WASHINGTON, DC., March 8, 2016 - Mission: Launch, Inc. is honored to announce the organization’s participation in two panels at this year’s showcase of tech, talent and innovation, South by Southwest (SXSW). Executive Director/Co-founder, Laurin Hodge, Executive Vice President (EVP)/Co-founder, Teresa Hodge and Director of Communications/Special Projects, Bryn Phillips will all make their first SXSW panelist presentations during the five (5) day SXSW Interactive. A Keynote Conversation featuring President Barack Obama on Friday, March 11th was recently announced as the highlight of this 30th anniversary event; First Lady Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16, marking the first time that a sitting President and First Lady have ever participated.

 Friday, March 11th, the Mission: Launch Co-founders, Laurin and Teresa Hodge, will be hosting a panel inclusive of Flikshop, Founder/CEO, Marcus Bullock. “Prison Tech Boom: Social Outcomes & Entrepreneurs” will address the market and industry demands for prison/jail technology, ways tech improves social outcomes and self-sufficiency for the formerly incarcerated and the growing interest & need for diversity in tech - inclusive of the 1-in-4 Americans with arrest and conviction histories. This panel convenes at 3:30pm CST at the Hilton Austin Downtown, 500 E. 4th St., Salon E.

“I am excited to host this panel. I look forward to interjecting conversations into SXSW that speak to (1) expanding the definition of diversity to include those locked out of more traditional work paths, (2) a growing demand for tech solutions that can adapt to prisons/jails, as well as (3) civic tech and the entrepreneurs who use their lived experiences to build the solutions they wish to see,” says Executive Director, Laurin Hodge. “Leading a panel with my mother and business partner, alongside our professional colleague, Marcus, is going to make for a friendly and fun conversation about the future of civic tech.”

“It is an honor to present at SXSW 2016, when both the President and First Lady will be Keynote Speakers,” says EVP, Teresa Hodge. “This has been a year of high exposure for criminal justice reform. Five years ago, I was in prison, counting down the days until I would leave; I knew then, by taking the path of technology, I would accelerate my own prison re-entry success. This week, as a SXSW Interactive panelist, I'll discuss the vital role those of us, who have a prison experience, play in creating technology solutions for the nearly 700,000 people, who annually exit American prisons and/or jails. This is an exciting time - not only for me but for our entire team.”

 Sunday, March 13th, Bryn Phillips joins the panel “Using Data to Power Criminal Justice Reform.” This diverse panel is hosted by the Sunlight Foundation and also includes representation from The Innocence Project and the California Department of Justice. This panel convenes at 5 pm CST at the JW Marriott, 110 E. 2nd St., Salon 3-4. “Access to open data provides us the ability to accurately quantify and specifically identify the needs of the 1-in-4 Americans who have come into conflict with the criminal justice system,” said Director of Comms/Special Projects, Bryn Phillips. “This further enables us to create the civic tech solutions most beneficial for getting this vast population to a place of economic and societal stability.”

For more information, contact Bryn Phillips: [email protected] 202-618-7075

Links for panel details:

Prison Tech Boom: Social Outcomes & Entrepreneurs -

Using Data to Power Criminal Justice Reform -

About Mission: Launch, Inc.

Mission Launch, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, and is the founding and managing member of the Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition. The corporation is committed to the elimination of bias against Returning Citizens so that they can rejoin society and live out their full potential free of the stigma, which is an invisible life sentence. The mission of the organization is to build software that upholds human rights, design opportunities for civic engagement, and amplify inclusive thought leadership, so that social outcomes for marginalized communities are improved. Website Facebook:


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