Ada Initiative news, July 2011

Seed 100 rewards progress

2D Goggles prints signed by Sydney Padua

We now have the all the 2D Goggles and Ada Lovelace prints, the laptop stickers, a heck of a lot of bubble wrap and cardboard, and a spreadsheet full of email addresses to ship them to. The one remaining item, the conference badge lanyards, will arrive in a few days and go into the pre-assembled packages of rewards waiting to be shipped. Rewards going to Australia, New Zealand, and nearby areas will be shipped to Mary for signing and shipping, so will be delayed a few weeks longer than the rest of the world (we know youre used to it). Thanks to all our donors, and we hope you enjoy your rewards!

O'Reilly pledges to adopt a conference code of conduct

In an unexpected turn of events, O'Reilly Media (organizer of OSCON and other high profile open source/data/culture events) pledged to adopt a code of conduct for OSCON 2011 and other conferences. Several open source community members begin a public campaign asking O'Reilly to do so in order to ensure the safety of attendees of OSCON 2011. The Ada Initiative was able to help the various parties understand where others were coming from, find common ground, and work with each other to take action, resulting in a public resolution in less than 48 hours. The quick and definitive move by O'Reilly won kudos and praise from across the open technology and culture community.

Fast-moving situations requiring expert advice are exactly what the Ada Initiative was created to handle. When issues relevant to women in open technology and culture arise, the responsibility to be a calm, effective, resourceful advocate shouldn't fall on the person who raised the issue – often the victim, or the victim's friends. Instead, the responsibility should fall on trained, full-time advocates with the energy and resources to effectively advocate for change.

Your support and donations made this change possible. Thank you.

Ada Initiative to pay staff beginning in August

From the beginning, one of the key differentiators between the Ada Initiative and other women in open stuff advocacy groups is that we would employ full-time staff so we could take on large, long-term projects and reduce burnout. This turns out to be even more difficult than we suspected – search for "IRS guidelines compensation committee non-profits" for a hint – but, after 7 months of unpaid volunteer work, both Valerie and Mary will be paid what we're calling "startup salaries" for their Ada Initiative work beginning August 1st.

What's next

Filing tax-exempt application

Our next priority is completing our tax-exempt application to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. We are incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and subject to the rules of non-profit governance already, but the IRS wants a lot more documentation before they'll let go of tax revenue. The instructions for the Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code charmingly estimate the time to necessary to prepare the form as 11 hours and 30 minutes, with a further 8 hours and 31 minutes to learn about the form. The estimate is included according to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act Notice.

Valerie says, "Every time I get frustrated with doing paperwork, I simply imagine having the job of estimating how much time it takes to do paperwork, and I feel better immediately."

Long-term project and fund-raising plans

In August we will begin developing specific plans for projects. We have plenty of ideas for increasing the participation of women in open technology and culture, the question is what order to do them in, and how to pay for them. We will be relying heavily on our sponsors (current and future), our advisory board, and the supporters mailing list for feedback during this stage. We can only do this with your support and help.

Census results

We will posted the second installment in the analysis of the Ada Initiative Census in August.

Upcoming appearances

Valerie Aurora will be attending the 2011 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Portland, Oregon on November 9 – 12. Grace Hopper offers free childcare to attendees who register before October 10th!

Mary Gardiner will be giving a keynote at PyCon Au 2011 in Sydney on August 20th.

Several members of the Ada Initiative advisory board will be attending LinuxCon North America in Vancouver, Canada on August 17 – 19.