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Tech talk refugees and coding

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<Refugees> and </Coding>
Jocelyn James
Junior Full-Stack Web Developer | Human Rights
Specialist
16 March 2017 | Q-Centrix...

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Overview
 Who am I?
 What’s the situation?
 What’s the solution?
 How does it work?
 What’s next?
 How can you get i...

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Who Am I?
 Full-stack web developer:
Ruby/Rails, JavaScript
 Background in refugee and
immigrant services/resettlement
...

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Tech talk refugees and coding

  1. 1. <Refugees> and </Coding> Jocelyn James Junior Full-Stack Web Developer | Human Rights Specialist 16 March 2017 | Q-Centrix San Diego
  2. 2. Overview  Who am I?  What’s the situation?  What’s the solution?  How does it work?  What’s next?  How can you get involved?
  3. 3. Who Am I?  Full-stack web developer: Ruby/Rails, JavaScript  Background in refugee and immigrant services/resettlement  MA in Human Rights  Dissertation on aftercare/integration for survivors of trauma
  4. 4. The Situation: Refugees  Refugees  21.3 million refugees worldwide  Need for ‘durable solutions’  repatriation  local integration  resettlement
  5. 5. “Access to durable solutions for refugees will be easier if they have been able to become self-reliant pending the identification and establishment of this solution” ~UNHCR, ‘Solutions for Refugees’
  6. 6. The Situation, continued  Self reliance =  Access to the local economy – jobs, education, accommodation, social services  Requires =  Legal status  Marketable, transferable skills to generate a sustainable income
  7. 7. The Situation: Technology  Technology demand  Increase in demand for skills in tech  Need for adaptable workers who learn new skills quickly "For every software developer, there's five jobs” – Alexandra Clare, founder of RE:CODED
  8. 8. The Solution: Teach Code  Benefits to refugees, host countries, & employers  Refugees: stability, income, and sense of belonging/purpose  Host countries: subverts the common perception of refugees as a burden on the local economy and public services  Employers: gain employees who are adaptable, dedicated, and committed to learn
  9. 9. How?  In-person  Code Your Future – London, UK  Hack Your Future – Amsterdam, Netherlands  Refugees on Rails – Germany (multiple cities)  Refugee Coding Project – Salt Lake City, UT  Remote  RE:CODED – Iraq-based students, US-based instruction  Code Door – worldwide, based in Germany
  10. 10. Different Programs, Same Model Tech professionals volunteer their time Refugees complete prep courses independently Volunteer instructors mentor refugee students Refugees finish course with marketable tech skills
  11. 11. What Next?  Basic model can be duplicated worldwide  Refugees + skills-based volunteers = coding program!  Can be scaled to different needs  Small- or large-scale  Short- to long-term  Computer basics to advanced programming
  12. 12. What about YOU?  Be informed  Overview: www.unrefugees.org/what-is-a-refugee/  Stay up-to-date on immigration legislation  Be involved  Get to know your local refugee community  Volunteer your time/talent  San Diego Refugee Tutoring: sdrefugeetutoring.com/  IRC San Diego: www.rescue.org/united-states/san-diego-ca  Spread your coding knowledge!
  13. 13. Resources  Refugee stats: www.unhcr.org/en-us/figures-at-a- glance.html  Refugee resettlement: www.unhcr.org/50a4c17f9.pdf  CodeYourFuture: codeyourfuture.co/index.html  HackYourFuture: hackyourfuture.net/#/  Refugees on Rails: refugeesonrails.org/en/index.html  Refugee Coding Project: www.refugeecodingproject.com/  RE:CODED: www.re-coded.com/

Editor's Notes

  • UNHCR statistics for 2015
    “Resettlement is the transfer of refugees from an asylum country to another State that has agreed to admit them and ultimately grant them permanent settlement.”
    -why is the resettlement number so low?
  • In order to become self-reliant, refugees need access to the local economy; in order to have access to the local economy, refugees need legal status, as well as marketable skills
  • 2015 – White House claimed there to be 545,000 unfilled IT jobs
    Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software. – Bureau of Labor Statistics (December 2015)
  • Obstacle to refugees gaining legal status and therefore employment/self-sufficiency in second/third countries: perception of refugees as a burden on the local economy. Possessing an in-demand skill subverts that burden so that refugees can be seen as a benefit and a resource.
  • Some programs partner with online coding resources who offer their courses free of charge to refugees
    -Refugees on Rails: The Firehose Project
    -RE:CODED: The Flatiron School
  • Each program, remote and in-person, follows the same model for teaching:
    Instruction is volunteer-based – tech professionals donate their time as mentors
    Refugees must complete certain free courses independently to prove their commitment to learning
  • New York Times overview of immigration reform: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/us/trump-refugee-ban-muslim-executive-order.html?_r=0

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