Code as Advocacy: Using a (Black) human-centered approach in software development

Developing software that addresses some of the world’s most pressing problems relies on a human-centered approach as it provides a context in which to investigate solutions and their potential impact. It can help us to create better, more useful software, while also questioning the proper ways to develop and design products. By examining the trajectory of Appolition, a software product designed to make contributing to bail relief easy for users and that centers the black experience, I will talk about how community engagement and empathy and have been crucial to its success and how Appolition serves as a template for future innovations.


Dr. Kortney Ziegler has a passion for social-justice-based work in the tech space. He is the creator and co-founder of Appolition, a crowdfunding platform for bail philanthropy and Trans*H4CK (2013) a non-profit dedicated to developing technology for the transgender community. Dr. Ziegler is also and an award-winning writer, filmmaker and scholar.