Each day in the United States, thousands of ex-prisoners leave a life of coerced routine for one of uncertainty.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 650,000 people are released from federal and state prisons each year. That’s thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, returning to their communities after years, sometimes decades, of imprisonment with no road map for navigating life on the outside.

Leaving prison is the start of a long trip to independence — GPS not included.

For ex-offenders, life after prison can be daunting, their criminal records often limiting their access to education, employment and housing.

A joint project of Open Charlotte Brigade and the Re-entry Partners of Mecklenburg…

Code for America Brigade Network’s National Advisory Council election has come and gone (thank you to all who voted.), but there’s still one last thing we need member-citizens to do before we say goodbye to March: Complete the Brigade Network Census.

People sometimes get nervous when asked to fill out a census. The questions are personal, and they wonder how the information will be used.

CfA is asking these questions because we want to know how we’re doing.

As a movement that prides itself on being diverse and inclusive, we need to gauge whether our outreach and recruitment efforts align…

If you’ve ever attended an orientation at one of Open Charlotte Brigade’s Community Action Nights, you’re familiar with the question that comes toward the end: Are you registered to vote?

The reason we ask is not to humiliate but motivate.

Our Brigade’s motto is “Work on things that matter!” We form partnerships with local government and other organizations to build tools to help solve civic problems. To do that effectively, our volunteers need to know the issues Charlotte is facing and the key players involved. Voting encourages such awareness.

I’m reminded of this as I navigate my way through my…

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to be more sociable, get involved with your community or learn something new? Then Open Charlotte Brigade has the event for you!

We and our partner, Xceleration, will present Civic Hack 2019 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Packard Place, 222 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28202.

Your ideas are welcome here.

Join our motley crew of designers, developers and civil servants as we brainstorm ways to improve our local government and community services through the development of software and other tools.

You don’t have to be a data scientist or programmer to participate.

This is the latest installment of a series highlighting volunteers with the Open Charlotte Brigade (OCB). OCB uses technology and advocacy as a tool for open government, open data and civic engagement.

Her status on Slack is “In the DAT Cave”, but Open Charlotte Brigade (OCB) volunteer Keri Shearer climbs out of it as often as she can.

In her role as IT Decision Analytics Manager for the City of Charlotte, Shearer works with a team to give Charlotteans access to data through Open Charlotte, the city’s open data portal. “We’re all really helpful people who want to do a…

The carols and gift-giving are months away, but making Christmas happen for families in need is a year-long task for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and the Code for Charlotte (CFC) team.

For more than 40 years, CMPD has worked with the community to provide gifts to children whose families need assistance during the holiday season. The program has grown from providing 15 families with Christmas gifts in 1974 to providing 547 families with gift cards, toys and bikes in 2017.

Coordinating all this gift-giving is a gargantuan task, involving referrals from school guidance counselors, teachers and other partner organizations.

User experience (UX) design and all its challenges and opportunities took center stage last week during the first edition of FusionConf for 2018.

Approximately 100 tech professionals in the Charlotte area converged at Camp North End for the mini-conference, which included panel discussions on such topics as creating an inclusive team environment and moving into a UX career.

This was the first FusionConf to feature UX exclusively, said Bermon Painter, one of the three organizers of the quarterly event.

The panelists and speakers came from near and far: a team from Cardinal Solutions’ Charlotte office spoke about inclusivity and how…

Dawn Peterson

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