EAST Brunswick, N.J. (CBSNewYork) –The death of George Floyd is causing people to call for justice in many forms.
CBS2’s Cory James talked to a spoken word poet named Queena Bergen who is using her previous career in technology to continue the conversation of racial injustice.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: When Could Another Economic Relief Payment Arrive?
“When George Floyd happened I got stuck,” said Bergen in an interview with James. “I got very paralyzed. I didn’t know what to do.”
That was a tough place for Bergen. You may remember her work as a spoken word poet featured on CBS New York when we highlighted African-American history. Her ability to use words is an art, a way to release her pain, but it was not cathartic for the 27-year-old after Floyd’s death.
“I sat in it for sometime and that whole weekend, I didn’t say anything. I just sat there,” said Bergen.
While protests happened around the country and in the Tri-State area, Bergen, who is also a software engineer, realized her purpose was something different. She mentioned this in an interview with CBS2 back in February.READ MORE: Wife Of Top Cuomo Aide Shows Support On Social Media For Governor's Latest Sexual Harassment Accuser
“I can create poetry the same way I can create a mobile app,” said Bergen. “It’s all art, I find tech solutions to problems. So what I’m building right now is a mobile app.”
The app offers resources to the black community and allies for people of color. Bergen created it within 24 hours, adding safety, legal and mental health service components. The spoken word poet tells CBS2 that this is a way for her to help in the strategy of the fight, once the fight ends.
“The worst thing for us to do right now is to go into that mentality where a lot of people want us, to where we die out and we start to forget,” said Bergen. “We need to make sure we develop something that is going to move past that.”
Right now, the app is in the prototype phase and does not have a name. Bergen hopes to partner with a social justice non-profit organization to get it off the ground and running. She plans to give the app away for free.
“I’m not interested in selling. I’m not interested in making a profit off the app,” said Bergen. “I want to give it to somebody who can truly make a change.”MORE NEWS: Road To Reopening: Prudential Center Set To Welcome Fans Back For Devils-Islanders Game
Bergen believes her trade skills will have more power during a time of civil unrest.