Robin Máxkii #ALD20 @findingada

Robin maxkii

Robin Maxkii is a Native American technology activist, filmmaker, and writer focused on increasing diversity in technology fields, Via Google Stories

After speaking at a panel event at NASA, Máxkii spotted the CEO of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and got excited. “To me, she’s like a celebrity, so of course I knew I had to approach her.”

It was an opportunity to make significant headway on one of Máxkii’s big ideas: a hackathon specifically for native students at all levels interested in STEM. “I had been passing this around to various organizations, and the reaction was to assume natives weren’t really interested in it,” she says.

Without fear, Máxkii pitched her idea, even pulling out her phone to play a video clip of her interviewing tech executives on a PBS series. “For two years, I had been told no, and I finally got a little bit of the door opened, so I just kept going with it.” Máxkii secured the go-ahead to organize a hackathon event for the AISES National Conference.

Coordinated by Máxkii in 2016, hackAISES was the first collegiate American Indian hackathon, drawing attendees ranging from high school students to computer science Ph.D. graduates. It was so successful that it became a regular event: This year’s AISES conference in Oklahoma City has the third annual hackathon on its agenda for October 3.

Check out the Women in Tech episode featuring Robin Maxkii

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