Learning outcomes and goals: We are pleased to welcome you and other participants from a number of professional news organizations around the state as well as professionals and newcomers to journalism, software development, data science, and immigration law, policy, and advocacy.

  • The #MigrahackCO goal for our professional journalism teams is, first, to support the ability of our Colorado journalists to produce rich storytelling that draws upon state and national data sets and utilizes – or develops – sophisticated data analysis tools as part of an effort to produce stories that have not yet been told, and, second, to support the presentation of this data in visually imaginative ways.
  • The goal for our student teams is to support students and young adults who want to develop multimedia products that help their peers to be better equipped to participate in informed conversations about immigration. These teams will do this through the production of explainers and other visually imaginative materials. These teams act as bridges to the work of professional journalists, creating supportive materials and links to the journalist’s efforts, thus contributing to the collective impact of the efforts of all involved.

Collective impact: This is when a group of people from different sectors of society work together for the purpose of addressing and solving a complex social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. The #MigrahackCO aims to contribute to enriching understandings about immigration in Colorado so that together, we can make the best possible decisions about our collective lives, our communities, and our governments.

Teams: If you did not preregister as a team, you have been added to a team based on your areas of passion, interest, and expertise. Every team has at least one person who will be able to help your team (1) focus on a story idea (journalism/storytelling expertise), (2) identify and analyze data (data science expertise), (3) work with data to produce a multimedia story (data visualization, video, audio, presentation expertise), and (4) understand the immigrant experience (law, policy, lived experience). Depending on expertise and interests, some teams will spend more time with data analysis and others will spend more time with multimedia or other forms of production and presentation. All teams are invited to participate in the Closing Celebration. There, you’ll have space at a table so that you can share your work as you and others walk around the room while we enjoy cocktails or mocktails after a presentation and tasting from chef Adan Medrano, author of Truly Texas Mexican and Don’t Count the Tortillas.

Team leaders: These are people who have been designated to take the lead in helping you to get started and to bring focus to your project overall. They have storytelling and project management expertise and will receive more information about their role separately.

Floaters: These are people who have various areas of expertise and have been on the planning committee for the Migrahack. They will be available throughout the two-day Migrahack to answer your questions and they can help to direct you to both human and data resources.

Data sets: Data sets consist of information that has been gathered from (1) high quality and verified surveys, (2) collection by reputable agencies and organizations, (3) through passive data collection (e.g. data our phones collect about us), and more. All of the data sets being made available have been cleaned and vetted by Colorado Media Project consultant and expert data journalist Sandra Fish, who will be on hand to explain and help your team identify questions that can be answered with available data.

Existing research reports: A number of national organizations have already worked with data sets to answer questions. A favorite source of high-quality information is the Pew Research Center that has a long record of collecting and analyzing U.S. data about immigration. Links to this and other sources are available.

FOIA: Some government agencies and organizations are reluctant to release data. For this reason, journalists initiated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This federal law grants the public access to information possessed by government agencies. Upon written request, U.S. government agencies are required to release information unless it falls under one of nine exemptions. If you have a question that our data sets can’t answer, you may want to write a FOIA request. Several people will be working on FOIA requests for data sets that we don’t currently have but that would help better inform the public about immigration in the future. 

Data languages:  You’ll be hearing about a variety of languages that are used to analyze the data sets available and to create visualizations that help others to understand raw data. Some team members have expertise in Python, Tableau, SPSS, or other languages that process data. If you are part of a team that does not want to use these languages to analyze data or that does not have this expertise, you can use pre-existing reports that we have curated and you can also ask Floaters for assistance in locating relevant materials.

Focus question: Every team is charged with choosing the direction and form that their project will take, based on team passions, interests, and abilities.  Our overarching question for the Colorado Migrahack is:  Why and how are immigrants in Colorado having their day-to-day lives affected by current policies?

Explainers: Explainers are videos of 2 minutes or less that use graphics to explain an issue that may be in the news but that might not be widely understood. You can produce these using Moovly, photoshop, illustrator, or other tools. Some ideas for explainers that have been identified by groups working with Colorado immigrant populations include:

  • a “detainer explainer”
  • Finding an immigration lawyer in Colorado (in various languages)
  • What is ICE?
  • Know your rights (in various languages)
  • Understand the census (in various languages)
  • What avenues can CO take to limit ICE’s ability to query DMV databases for SB251 info?
  • What would it take to end ICE notifications altogether?
  • The hidden costs of ICE notifications
  • What is the Legal Defense Fund?
  • Why would someone in Colorado be afraid to take their kids to school?
  • Trauma and resilience in the stories of immigration
  • What is the difference between an immigrant, a refugee, and an asylum seeker?

Search for any of the above on YouTube and you’ll quickly see why accessible and visually interesting “explainers” of under 2 minutes are needed. Professional journalists are also invited to suggest explainers that they think would be helpful.

Poster session: You’ll hear some people referring to the share-out at our closing celebration in this way. Teams will write the title of their project on a poster near a table where you’ll be able to set your laptop to show others what you’ve completed and learned (and maybe, what you’re going to do next). We’ll mingle, drink cocktails and mocktails, look at the posters and final products, and celebrate the work that’s been done.

(We know. We should have created an explainer for all of this.)

We look forward to seeing you soon!