Hacking Equity

Engaging Tomorrow's Leaders in Data and Policy

The words Hacking Equity on a black background with abstract lines and squares, image by Peter Soriano/RAND Corporation

Peter Soriano/RAND Corporation

What Is Hacking Equity?

Hacking Equity isn’t a typical hackathon. Instead of asking participants to find and solve software problems, Hacking Equity asks participants to tackle policy challenges that may be contributing to inequities in society. .

Hacking Equity was established in 2021 as the RAND–AUC Consortium Tech and Public Policy Hackathon. The program is a partnership between the RAND Corporation, the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Consortium—Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College. It's part of RAND's NextGen Initiative, which is dedicated to empowering young people to change the world.

How Does It Work?

Like any hackathon, Hacking Equity brings people together to solve problems.

AUC undergraduates team up with Pardee RAND graduate students and RAND research advisors. The teams are given a problem or issue, and then asked to devise policy solutions that are rooted in equity. In 2021, for example, participants were tasked with identifying policies that would lead to a more equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hackathons are designed by the Pardee RAND Tech + Narrative Lab, which focuses on applying new and emerging technologies to solve policy problems.

What Makes Hacking Equity Special?

Following in the footsteps of the Pardee RAND Faculty Leaders Program, Hacking Equity connects emerging leaders of color with experienced policy analysts and doctoral candidates. The events bring together diverse perspectives, sparks fresh insights, and invite new explorations that can help shed light on what drives longstanding inequities—and how to address them.

Hacking Equity provides a path toward a better future. Through collaboration and a shared passion for policy issues, these events deepen undergraduate students’ understanding of policy analysis and open graduate students and researchers to a broad range of new ideas.

About RAND, Pardee RAND Graduate School and the Tech + Narrative Lab

RAND is a research and analysis organization dedicated to deep knowledge and ingenuity. We are nonpartisan and nonprofit, committed to solving the toughest problems facing the world today.

RAND educates the leaders of tomorrow through the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Based in Santa Monica, CA, Pardee RAND has specialized in graduate-level policy education since its founding in 1970. It offers both a two-year M.Phil. in policy analysis as well as a full-time, generously funded Ph.D.

In Pardee RAND's Tech + Narrative Lab, students apply new and emerging technologies to study policy problems, create novel solutions, and understand policy implications of technology.