Monday, August 10, 2015

Civic Hacking For Everyone, Part 3: Ethnic Groups -- Native American, Asian, Latino, African American, Other

In yesterday’s post I mentioned I was writing about design even though I’m not a designer. Today my non-qualification statement is that I’m white with a western European ethnic background, but I’m writing to encourage people with an ethnic background totally different from mine to consider becoming civic hackers.

Since I haven’t been extensively involved with any ethnic-focused activities in NE Wisconsin, before I could write this post I had to do online research. There isn’t much online at the intersection of “civic hacking” and “ethnic groups,” with Google only giving me 375 results for that search instead of thousands or millions, and most of the hits didn’t have anything relevant to this post. So I had to expand my search to the more general category of “ethnic groups” and “northeast Wisconsin” to get ideas and information for this post.

As to the reason for today’s focus on ethnic groups, as mentioned in my first post in this series, “I think civic hacking will benefit from the widest possible range of viewpoints, experiences and skills...If participants in a community or event all have extremely similar experiences, points of view and needs, that community or event will often not take advantage of opportunities or even be aware of those opportunities. They may fail to work on or even imagine a particularly worthwhile civic hack because the idea never occurred to them.”

So what are some of the civic hacks that may be especially pertinent to, or valuable for, various ethnic groups? To better answer that question, I’ll try to connect with people from different ethnic groups and ask them to write posts about civic hacks they’d like to work on or would like to see created. In the meantime, below are a few project categories that may benefit from ethnic group participation in civic hacking.

  • Better access to multi-lingual resources, including English as a second language.
  • Increased civic engagement for ethnic groups, especially if people are from an ethnic background where that wasn’t encouraged or a background where civic engagement was much more prevalent.
  • More ethnic group involvement in the NE Wisconsin technology community.
  • Address issues of demographically-lower broadband Internet access and more extensive use of cellphones for Internet access.
  • Promoting, improving or organizing ethnic celebrations.

If you know of other civic hacks that would be of specific benefit to ethnic groups in NE Wisconsin, please write a post and send it to me to publish (or send me a link if you publish it). Or send your civic hack suggestions to bwaldron (at) gmail [dott] com for me to add to the above list.

In addition to whatever general marketing and promotion is being done for civic hacking activities in NE Wisconsin, there are additional actions that might result in having more ethnic groups represented in those civic hacking activities. A few of those additional actions are:

  1. Reach out to leaders of ethnic groups to explain civic hacking,  asking them to publicize civic hacking with their groups and encourage their group members to consider being civic hackers. Those groups include Multicultural Center of Greater Green Bay, Oneida Nation, Menominee Nation, Casa Hispana, North East Wisconsin Chinese Association, Northeast Wisconsin African American Association, Hmong Mutual Assistance Association of Sheboygan, and others.
  2. Reach out to appropriate faculty and student groups at NE Wisconsin colleges to explain civic hacking,  asking them to publicize civic hacking and encourage ethnic group members they know to consider being civic hackers. These student groups and faculty include UWO Multicultural Education Center, SNC Multicultural Student Services, and Professor Ray Hutchison at UWGB in Urban and Ethnic Studies program.
  3. Identify ethnic websites and forums actively used by members of NE Wisconsin ethnic groups and use those communication channels to promote civic hacking activities in the region.
  4. If any of the three above actions are successful at generating enthusiastic civic hackers who are also active in their ethnic group communities, ask them to consider being ‘civic hacking ambassadors’ to their peers with the goal of getting more active civic hackers from their ethnic group.
This post mentions Native American, Asian, Latino, and African American, but is not meant to exclude other groups -- people from every ethnic background are invited to be civic hackers. If you’re in an ethnic group you feel should be more involved in civic hacking, please consider promoting the topic within your group. Personally invite group members to come to a civic hacking event. Your next opportunity to do that is next week, on August 19th. See “Civic Hacking, August 19, Appleton: Put It On Your Calendar!” for more details.


"Civic Hacking For Everyone, Part 1: Women"
"Civic Hacking For Everyone, Part 2: Students"


For people curious about the ethnic demographics of the larger NE Wisconsin cities, here are the Wikipedia statistics from the 2010 US census.

Green Bay:  77.9% White, 3.5% African American, 4.1% Native American, 4.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.2% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.4%

Appleton: 87.5% White, 1.7% African American, 0.7% Native American, 5.9% Asian, 2.2% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.0%

Oshkosh: 90.5% White, 3.1% African American, 0.8% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7%

Sheboygan: 82.5% White, 1.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 9.0% Asian, 3.6% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.9%

Fond du Lac: 90.6% White, 2.5% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 2.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.4%

Manitowoc: 89.9% White, 1.0% African American, 0.6% Native American, 4.6% Asian, 2.1% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.0%

Neenah: 93.7% White, 1.3% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.8%

De Pere: 94.0% White, 0.9% African American, 1.2% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1%


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