Mbye Njie is in a special class of entrepreneurs with an extraordinary product. He is a key component in an elite team of business innovators from the Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator Powered by Techstars committed to effecting social change using technological applications.
Njie is a member of an exclusive corps of business owners determined to move the needle on social justice for members of underserved communities, and has focused his efforts on creating and developing a product to accurately record racially charged events.
On this edition of “A Seat at the Table” the socially conscientious Njie joined rolling out CEO Munson Steed, to discuss the driving force behind this novel application and Techstars and Cox Enterprises assistance in problem-solving social issues and creating solutions.
Talk to us about the impetus behind this innovative app and why you thought it necessary to bring to market at this time.
I created a legal equalizer. The idea for me came about six years ago, during the height of Ferguson, [Missouri], when Michael Brown was shot and killed by police. The argument on social media was, “what did he do to get shot?” But the whole time I was thinking “how come nobody had a camera to record what was going on?”
After I was pulled over by the police three times in a week for what was determined to be frivolous and illegal stops … I felt I had to do something about it, so I created an app that would let people know exactly what happened.
If Sandra Bland … had my app, she would be alive today. Her loved ones would have known she got pulled over, they would have known exactly where she was.
Are there other applications for your product besides recording illegal search and seizures?
I was born in Gambia, West Africa, … so I’m an immigrant. Under Trump I saw the deportation rates start going up, especially in Atlanta where I live. ICE rates went up 80 percent here, so I saw a lot of families being broken up. And a lot of times because they didn’t know their rights, they didn’t know the laws. So if there’s a knock at the door, because they were ordered to “please open up,” they would open up the door when they didn’t legally have to. So, I added some attorneys onto the app, where if you need them in real-time, you can call them for help. In addition to the ICE button, we’ve also added a domestic violence button that works in the same way.
Continued on the next page.