native villages to the Andean communities of South America, American Indian tells inspiring and enlightening stories illustrated with beautiful photography and video.