Phone app in the works to fight racism

A phone app is being developed to equip people of color, that will allow them to share positive or negative experiences they have at local businesses.

The purpose of the app and bias response team is to track moments of discrimination and hold the community accountable.

Say No to Hate and Bias is a subgroup under Equity Arcata, which is an
organization trying to make Arcata a more inclusive and welcoming for people of color, that is developing a phone app that will let its users alert, respond and move forward if instances of racism or
discrimination happen.

According to Jennifer Eichstedt, professor of sociology at Humboldt State University and member of Say No to Hate and Bias, the idea of the app originated from a bias response system at HSU that ended up being taken down because of the changes to Title IX.

“We were the only campus in the CSU system that had a bias response team and they ended up saying that we couldn’t have a bias response team because it didn’t fall under their guidelines,” Eichstedt said.

Eventually, the idea for a bias response team came back during a meeting for Equity Arcata.

The purpose of the app and bias response team is to track moments of
discrimination and hold the community accountable.

Other individuals from across the community, such as NAACP President
Sharrone Blanck, joined the group to develop the app because there was a need in the community.

The team invited community members for outreach events, where people could provide feedback on the app.

“It needs to work for the people that it’s supposed to serve,” Blanck said. “So, that’s why we are reaching out and trying to talk to different aspects of the community to make sure we are on point and this is something helpful.”

According to Blanck, the group is seeking funds through grants and recently applied with the Humboldt Area Foundation hoping to get support. The app is estimated to cost $8000.

Blanck said that in the summer they’ll have a soft launch of the app, and by fall a full launch of the app.

“The more and more we share these stories, the more change can happen,”
member Lizzie Phillips said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.