Here at LinkedUp, we love to explore the crossroads where education and technology meet, especially when they can be used as tools for social advocacy! This month we’re exploring Hidden in Plain Site (Episode 67). Hidden in Plain Site (HiPS) is an organization that uses virtual reality (VR) exploration to grow social advocacy through a historical journey of empathy.
We linked up with the HiPS dream team, Dontrese Brown (CEO), David Waltenberg (Co-founder), and Dean Browell (VR specialist), to excavate deeply buried Black history in Richmond, VA.
Here are the key ideas we took away from this episode:
- Hidden in Plain Site was developed in a time of social upheaval, prompted by the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and born of a desire to bring something unique to the field of social justice.
- During the social movement that followed, Americans questioned which historical monuments should remain in a modern society striving towards racial equality. HiPS inverted the question by pondering which important parts of history didn’t get immortalized at all. Hidden in Plain Site not only recognizes such sites but immerses the user into a revolutionary learning experience that allows them to explore other “easy to overlook sites important to the Black experience.”
- Technology has become a great equalizer and allows accessibility for everyone. As the planet becomes increasingly globalized, the dream of VR could easily spread across the nation and, eventually, change the face of cultural education worldwide.
As social consciousness grows, many are left wondering what they can do to be a part of the necessary healing. Becoming more familiar with the history of underrepresented groups will help spark thoughtful discussions that lead to positive action. Although it can be painful to uncover these narratives, it’s essential in order to be an effective ally and get a deeper understanding of what it means to walk in someone else’s shoes.
Explore the links below to learn more about Hidden in Plain Site, experience the desktop tour, or support the project.
- Visit the Hidden in Plain Site website at www.hiddeninplainsite.org
- Support the HiPS project at givebutter.com/HiPS
- Read Is Virtual Reality the Ultimate Empathy Machine to learn more about VR in cultural education