About We Are Code VR Hackathon

Dhat Stone Academy, ScioArt, Inc., Win Media Solution, Bay Area Tutoring Association, and Urban Hip Tech

Organizers of

We Are Code VR Hackathon

We Are Code VR Hackathon is dedicated to growing a community of VR and AR developers in urban communities,  creating social solutions using virtual reality and providing hands-on technology and educational engagement in mobile app and website design,  VR Development, Drone building and programming, Robotics, and 3D gaming. We see huge potential for immersive technologies as a tool for creating jobs, tech startups,  and social solutions.  We intend to change the tech industry so there is more racial and gender Diversity and Inclusion. We also believe that we can become creators and not just consumers of technology.

Moving toward our goal of lifting up Black and Brown youth in Los Angeles and Oakland, we're allowing them to create their own new realities by learning about how computers and technology works.


If you would like a we are code VR hackathon in your area or would like us to consult on a hackathon you are organizing, please contact us at: 818-408-9761

Watch Our First

We Are Code VR

Hackathon, Oakland

September 3-4, Labor Day Hack 2016:

We gathered together 80 black and Latino youth from Compton and Oakland to solve problems (innovate), to brainstorm, design, and build a website, mobile, or virtual reality app that can change their communities, the world, create a business, or both.

We identify the majority of our youth participants to be high potential, low opportunity youth of color. Kids participated from Los Angeles, Compton, and Oakland California and averaged between the ages 9 through 17.

All participants spent two days on teams working alongside mentors, professional developers, Technologists, and Silicon Valley innovators supporting them as they built websites and virtual reality apps that will positively impact their community while learning to code for virtual reality headsets and websites.

We Are Code VR Hackathon seeks to prepare youth of color for the 21st Century Digital Economy by creating an environment where our youth can tap into their genius, and talent and transform marketable Technologies with the support of entrepreneurs, and  technology professionals as mentors.


All meals prepared for We Are Code VR Hackathon participants are selected from local vendors based on their healthy nutritional value. Foods and snacks are selected that will help youth reach and maintain Peak levels of mental and physical performance.

Youth First Place Winners and Developer Showcase: Compton vs. Oakland

Girls Who Code, first Place Winners of We Are Code VR Hackathon Compton. Venue at the NASA Columbia Memorial Space Center
Youth team explain their website in front of panel of judges
Black Girls VR at We Are Code VR Hackathons
The Beach Boys, first Place Winners at the East Oakland Youth Development Center venue September, 2016
Youth participants demonstrating their Virtual Reality game
Having fun experimenting with Virtual Reality technology provided by Oculus

Youth Having a Blast and Learning to Code

Learning to program in Virtual Reality code
Future tech trailblazer building a website
Mentor Jill teaching youth to code

Mary T. Duda, SciOart, Inc.

We Are Code VR Hackathon Keynote speaker Mary T. Duda, CEO of SciOart, is a Media EcoSystem expert, developer of the virtual reality Moon Racing Challenge game. Mary presented a tech talk on the future of Virtual Reality technology.

Steve McCloskey, Nanome, Inc.

Nano engineer Steve McCloskey is founder of Nanome, Inc., which develops nanoengineering Concepts through virtual reality and augmented reality Technologies. He presented a tech talk on how young people can change their lives through the possibilities of digital technology and careers in STEM.

Ben Vereen, Celebrity Speaker

Actor, dancer, singer , and spiritual  evangelist Ben Vereen inspired the youth at the We Are Code VR Hackathon through song and entertainment. He has been designated as the Spiritual Enforcer.

Stephen Van Heflin, Dhat Stone Academy

Dhat Stone High Tech Learning Academy Executive Director Stephen Van Heflin (left) being presented with a Certificate of Recognition by Assemblyman Mike Gibson of the 64th District (Watts) of California for Dhat Stone Academy's dedication and  commitment to education and technology for our students throughout the state of California. Mr. Gipson gave a passionate pep talk  to our young participants about their role as future leaders of their communities and as innovators of tomorrow's technology.

Chris Norwood, Bay Area Tutoring Association

Chris Norwood, Director and Cofounder of the Oakland We Are Code VR Hackathon. He is the founder of the Bay Area Tutoring Association which was formed out of a shared desire of tutors, parents, students, community members and Business Leaders to invest in the future technology education and prosperity of youth of color in the Bay Area.

Ebony Peay Ramirez, Oculus, Inc.

Ebony Peay Ramirez, Program Manager for Oculus (developer of the Oculus Rift VR technology) was presented with a Certificate of Recognition for her commitment to exposing virtual reality technology to youth of color. Ebony gave a powerful motivational talk to the youth on the promise of virtual reality technology and Entrepreneurship.