You did it! New stretch goal: $175,000 to train Ally Skills Workshop teachers at WisCon!

80 women cheering and wearing many different colors, CC BY-SA Jenna Saint Martin PhotoWe’re amazed – your incredible generosity means we reached our $150,000 fundraising goal 3 days early! So we’ve create an exciting new stretch goal:

If we raise $175,000 by Wednesday night, we will train up to 15 new Ally Skills Workshop leaders at WisCon 39, the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention!

Here’s why this goal is so exciting: At WisCon, we can reach hundreds of people in 5 different open technology and culture communities with one 6 hour workshop! If you are excited too, please donate now or help us spread the word!

Donate now

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men simple everyday ways to support women in their communities. In three hours, one person can create 30 new advocates for women in their community or workplace. One client said, “We’ve run the [Ally Skills Workshop] 4 times and the impact has been fantastic. This workshop has been the catalyst for many ‘a-ha’ moments.” All the materials needed to teach the Ally Skills Workshop are available free online under the CC BY-SA license, but most people need to attend a train-the-trainers session before they feel confident teaching the Ally Skills Workshop themselves.

WisCon is the ideal place to teach a train-the-trainers session. WisCon is a crossroads for feminist activists in all areas of open technology and culture: open source software, libraries, Wikipedia, open data, and of course, fandom. If the Ada Initiative teaches 15 people at WisCon to lead the Ally Skills Workshop, we can spread these skills to five communities rather than just one, as would be the case at most other conferences.

OfNobleFamily-400-220x328We have another exciting announcement to make! We’ve donated one of Mary Robinette Kowal’s gifts to Con or Bust: a signed manuscript of the fifth novel in her “Glamourist Histories” series, “Of Noble Family,” more than 6 months before it will be released in stores! They’re auctioning it off right now.

If you’re not already familiar with Con or Bust, it’s an organization that raises money to send people of color to science fiction conventions who could not otherwise afford to attend (including WisCon). They do crucial and important work, and Con or Bust’s work means even more people will have a chance to attend the Ally Skills Workshop train-the-trainers at WisCon. Con or Bust is auctioning off the manuscript right now, so go bid on it! (We found that even though lots of people donated enough to get the manuscript, they seemed to feel bad about taking “the last one” – the ten copies of MRK’s fourth novel in the series were snapped up, though!)

Two women smiling, CC BY-SA Adam Novak

We’re this excited about WisCon! CC BY-SA Adam Novak

The Ally Skills Workshop train-the-trainers program took several weeks to develop and each new session requires about a staff-week of time to prepare and teach, which is time we’re not spending organizing AdaCamp or teaching paying workshops. With a staff of 3 people, we can’t afford to teach the train-the-trainers for free more than once or twice a year without breaking our budget. But if we can reach our stretch goal of $175,000, we can’t think of a more effective and higher-leverage way to spend a week! (Also, WisCon is just plain fun, and we want an excuse to go back.)

We’ll leave you with some quotes from Ally Skills Workshop attendees:

We’ve run the [Ally Skills Workshop] 4 times and the impact has been fantastic. This workshop has been the catalyst for many “a-ha” moments. People who understood bias exists in a very logical way, were able to see, through the conversation with peers about the very relevant scenarios, and connect emotionally with the impact bias has on the colleagues they respect and interact with daily.” – Anonymous train-the-trainers client

Change is uncomfortable. This workshop helped me be comfortable about being uncomfortable. Once that is addressed it opens a path for improvement, personally and for our industry.” – Kris Amundson

It gave me some starts towards being comfortable acting in situations of casual sexism—and that would extend to other -isms. I’d like to do it again at some point, to gain even more confidence. I also loved the very explicit focus on consent, the fact that people’s dietary preferences were respected, and generally the nice-ness of the whole workshop!” – Kamal Marhubi

Donate now, and help us spread the Ally Skills Workshop to open tech/culture communities around the world!

Donate now