2023 Track-Specific Hacker Resources

QWER Hacks
5 min readDec 1, 2022

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Table of Contents

Overview
Food Security
Housing Access
Healthcare Equity
Appendix

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Overview

Hi friends! We’ve created this resource to help you begin to think about how to create social-impact oriented projects for QWER Hacks 2023. Take everything with a grain of salt, these are just some suggestions ❤

Also!!!

tech can catalyze, transform, etc, but tech is only a means to an end, not the end

consider the overlap between underserved groups including queer, BIPOC, etc.

while encouraging awareness is great, driving action is even better

read our additional articles on medium for more inspiration

Food Security 🥕

Description

According to the US Census Bureau, “LGBTQIA+ adults living in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to be experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic than non-LGBTQIA+ adults.”

Guiding Questions

How can we use tech to identify areas most impacted by food insecurity and communicate this to both policy makers and the public?

How can we use tech to support and expand existing infrastructure (campus orgs like Bruin Dine, Swipe Out Hunger, food banks, soup kitchens, etc) to better serve the queer community and other marginalized groups?

How can you make access to food sustainable rather than a singular instance?

How can we address the intersection of environmental justice and social justice to better support underserved stakeholders like agricultural workers, as well as rural and indigenous queer groups? Note that there are various stakeholders in the food supply chain.

As LGBTQIA+ issues are historically championed by liberal groups, how do we reach non-liberals as well?

Highlighted Stakeholders

  • voting population (consider for policy action)
  • student organizations like Bruin Dine, Swipe Out Hunger
  • local policy makers
  • nonprofits like food banks, CalFresh, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
  • non-urbanites like agricultural workers
  • indigenous queer communities
  • rural queer communities
  • POC queer communities
  • conservative queer communities

Suggested Resources

More Information
Apps Addressing Food Insecurity
Food Assistance Programs LA County

Housing Access 🏘️

Description

“While homeownership in the U.S. is currently around 65%, LGBTQIA homeowner rates are lower, at about 49%.” according to the NAGLREP 2020–2021 report. In LA, organizations like Triangle Square and The Trevor Project provide support to the queer community. In other words, how can tech benefit stakeholders like existing organizations, i.e. homeless shelters, community service organizations, to build upon their existing infrastructure of support?

Housing is a pressing and relevant issue, as we saw our TA’s strike for UAW in November. While the percentage of rent-burdened individuals is undoubtedly high amongst graduate students employed under the UC, the broader LGBTQIA+ community has also been suffering from the similar issues because of a lack of infrastructural support.

Guiding Questions

Are there ways to create solutions for those immediately experiencing / at risk of experiencing unhousedness now? (i.e people who post on social media to raise awareness of their situation)

How can we quantify whether houses are livable and help people know if their conditions can be improved to foster rent pricing transparency?

What role does gentrification play in our community, specifically the marginalized queer community? How can we influence change?

How can we aid queer youth and others in queer-phobic households?

How can tech provide climate disaster relief (e.g. California’s wildfires) for historically marginalized communities? In the LA metro area, who are these historically marginalized communities?

How can we support sustainable housing access — not just a one-time solution? i.e. People need sustained support beyond just a one-time lease contract.

How can tech better aid legislation like the little-known Tenant Protection Act? Consider that without an enforcing agency, tenants have little power against landlords, and as a result marginalized individuals are historically leased out of their housing.

Can you develop live minimum-wage calculation algorithms to support low-income workers with accessing better earning potential and income transparency? How can we help people get necessary training to gain the requisite skill sets for higher-paying jobs?

Highlighted Stakeholders

  • LGBTQIA+ houseless youth
  • LGBTQIA+ houseless elderly
  • UC students: undergrads, grads, post-docs
  • renters and tenants
  • student organizations like Bruin Shelter, Hunger Project at UCLA
  • local policy makers

Suggested Resources

Los Angeles LGBT Center
Special Needs Housing
California Tenant Protections

Healthcare Equity ❤️‍🩹

Description

The fact that “39 percent of all transgender people face some type of harassment or discrimination when seeking routine health care” (American Progress) is just one statistic among many that demonstrate the healthcare inequity the queer community faces. In addition, the queer community faces the following healthcare challenges: incompetent care, stigma, lack of data, lack of insurance, etc.

Guiding Questions

Can tech help with pricing transparency when it comes to healthcare costs like insurance?

How can we improve access to competent healthcare providers, from mobility to hospitals (transportation) to finding non-discriminatory providers?

How can we address the lack of data organization, collection, and representation level for queer communities in clinical research?

In what ways can tech improve upon existing infrastructure to address the overlap of queer and BIPOC communities when facing healthcare inequity?

How can tech catalyze community-driven initiatives for health equity?

How can we improve healthcare-related environmental justice for those queer and critically marginalized by negative climate impacts (i.e. pollution, environmental hazards)?

Highlighted Stakeholders

  • Trans, gender-queer, nonbinary communities
  • LGBTQIA+ BIPOC
  • LGBTQIA+ veterans
  • UCLA School of Medicine (educational institutions)
  • healthcare providers, hospital organizers
  • school organizations like UCLA LGBTQ Health, UCLA Mobile Clinic Project

Suggested Resources

Implicit Bias and Racial Disparities in Health Care
CDC’s Health Equity projects
Close the Healthcare Disparity Gap
Health Disparities Among LGBT Youth
Black Mamas Matter (BMMA)
UCLA eHealth Research Lab (ER Lab) 💙💛

  • Olivia app (correlative analytics and visualization platform)
  • olivia-dataset (a focused software library for gathering a variety of data from different sources related to the pandemic and public health): Docs
  • Mockingbird (Twitter analytics app for data gathering and analytics, currently focused on institutional tweets on COVID-19)
  • Project ReFOCUS and dashboard (Racial equity and COVID-19)

Appendix

Here is a list of other potentially helpful links related to our tracks!

Food Security Additional Resources:

Food Security Resources 💙💛
Food Security and Food Deserts
UCLA Basic Needs 💙💛
Food Finders Program
Apps Preventing Food Waste
Food Pantries
Canadian Food System Initiative
211
Knock LA

Housing Access Additional Resources:

Homeless and Stable Living Resource Locations | LA Public Library
Overview — Affordable and Accessible Housing Registry
Guide to Housing
Housing Assistance 💙💛
UCLA LGBTQ Center 💙💛
West Hollywood Affordable Housing
West Hollywood LGBT Housing Guide
Zillow data
California Tenant Protections

Healthcare Equity Additional Resources:

UCLA Health Homeless Healthcare Collaborative 💙💛
Abortion
Family Planning Services
Medi-Cal info
Harm Reduction information
Public health | Prison Policy Initiative
Healthcare Equity Index
Health Equity Startups
Center for Health Equity UCLA 💙💛
UCLA Health Equity Challenge 💙💛

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