but • ter • fly ef • fect (noun)

(with reference to the chaos theory) the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere


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The Butterfly Project is an internship partnership between the Future of Work Initiative, Central High School, and Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. The program both taught and enhanced data science skills and promoted the application of those skills for the cause of social justice and progress.

The Butterfly Project provides the training necessary to support careers in the tech industry for historically underrepresented groups in data/technology fields and provides real assistance for grassroots organizations committed to supporting marginalized groups in Louisville.  

Butterfly Project participants were assigned to groups aligned with the five core tenets of A Path Forward.

Using real, local data, the participants worked together with community non-profits to support the nonprofits in their efforts to address systemic inequities that directly impact Louisville residents. Students learn data analytics for the purpose of finding and visualizing existing data that supports their community nonprofit partner, in addition to discussing data gaps. Students also receive additional training on community empowerment through data, the Jemez principles, white fragility, causation vs correlation, and effective science communication to non-academic audiences. 

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The Future of Work's Butterfly Project has been chosen as the program that will be featured to represent Louisville, KY as one of 50 Champion Cities in the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global #MayorsChallenge competition! . We look forward to joining and learning from this global community of innovative cities as we work to improve upon The Butterfly Project in the months ahead.


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