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USING DRONES TO RECOVER BIPOC HISTORY

The DRONe Project (Descendants Recovering our Names) seeks to create a new generation of BIPOC female innovators in the field of digital historic preservation and drone technology with the skills to becme high-income earners via a paid workforce development program.

How it Started

Thousands of names and stories of Americans of color are lost or left unfinished by being buried in dilapidated, overrun cemeteries and burial grounds across the United States. Many of these areas have little or no documentation to account for those interred. This information is key to telling the complete stories of these Americans. Using LiDAR drone technology, young BIPOC people are being trained to recover and record these histories, before the damaging effects of weather and unabated terrain disappear them from history completely.

Through early prototypes of the DRONE Project program, we learned that it would take more than simple drones solely equipped with high-quality cameras. To clear the trees and foliage that overshadow these lost and abandoned burial grounds, we required more advanced technology to fulfill the mission.

How it's Going

WOMEN MAKING HISTORY

Empowering young BIPOC women, historically undervalued in STEAM, to use LiDAR drone technology to map historical sites significant to California BIPOC history of those once treated as the least of humankind.

2022-2023

MEET THE HERSTORIANS OF SAN DIEGO

San Diego County became the home of numerous Black pioneers post-enslavement as a result of the California Gold Rush. The 2022-2023 program gives young women ages 16-19 the opportunity to work with innovative leaders in technology, LiDAR-enhanced drones, and other advanced geospatial technology to learn more about how they lived and died. This active learning experience includes teaching the fundamentals of entrepreneurship to further empower participants to become technology pioneers.

This cohort of young women from San Diego are mapping historical sites significant in BIPOC California history. The pictures and video will be used to create exhibits for our virtual BIPOC history museum, We The People Museum, coming in July 2023. Additionally, participants receive a monthly $250 stipend as part of a workforce development initiative.

2022-2023 SITES TO BE EXPLORED
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JULIAN CEMETARY

Due to missing or vandalized headstones and burial markers, the exact location of some of the interred has been lost. We will work to document the location of everyone interred here. Many of the missing are BIPOC pioneers in the early history of Julian and San Diego County.

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HARRISON SERENITY RANCH

Last home of formerly enslaved Black pioneer, Nathan Harrison; the first Black land owner in San Diego County. We will paint a better picture of how Nathan Harrison lived by using LiDAR to discover how he used the mountain while he lived.

APPLICATIONS FOR 2023-2024 NOW OPEN

SUPPORT OUR WORK

We need your help to reach our fundraising goals to provide superior quality training and access to next-level technology. No donation is too small!

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Get in touch with us to volunteer or submit names and locations of cemeteries and burial grounds that meet the criteria, or contract our mapping services for your historical site.

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