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Data 360 Press Release January 10, 2022 | Urbanime Press Release January 3, 2022
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Press Release


Company: Data 360

Contact: Tikki Williams

Email: tikki.williams@data360.solutions

Phone: +1 424-209-2104


Data 360 and Urbanime collaborate to launch Hip Hop Hackathon for the Culture

Media and tech experts in Los Angeles and New York

join forces to accelerate people of color into careers in STEM and tech


Los Angeles, CA, (January 10, 2022) - Data 360 and Urbanime are pleased to announce the creation of Hip Hop Hackathon which will kick-off via a two-day event on February 8 and 9 that launches a season of events between Black History month and Juneteenth 2022 that bring together innovators and creatives to develop technology solutions to real-world problems. The events are aimed at providing the underrepresented, especially Blacks and Latinos, and all undervalued groups with the opportunity to develop their skills in the STEM fields and gain exposure to employment opportunities in STEM.

Hip Hop Hackathon is a community of creators, makers, and changemakers who have the power to craft the future of technology and culture by leveraging their unique talents to build solutions that address real-world problems. We know that our movement is not limited to the three pillars of rap, dance, and technology. We are artists and creators from all walks of life who have the potential to combine their expertise across a variety of disciplines to empower the culture.

The free events will celebrate the rich contributions of people of color, Blacks, and specifically, Black Women in STEM, to the computer industry, and encourage the next generation to explore STEM careers.

The tagline for these events is "Permission Not Required" to give undervalued talent access to the STEM fields. As the Hip Hop Hackathon's tagline suggests, the event is giving undervalued talent access to the STEM fields.

The goal of the Hip Hop Hackathon is to contribute to closing the large disparity gaps in STEM and computer science education and employment opportunities between Blacks and other undervalued demographic groups. Over the past few years, the nation has seen a steadily decreasing number of Black and Latino students entering computer science programs.

"The STEM fields and technology industry that have changed the world in the last 50 years and will continue to rapidly evolve our society for the next 50. It's up to us to ensure that all Americans, and especially African Americans, are represented in these jobs of the future," said Marie Smith, Co-Founder of Hip Hop Hackathon and CIO and Co-Founder of Data 360.

Data 360 is a woman led and 100% minority-owned technology and community interest company with a mission to create software that transforms the way companies, governments and communities use data and advanced technologies. Our mission is to empower our customers to build software that enables individuals, groups and organizations to harness their own data, to tell their own stories, and to take control of their future in powerful decentralized platforms. This is in contrast to our industry counterparts who only focus on a "one-size fits all" approach with a focus on the features and benefits of software without fully taking into account community impact. Data 360's strength is empowering people and communities through software.

"It's important that we consider all aspects of how tech can influence and empower society. Our communities of Black people and people of color need to be central players and power brokers in the next wave of technology," said, Lawrence Morrow, Co-Founder of Hip Hop Hackathon and Co-Founder and CEO of Data 360.

The community kick-off for the Hip Hop Hackathon will take place February 8-9, 2022 continue with training, workshops, events online and nationwide through June 2022 with a one-week competition. Register to attend or contribute as a mentor, adviser, teacher, speakers, event facilitator or sponsor of hiphophackathon.com.

Hip Hop Hackathon is produced as a collaboration between Data 360 and Urbanime.

See the background bios of all founders of Hip Hop Hackathon on the About Us page.

About Data 360: Data 360 helps non-technical business users learn to use advanced technologies to build their ideal communities using our low-code and no-code system and services which saves up to 90% of operational expenses. We are a low-cost development alternative to social media groups, online paid advertising, traditional SaaS tech stacks and traditional websites. To learn more about Data 360, please visit https://www.data360network.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

Marie, the Director, Co-Founder of Hip Hop Hackathon, and Co-Founder and CIO of Data 360, is a prolific leader, advisor, coach and mentor who works and advocates locally, regionally and nationally for digital and technology literacy, closing the economic gap using technology and ethical, equitable and explainable AI. See more of her work at http://bit.ly/data360-speakingworkshopsamples and her long bio at https://bit.ly/marielongbio.

Marie has been a speaker/presenter, lectured at and produced curriculum for over 10,000 elementary, middle, high school, college students and workers online and in-person about coding, career development, corporate data analysis, data science and technology development with Harvard Innovation Lab, the University of Southern California, University of California Berkeley, Los Angeles Trade Tech College, California State University Dominguez Hills, conferences and corporations throughout the United States and Europe.

About Urbanime: Urbanime is a Culture company that empowers Black and Brown audiences through story. Urbanime publications make Culture the hero whether they are unique editorials using comic art to tell a story of the Culture or fantastic, urban-themed genre fiction that place Black and Brown characters at the center of adventure.

Urbanime leverages the power of comic experiences to advance Black and Brown audiences because of a simple belief- if you invest in the culture, the culture will invest in you. That its people, their experiences, and their potential are worthy of our belief. With a small amount of effort, we can unlock potential that has shifted the course of history, changed entire industries and built dynasties. That is the power of culture. Always.

For more information about Urbanime, or to download our library of Culture-zines visit: Urbanimme.com, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitch and Twitter.

Chris Walker is a Marvel/DC veteran and creativepreneur who founded Urbanime to make comic media an inclusive platform which empowers Black and Brown audiences. After years of collaborating with Fortune 500 companies as a Brand Strategist, and formative creative years as an artist for Marvel and DC, he created a platform to speak to a growing trend of Black and Brown folx who are fans of comics and culture. Merging his passion for the medium of comics with his love of urban culture, Chris has developed an empowering lifestyle brand that sits at the intersection of art, culture, and storytelling. Chris has also illustrated projects for everyone from Ghostface Killah and P-Diddy to major brands like Sony and Adidas.

About Hip Hop Hackathon: Hip Hop Hackathon is a community of creators, makers, and changemakers who have the power to craft the future of technology and culture by leveraging their unique talents to build solutions that address real-world problems. We know that our movement is not limited to the three pillars of rap, dance, and technology. We are artists and creators from all walks of life who have the potential to combine their expertise across a variety of disciplines to empower the culture.

The community kick-off for the Hip Hop Hackathon will take place February 8-9, 2022 continue with training, workshops, events online and nationwide through June 2022 with a one-week competition. Register to attend or contribute as a mentor, adviser, teacher, speakers, event facilitator or sponsor at hiphophackathon.com.

Hip Hop Hackathon is produced as a collaboration between Data 360 and Urbanime.

# # #

Press Release


Company: Urbanime

Contact: Leigh Bertrand

Email: leigh.bertrand@urbanime.com


Urbanime to Launch Year-Long Black and Brown STEM Initiative “Open Spaces.”

STEM needs you. The future needs you. The Culture needs you. Are you ready?


New York, NY, (January 3, 2022) - Urbanime, a Culture company, presents a year-long STEM initiative called “Open Spaces.” Open Spaces aims to fill the gap between retention and representation in which Black and Brown Folx can create identity through STEM.

STEM awareness is important to the Culture. As an example, if technology advances without a diverse view, we will not only have to fight systemic bias, but programmatic bias as well. Open Spaces will highlight how Black and Brown Folx have historically contributed to STEM while also proving how STEM can encourage rewarding futures.

With multiple facets programmed throughout the year, Open Spaces will feature events and conversations (mixers, listening parties, Hackathon), an original content drop and more. Launch of Open Spaces is set for February of 2022 and will kick off with a month-long celebration of Black Women in Tech. In the lineup for February:

  • Hip Hop Hackathon - A “permission not required” weekend of workshops giving undervalued talent access to the best of STEM.
  • Black Women in Tech Mixtape - A Culture zine celebrating the Black women breaking barriers in STEM.
  • Black Women in Tech Listening Party - An exclusive Twitch event that brings tech and Culture into the same room.
  • STEM Launch Mixer - A networking event where aspiring Black and Brown STEM heroes can connect with industry leaders, mentors and recruiters.

Check out coverage on Open Spaces:


About Urbanime: Urbanime is a Culture company that empowers Black and Brown audiences through story. Urbanime publications make Culture the hero whether they are unique editorials using comic art to tell a story of the Culture or fantastic, urban-themed genre fiction that place Black and Brown characters at the center of adventure. For more information about Urbanime, or to download our library of Culture-zines visit: Urbanimme.com, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitch and Twitter.

Chris Walker, the Founder and President of Urbanime, has a long history as a colorist and illustrator who has industry experience working for Marvel & DC Comics. Chris has also illustrated projects for everyone from Ghostface Killah and P-Diddy to major brands like Sony and Adidas.

About Hip Hop Hackathon: Hip Hop Hackathon is a community of creators, makers, and changemakers who have the power to craft the future of technology and culture by leveraging their unique talents to build solutions that address real-world problems. We know that our movement is not limited to the three pillars of rap, dance, and technology. We are artists and creators from all walks of life who have the potential to combine their expertise across a variety of disciplines to empower the culture.

The community kick-off for the Hip Hop Hackathon will take place Feb. 8-9, 2022 continue with training, workshops, events online and nationwide through June 2022 with a one-week competition. Register to attend or contribute as a mentor, adviser, teacher, speakers, event facilitator or sponsor at hiphophackathon.com.

Hip Hop Hackathon is produced as a collaboration between Data 360 and Urbanime.

# # #

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Hip Hop Hackathon?

The community kick-off for the Hip Hop Hackathon will take place February 8-9, 2022 continue with training, workshops, events online and nationwide through June 2022 with a one-week competition. Register to attend at hiphophackathon.com.

What is happening between now and then?

The team and sponsors are holding various workshops and programs in communities throughout the United States with community, government, non-profit and corporate partners to spread the word about the movement.

When is the Hip Hop Hackathon launching?



We are launching on November 8, 2021 on National STEM Day.


The National STEM/STEAM Day is solely focused to help people of all ages and walks of life to rekindle their passion for innovation in the fields of STEM/STEAM.


The concept has been promoted greatly since the 2000s where the studies showed that most of the U.S. students were not keen on having careers in the STEM discipline than other countries. The report also predicted that the country will not be able to compete in the global economy if the situation continues. After this realization, educators focus more on STEM/STEAM research, education, and education policy.


Where is Hip Hop Hackathon launching?


We launched on Sway's Universe on Sirius XM on November 8, 2021. See the video on YouTube.


What is the short term and long term vision?


Team members for the project will be working to obtain annual sponsorship for the Hip Hop Hackathon in the short-term to build up the infrastructure and staff for this initiative. Long-term the team members for this project will be working to create an annual collaboration of events throughout the United States and globally.


What will participants learn?



Participants will be certified via Accredible (see accredible.com) on the following tracks:


Game innovations with Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus offers an opportunity to work on PlayStation and virtual space, so come together to work with new sceneries, designs, and code.


Social services

New ideas for banking, time management, social living, meeting, sharing, and others. Improve social life and communications with your ideas!


AR/VR Advertising

Advertising is everywhere. Catch a chance to become a part of its reinvention. Participants will create new conceptions for AR/VR marketing in real life!


Learning and education

Research has been done on learning in virtual reality, as its immersive qualities may enhance learning. Participants will create solutions to help people learn faster and more efficiently!


Product development

This track is about innovations in real-life products. Any product can always be improved. Participants will be encouraged to design something special, something we didn’t even think about.


Do I need to know how to code?

People of all skill levels can join, even if you've never written a line of code. We'll teach you everything you need to know to take part in the project

Who can participate?

Attendees must be over 18 and agree to the Hip Hop Hackathon Code of Conduct

Data 360 Media, Features and Appearances
Data 360 has been featured in numerous publications and industry groups. See these features and more with Data 360 success stories and Data 360 Sample Talks and Workshops.

Previous Data 360 Press and Media Appearances


  1. October 13, 2021 3 Ways to Build Profitable Relationships Using AI and Big Data
  2. September 29, 2021 Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center "How to use Social Media for Sales Without Spending a Bunch of Money"
  3. June 11 - August 21, 2021 Google Developer Group Cloud Los Angeles App Camp Android Study Jams
  4. June 28, 2021 Latinas: From The Block To The Boardroom - Episode 22: Social Justice AI Data Distribution From Marie Smith CIO and...
  5. New Webinar! June 17, 2021 with IFundWomen Learning the ins and outs of customer acquisition
  6. June 17, 2021 Hyperledger Juneteenth Panel Atlanta, GA
  7. May 27, 2021 Leaders in Data Science Society for Scientific Advancement
  8. May 26, 2021 Google Women Techmakers Ambassador Profile (Accepted March 3, 2021)
  9. April 20, 2021 Converge Conference with Headspin.io
  10. April 13, 2021 JPMorgan Corporate Communications Featured Business
  11. March 30, 2021 Data 4 Good - How Data Impacts My Life: Data Privacy and Ethics
  12. March 26, 2021 IDEAs Festival with AI LA
  13. March 2021 Women in Big Data International Women's Day Global Campaign with Google Developer Group Cloud Los Angeles
  14. March 10, 2021 Women in Big Data - Neurodiversity Part 2
  15. March 6, 2021 Women in Big Data #WomensHistory Feature
  16. January 25-30, 2021, University of California at Irvine Merage Business School COVID-19 Hackathon
  17. January 22, 2021 - 2020-2021 New Talk: How Big Data Affects Your Everyday Life St. Mary's College, Moraga, California
  18. January 21, 2021 - Introduction to Cognitive Services -Panel Moderated by Marie S. CIO, Data 360 with Women in Big Data
  19. December 1, 2020 - Equity in Data Projects LA Tech 4 Good
  20. November 19, 2020 - Curated - How Data Affects My Life: Social Justice
  21. November 5, 2020 - Simple Uses of Technology in Your Business - Street Entrepreneurs w/ Marie CIO Co-Founder Data 360
  22. October 26, 2020 - ValleyML Conference 2020
  23. September 1, 2020 - AllRaise.org Visionary Voices Speaking Bureau
  24. September 1, 2020 - Feature: Whitepaper "Shaping AI Systems with Cultural Data" iVow.ai
  25. July 9, 2020 - 2020 New Talk: Data-Driven: An approach for reimagining institutions
  26. October 2019 - New Talk: UX Considerations for Designing Research for Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Future Technology Applications
  27. September 2019 - University of California Berkeley Emerging Tech and Social Impact Challenge
  28. January 2019 - Guest Lecture Technology Commercialization, University of Southern California
  29. IDEAS Southern California October 2018
  30. Data Con LA August 2018
  31. 2017-2019 Featured Speaking and Conferences



About the new STEM EP launch on November 8, 2021 for National STEM Day
To empower the Black and Brown journey in STEM, Urbanime has created OPEN SPACES, a year-long initiative that uses the power of comic experiences (comic storytelling, activations, programming) to empower the Black and Brown Journey in STEM that we are launching on November 8.

The launch will feature our "STEM EP," a six-page culture zine that will be a love letter from each STEM area to the culture. Our goal is to appeal to Black and Brown audiences' enthusiasm for STEM and show how STEM needs them for the future of society.

STEM EP

Called an “EP” Urbanime releases culture zines that mix comic book storytelling and editorial articles. For National STEM Day we are releasing a “STEM EP” focusing on the world of STEM for our audience.

Our theme is “STEM Needs… You” and is a love letter “from” STEM to our audience telling the audience that their ignition, innovation, and creativity is needed to meet the challenges and empathy necessary for STEM to face the challenges of investing more complex world

The EP will feature a letter from four professionals, one in each area speaking to their experiences, how Black and Brown voices are needed and appealing to others to join their efforts.
View Urbanime's first EP on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: Relic Vol 1 eBook : Walker, Chris, Leslie, Nick, Edge, Harold, Odagawa, Ryan, Gabrie, Justin: Kindle Store
Urbanime Black Music Month Overview July 2021

Black Music Month Overview

Urbanime celebrated Black Music Month by elevating the stories behind the music to deliver a message of Our Music, Our Story that without Black people and our experiences, there would be no Black Music. To do so, we created experiences to empower our audience through imaginative storytelling, highlighting the interaction of Black music, culture, and comics with a month-long celebration.

In partnership with Sway’s Universe, Vince Lawrence, Digiwaxx, and The Apollo, Urbanime’s celebration, dubbed, “Our Music. Our Story.” paid homage to hip-hop, house, the home of Black music, and more through storytelling, creativity, and dialogue.
Urbanime Nike AirMax Day Drop March 2021

Illustration and comic platform Urbanime has revealed a project celebrating Nike‘s annual Air Max Day on March 26th with a collection of illustrated portraits titled “Style EP.” Drawn by Julie Anderson, the effort is highlighted by portrayals of Walk Like Her founder Tira Audrey, stylist Khalilah Beavers and Urbanime superhero Codex.
Check out Urbanime's feature on Sway's Universe
Sway in the Morning with Chris Walker, Billy Mitchell and Sly Yates On The Celebration of Black Music Through Urbanime
What is the Hip Hop Hackathon?
Hip Hop Hackathon says "Permission Not Required" to give underrepresented talent access to the best of STEM.

Hip Hop Hackathon is a community of creators, makers, and changemakers who have the power to craft the future of technology and culture by leveraging their unique talents to build solutions that address real-world problems. We know that our movement is not limited to the three pillars of rap, dance, and technology. We are artists and creators from all walks of life who have the potential to combine their expertise across a variety of disciplines to empower the culture.
Community Partners
Data 360 is a women-led community interest company with an ambitious mission to create software that transforms the way companies, governments and communities use data.
Urbanime is a culture x comics company that creates authentic experiences that empower multicultural audiences through imaginative storytelling.
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