Ada Initiative news, September 2011

Project planning update

Thanks to our Seed 100 funders, we have made significant progress on some critically necessary planning and paperwork. (Yes, planning and paperwork are incredibly dull – but we did a lot of it this month.) Most exciting to us, we have completed a first draft of our application for tax-exempt status to the United States government (called Form 1023). This application is a major undertaking for any non-profit and we’re glad to finally have a first draft done. Getting tax-exempt status is vital to our future fundraising and if granted will apply retroactively to donations to the Ada Initiative since its founding. We will keep you posted on the status of our application.

In order to fill out the application, we had to describe our planned activities and the reasons why they should be regarded as charitable activities. We will be posting excerpts from this description on our blog and web site and using them as the basis for fundraising materials.

Of course, what we’re most excited about is actually doing things that help women get and stay involved in open technology and culture, and we will have time to work on actual programs in the coming months. Stay tuned!

Ada Lovelace Day

In the leadup to Ada Lovelace Day on the 7th October, the Ada Initiative is planning an inspiration post highlighting women in open technology and culture. Suggest an inspiring woman in open tech or culture!

Whether using our inspiration or not, time to get your Ada Lovelace Day profiles ready for Friday! Over at Geek Feminism there have been several Wednesday Geek Woman profiles. If you’d like to highlight a geek woman’s life and work for their readers, contributions are open.

Geek Feminism

Wikis are great for collecting information but need occasional bouts of reorganization. The Conference anti-harassment policy and resources for implementing it have been organized into a single set of wiki pages. We’ve also added a set of resources specifically around social events that have a more obvious risk of harassment or where you want to establish and emphasise your event’s commitment to safety.

The Geek Feminism wiki in general has been a major resource for the Ada Initiative and advocates for women in open tech/culture of all sorts. Your contributions and additions, no matter how small, are welcome, including adding indexing or categorizing to make information easier to find. Some of Geek Feminism wiki’s most frequently referred to pages include:

Edit the wiki today!

Upcoming appearances

Valerie will be giving two talks on October 12 at her alma mater, New Mexico Tech, located in Socorro, New Mexico. One talk will be about how computer programming went from being viewed as a woman’s job in the 1940s to a man’s job today, the second will be about her career in open source and feminist activism.

Valerie 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!

Valerie and Mary will both be attending LCA 2012 in Ballarat, Australia from January 16 – 20. They will be giving a joint talk on “Women in open technology and culture worldwide.”

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to

Sponsorship opportunities

The Ada Initiative’s Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program allows organisations to sponsor the Ada Initiative for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Contact for larger sponsorship packages.