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LIC-based Fortune Society hosts third-annual Tech Fair for justice-involved New Yorkers

Justice-involved individuals learn about the benefits of technology in the workplace during Wednesday’s Tech Fair. Photo courtesy of The Fortune Society

April 30, 2024 By Queens Post News Team

New York-based non-profit the Fortune Society held its third-annual Tech Fair in Long Island City on Wednesday, providing dozens of justice-involved New Yorkers with an opportunity to learn about opportunities in the information and technology sector. 

The Tech Fair, which took place at the Fortune Society’s headquarters at 29-76 Northern Blvd., featured information sessions and presentations from a wide range of companies, with the goal of helping justice-involved individuals learn about technology’s benefits. 

The information sessions included talks on the impact of technology on daily life, employment and opportunities for entrepreneurship. 

Around 150 justice-involved individuals attended Wednesday’s Tech Fair, which featured talks from several high-profile companies, including the Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Defy Ventures, a non-profit that aims to address the problems of mass incarceration by providing employment and training to individuals with a criminal history. 

Representatives from Columbia University’s Justice Through Code, NYC Housing Preservation and Development and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice also held information sessions during Wednesday’s tech fair. 

Lucinda Cross, the founder of the personal and business development non-profit Activate Your Life, also discussed the importance of tech tools for business success. 

Nyerere Hodge of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta spoke on the impact that digital skills can have on the workplace, while Javier Irizarry of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice discussed the impact of artificial intelligence on modern-day society. 

Additionally, participants took part in an Artificial Intelligence Discovery Hub and competed against each other in a typing challenge during Wednesday’s event. 

Adrienne Whaley, Senior Director of Technology Training and Digital Literacy at the Fortune Society, described Wednesday’s event as an attempt to bridge the digital divide for justice-involved individuals. 

The Fortune Society is unwavering in our commitment to a holistic approach to re-entry services, with a key focus on technology and digital literacy,” Whaley said. 

“Digital literacy is necessary for thriving both personally and professionally. We are proud to have hosted our third-annual technology fair, a testament to the collective effort of numerous New York City organizations seeking justice by closing the digital divide.” 

Founded in 1967, the Fortune Society is dedicated to supporting formerly incarcerated individuals’ integration back into society. The non-profit advocates for the employment of justice-involved individuals, providing access to educational opportunities and training through events such as its annual Tech Fair. 

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