Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute (SYLDI) and Southern Company focusing on developing youth through training and programs that prepare them for careers of the 21st century.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 23, 2017) Montgomery, Alabama – #YesWeCode and Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute (SYLDI) have teamed up to bring a “hackathon” competition to high schools in Birmingham, Selma, Tuskegee and Montgomery, Alabama as part of The Spirit of Rosa Parks benefit events.

#YesWeCode Hackathon Theme

The theme of this hackathon is for all teams to find their “center of gravity” which leads to the invention of an extraordinary concept or prototype of an “education” or “economic development” solution.

The center of gravity is defined for this assignment as the point at which each team aligns in passion, creativity, synergy and optimal performance, enabling an extraordinary invention to take shape.

Each invited schools’ location is important to Mrs. Rosa Park’s journey and location of her center of gravity, Montgomery, Alabama, where she refused to leave her seat in the front of the “negro” section of the bus. It was the Recy Taylor story, ten years prior to the Montgomery bus boycott that laid the foundation for the civil rights movement.

The hackathon takes place during Women’s History Month, where Mrs. Rosa Parks is being recognized for her courage, strength and activism standing up for human rights by honoring human rights leaders around the country at The Spirit of Rosa Parks awards taking place at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre on March 4, 2017. All Hackathon schools will be acknowledged and the winning school will receive a “Rosa Parks Innovation Award”.

All participating schools will be celebrated at the start of The Spirit of Rosa Parks Awards. All students, teachers and chaperones will receive premier access passes to attend all events.  The winning school will receive a special award that they will take back to their school as an example of their brilliance that sparks and encourages innovation to continue throughout the year and beyond.  

Hackathon Flyer Final 2Schools who wish to compete must register online by February 1, 2017 at:  Idea submissions are due with the school’s registration. The competition is open to all high school students in Birmingham, Tuskegee, Montgomery and Selma (ages 14 – 18). Four schools, teams of six, will compete in the finals on March 4, 2017 at Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technology (MPACT). 

Get involved and stay connected on social media at:

Twitter: @_SYLDI

Facebook: SYLDIOfficial


More information is available at:


About Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute (SYLDI)

SYLDI’s mission is to provide opportunity to youth through programs that create policy change in education and protection of voter’s rights based on the legacy of civil rights leaders that gave their lives fighting for freedom and human rights for all. SYLDI established in Montgomery, Alabama in 2004 to train youth 12-18 years of age to combat the inequalities of education.  SYLDI inspires, cultivates and trains youth with leadership potential to bring about a more disciplined approach to problem identification and resolution of issues that impact our education policies.

About #YesWeCode

Many have been searching for ways to uplift today’s urban youth and help them achieve a more promising future. We believe that one solution lies in connecting tech and social justice leaders to spearhead revolutionary tech programs whose benefits extend to the most disadvantaged of society.

#YesWeCode is a Dream Corps initiative that works with partners to help connect 100,000 underrepresented minorities to careers in technology. More information at:

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