Author Archives: Ada Initiative

Ada Initiative welcomes Amelia Greenhall and Andrea Horbinski to our board of directors

The Ada Initiative’s governing board of directors, responsible for running our organization, welcomes our new directors Amelia Greenhall and Andrea Horbinski. Amelia and Andrea are existing members of our advisors group, and both bring us officer experience from other non-profits.

Photo of Amelia Greenhall

Amelia Greenhall is the Chief Creative Officer of Magic Vibes Corporation. She’s also the cofounder and Executive Director of Double Union, a non-profit feminist community workshop, and she publishes the Open Review Quarterly literary journal.

Woman smiling

Andrea Horbinski is a PhD candidate in history and new media at UC Berkeley. She is Secretary of the Board of the Organization for Transformative Works and the co-chair of Wiscon 40 in 2016.

The Ada Initiative also welcomes Sue Gardner back to the board of directors. Sue originally served as a director from 2011 until April 2014 and returns in 2015. Together, Amelia, Andrea and Sue comprise our officers in 2015; Amelia as President, Andrea as Secretary and Sue as Treasurer. They join continuing directors Rachel Chalmers, Mary Gardiner, Alicia Gibb, and Marina Zhurakhinskaya on the board for 2015.

This board transition is a significant milestone for the Ada Initiative, as one of our outgoing directors is Valerie Aurora, Ada Initiative co-founder, who served as both Executive Director and Board President from 2011 to 2015. We’re excited as an organization to be in a position to move beyond being governed by our founders! As announced in March, while she’s stepping down from her positions at the head of the organization, Valerie continues on our staff as the Director of Training under new Executive Director Crystal Huff. Our other co-founder, Mary Gardiner, remains as a board member and staff member. Mary intends to retire from the board in 2016.

We also thank our other outgoing directors, Sumana Harihareswara (2014–2015) and Caroline Simard (2012–2015) for their hard work on behalf of the Ada Initiative during their terms, and wish them good luck with their many other projects.

Register now! Ally Skills Workshop at OpenStack Summit 2015

Do you think diversity in open source is important? Would you like to be part of changing the culture of open source to be more welcoming to women, newcomers, and people in marginalized groups? You can help by attending the Ally Skills Workshop at the OpenStack Summit 2015 on Monday May 18th, 2015 from 2pm until 5pm in room 1/2/3 in the East Building at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Register now!

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men how to support women in their workplaces and communities, by effectively speaking up when they see sexism, creating discussions that allow more voices to be heard, and learning how to prevent sexism and unwelcoming behavior in the first place. The changes that reduce sexism also make communities more welcoming, productive, and creative.

This workshop is provided free of charge to OpenStack Summit attendees, thanks to the generosity of the OpenStack Foundation. We are looking forward to a great workshop, based on the enthusiastic support of the OpenStack community during our 2014 fundraising drive! The Ada Initiative’s Executive Director Crystal Huff and Director of Training Valerie Aurora will also be joining the Women of OpenStack networking events at the OpenStack Summit.

Attendance at the Ally Skills Workshop is free but limited, with applications open to all registered OpenStack attendees. Register now to have the best chance to attend via this Google form (or scroll down to fill out the embedded form on this page). We welcome participants of all genders – the best workshops have at least 20% women and genderqueer folks. We will send you an email letting you know whether your application was accepted. Sign up now!

Recommendations

Here are a few things people have said after attending other Ally Skills Workshops:

We’ve run the [Ally Skills Workshop] 4 times and the impact has been fantastic. This workshop has been the catalyst for many ‘a­ha’ 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 participant

I’ve already witnessed a couple of incidents where coworkers who attended the workshop corrected themselves after saying something that could be misconstrued.” – Anonymous participant

Bring the Ally Skills Workshop to your organization

Would you like an Ally Skills Workshop at your workplace, conference, non-profit, or university? Email us at contact@adainitiative.org for more information on customizing the workshop for your organization, pricing, and scheduling.

Apply now for the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-Trainers at WisCon 2015

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

Do you think diversity in tech and geek communities is important? Would you like to be part of changing the culture to be more welcoming to women, newcomers, and marginalized people? Are you excited by the idea of teaching men how to be better allies to women in your community? Do you enjoy challenging and fast-paced discussion about intersectional feminism? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-Trainers is for you!

Our popular Ally Skills Workshop teaches men how to support women in simple, everyday ways in a 2-3 hour workshop focused around small discussion groups. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Ada Initiative’s supporters, we are able to teach up to 15 people how to lead this workshop at WisCon 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA on May 21st, 2015.

In the workshop, you will learn both how to teach the workshop and the reasoning behind the structure of the workshop, which will help you design other ways to fight sexism in your community. All the workshop materials are licensed CC BY-SA and are reusable and modifiable for any purpose, so you can teach the workshop without getting permission from or paying a fee to anyone. By learning how to facilitate this workshop yourself, you can help combat sexism on an even larger scale!

WisconThe Train-the-Trainers workshop will be held Thursday, May 21st, 2015 from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Madison Concourse Hotel. Lunch break (on your own) will be from 12:00pm – 1:30pm, and we will provide gluten-free and vegan afternoon snacks. The workshop is free of charge to attendees and open to everyone. While you do not need to be registered for WisCon to attend, we strongly encourage all participants in the Train-the-Trainers workshop to purchase a WisCon membership, which begin as low as $15 for a non-attending membership. We could not hold this workshop without the support and organization provided by WisCon, the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention.

We have limited space for 15 participants in the Train-the-Trainers workshop at WisCon 2015, and attendance is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applications are now open, and we encourage people of all genders to attend. In order to support participants of all genders without calling unwanted attention to their gender expression, we will ask all workshop participants to wear a name tag with their name and pronouns on it. We will turn down applications from people with a history of harassing behavior.

If you would like to attend, please apply here. We will email you within 5 business days to let you know of your acceptance. Thank you for being part of supporting women in open technology and culture!

Note: We are aware of the ongoing conversation about harassment within the WisCon community and support the people working to make WisCon a safer and more supportive organization and event. We are excited about WisCon’s new anti-abuse policies and procedures and are glad to be part of the on-going movement to make science fiction and fantasy fandom more welcoming and inclusive.

Welcome to Google Montreal and Chrome, Platinum AdaCamp sponsor for 2015!

Google logo
The Ada Initiative welcomes our second Platinum sponsor of AdaCamp in 2015: Google Montreal and Chrome!

Google thrives on open source projects, like Chromium and Android, that are used by millions of people. We want those projects to be meaningful for the people who use them, so we need to include diverse perspectives in the community that builds them. We’re committed to bringing together people—in our workforce, our industry, and on the web—who have a broad range of attributes, experiences, and points of view. We believe our differences make us stronger, and produce better, more innovative work,” says Mark Larson, Engineering Director, Chrome. “Google is proud to support the work the Ada Initiative does: they help all open tech projects broaden the set of people who have a say in what we’re building.”

Google is the only sponsor who has supported every AdaCamp to date. In addition to the support of the Chrome team for the second year, AdaCamps in 2015 are supported by Google Montreal, who will host our AdaCamp Montreal reception on Sunday April 12. Thank you Google Montreal!

Note: We are deeply interested in the recent allegations of sexual harassment by a Google employee. After careful evaluation on our part, we believe that Google’s sponsorship of AdaCamp is compatible with our sponsorship policy at this time, and we welcome them as an AdaCamp sponsor. We support every Googler working for a welcoming and positive workplace.

About AdaCamp

Two women smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

AdaCamp is the world’s only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. The first AdaCamp of 2015 will be held in Montreal on April 13–14, followed by events in New Zealand and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow Ada Initiative announcements to learn about AdaCamps near you!

Sponsorship

Your organization has the opportunity to sponsor AdaCamps in 2015 and reach women leaders in open technology and culture in three countries. Contact us at sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information about becoming a sponsor.


Thank you to the AdaCamp 2015 platinum sponsors Puppet Labs and Google Montreal and Chrome; and gold sponsors The Linux Foundation and Red Hat.

Welcome to new AdaCamp 2015 sponsors: Linux Foundation, Red Hat, Simple, and Etsy

The Ada Initiative is pleased to welcome our first Gold sponsors of AdaCamp in 2015: The Linux Foundation and Red Hat!

Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the primary non-profit supporting the Linux community, including the Linux kernel, Linux conferences, and the Linux ecosystem overall. The Linux Foundation is a long-term supporter of the Ada Initiative’s work to make Linux more welcoming to women. This is the fourth year in a row that they have supported AdaCamp and we thank them for their renewed support.

Red HatRed Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to develop reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage, and virtualization technologies. The company has more than 7,100regular, full-time associates and 80 offices in 38 countries. About 25% of Red Hat associates work remotely, and Red Hat has job opportunities around the globe. In addition to being a four-time AdaCamp sponsor, Red Hat is sponsoring the Impostor Syndrome training that will be offered at each AdaCamp in 2015.

The Ada Initiative also welcomes Bronze sponsors Simple and Etsy as supporters of AdaCamp in 2015:

simple-small-applications-whitebg

Simple‘s about making managing your personal finances effortless; it is a bank that offers all-electronic consumer banking services integrated with budgeting and savings tools. The bank, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 2009 and partners with Bancorp Bank, an FDIC insured bank, to hold account funds.

Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. Discover handmade items, vintage goods and craft supplies you can’t find anywhere else. Etsy is committed to promoting diversity in the workplace and is proud to be a B Corporation for their adherence to rigorous social and environmental standards. Etsy Engineering is also the authors of Code as Craft, a blog dedicated to writing about their craft and their collective experience building and running Etsy, the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.

Thank you to our four new sponsors for their support of women in open technology and culture!

About AdaCamp

Two women smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

AdaCamp is the world’s only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. The first AdaCamp of 2015 will be held in Montreal on April 13–14, followed by events in New Zealand and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow Ada Initiative announcements to learn about AdaCamps near you!

Sponsorship

Your organization has the opportunity to sponsor AdaCamps in 2015 and reach women leaders in open technology and culture in three countries. Contact us at sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information about becoming a sponsor.


Thank you to the AdaCamp 2015 platinum sponsor Puppet Labs and gold sponsors The Linux Foundation and Red Hat.

Welcome to Puppet Labs, our first Platinum AdaCamp sponsor for 2015!

Puppet Labs logo

The Ada Initiative is thrilled to welcome our first Platinum sponsor of AdaCamp in 2015: Puppet Labs! Puppet Labs is a leader in IT automation. Their software helps sysadmins automate configuration and management of machines and the software running on them.

“Ada Initiative’s mission of encouraging women to be involved with open source technology is helping to create better technology — and a better tech culture. This mission aligns with our commitment to increasing diversity and access for all, throughout the tech community. We’re proud to be Platinum sponsors of the Ada Initiative’s four AdaCamps this year.” – Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs.

For our part, the Ada Initiative is proud to welcome Puppet Labs as a sponsor of AdaCamp for the third year running; their support of AdaCamp and of women in open technology and culture is crucial to our mission to change the culture for the better.

About AdaCamp

Two women smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

AdaCamp is the world’s only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. The first AdaCamp of 2015 will be held in Montreal on April 13–14, followed by events in New Zealand and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow Ada Initiative announcements to learn about AdaCamps near you!

Sponsorship

Your organization has the opportunity to sponsor AdaCamps in 2015 and reach women leaders in open technology and culture in three countries. Contact us at sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information about becoming a sponsor.


Thank you to the AdaCamp 2015 platinum sponsor Puppet Labs.

Welcoming Crystal Huff as the new Executive Director of the Ada Initiative

A smiling woman facing the camera with purple accents in her hair

Crystal Huff, our new Executive Director

Back in December, we announced that the Ada Initiative was looking for a new Executive Director. Three months and more than 130 amazing applications later, we are happy to announce that we have found her! On Monday, Crystal Huff will be the Ada Initiative’s new Executive Director, leading us in our mission to support women in open technology and culture.

Crystal has a long history of both professional and volunteer work in various parts of open technology and culture, with a particular commitment to anti-harassment work. She takes the place of our former Executive Director and co-founder, Valerie Aurora, who is staying with the Ada Initiative as Director of Training in charge of Ally Skills Workshops and similar classes. Under Crystal’s leadership, the Ada Initiative’s programs will continue to grow in reach and impact, while staying focused on women in open tech/culture and anti-harassment. Keep reading to learn more about our new director and the Ada Initiative’s plans!

Crystal combines executive experience from both the software industry and the science fiction and fantasy community. She served as the Chief Coherence Officer of Luminoso, a Boston-area startup building text analytics software that actively open sources some of its software. Her duties included establishing company policies, coordinating the hiring process during a period of high company growth, helping raise several million dollars in two rounds of funding, and serving as Scrum Master for the company’s Agile software development process. On the science fiction and fantasy side, Crystal has chaired or held key leadership positions with many volunteer-run SF&F conventions, including Readercon, a literary convention in its 26th year, and Arisia, New England’s largest and most diverse science fiction and fantasy convention. She is also an American representative on the executive board for the Helsinki bid for WorldCon in 2017, working with over 200 volunteers from 26 countries.

Crystal has a long history of anti-harassment work, including speaking about and advocating for anti-harassment policies at conventions worldwide. Her highest profile work was as the chair of the Readercon convention committee (concom) in 2012. A well-known member of the SF&F community harassed an attendee at the event and the Readercon board failed to enforce the con’s published anti-harassment policy. In partnership with Rose Fox, Crystal led the Readercon concom through a process of accountability and reform that resulted in a public apology, significant changes to the organization, and successful Readercon conventions in the years since. Their clear, honest, comprehensive public statement detailing their response is recommended reading for any organization serious about handling harassment well.

Crystal’s experience, qualifications, and demonstrated passion for our core mission are why we are incredibly excited to announce her joining the Ada Initiative as our new Executive Director! Crystal will continue to live and work in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, a well-known technology hub, and travel worldwide to spend time with women in open technology and culture and the people who support them.

What’s next for the Ada Initiative in 2015? Now that the Executive Director search is over, we can continue to grow the Ada Initiative’s staff with the goal of meeting the demand for our existing programs, including AdaCamps, Ally Skills Workshops, and Impostor Syndrome Training. Several new positions will probably open up over the next year, so if you have always wanted to work for the Ada Initiative, now is the time to start polishing your résumé! After we’ve ramped up our existing programs to match demand, we will investigate developing new programs and training, such as a much-requested workshop on how to handle harassment reports. We are excited to see what we can do!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Executive Director search! Thank you first and foremost to our two search committee chairs, Sumana Harihareswara and Mary Gardiner, and to our search consultant. Thank you to the rest of our search committee and our board of directors, who put in many hours of work into the process. Thank you to our advisors and everyone who spread the word about the position. Thank you to everyone who applied (all of the more than 130 of you – we’re so flattered!). And thank you to our donors and sponsors, each and every one of you, who make our work to support women in open technology and culture possible. We couldn’t do it without you!

Welcome new advisors!

The Ada Initiative has a wonderful advisory board which gives us feedback on planned projects and our overall mission and strategy. We’re excited to welcome six new members who joined us at the beginning of 2015:

Photograph of Danielle Citron

Danielle Keats Citron is a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She has given lectures and interviews to esteemed publications and institutions, and blogs for Forbes. Her book on online harassment, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, published by Harvard University Press, is a culmination of her expertise and passion for information privacy, civil rights, and administrative law.

Photo of Alison Dahl CrossleyAlison Dahl Crossley is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, where she co-organized the October 2014 Online Feminism Conference. She’s currently working on her postdoctoral manuscript Finding Feminism: College Students, Feminist Mobilization, and the Unfinished Gender Revolution. Her areas of research, teaching and writing focus on gender and feminism, emerging forms of political contestation, social movements, culture, digital media, and research methods.

Photo of Kathleen DanielsonKathleen Danielson is a lover of maps, tech, and open source. She has experience in building online communities as well as turning those online communities into offline ones. She is currently a Developer Advocate for Mapzen and serves on the Board of Directors for OpenStreetMap US.

Photo of Ashley FarmerAshley D. Farmer is a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University, and is currently completing her manuscript What You’ve Got is a Revolution: Black Women’s Movements for Black Power. Her scholarship on women’s history, gender history, radical politics, and black feminism has appeared in numerous publications and has been featured on the History Channel. She is a frequent blogger for the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS).  

Photo of Amelia GreenhallAmelia Greenhall has worked on product development, design, user experience and marketing for a number of venture funded startups. She is currently cofounder and Chief Creative Officer of tech start-up Magic Vibes Corporation and cofounder and Executive Director of Double Union, a non-profit feminist hackerspace. She publishes The Open Review Quarterly and cofounded Model View Culture, a publication focused on culture and diversity.

Photo of Ryan KennedyRyan Kennedy is a software engineer with a passion for open platforms, community involvement, software engineering best practices and management, and hack days. He’s worked on EarthLink, Excite@Home, Yahoo!, Yammer and is an active participant in Dropwizard projects.

We’d like to thank our outgoing advisors — Sumana Harihareswara, Constanza Heath, Liz Henry, Noopur Raval, and Gayle Karen Young — for their help, advice and support of the Ada Initiative over several years! We wish them all the best with their many ongoing projects.

Support diversity in open source by attending an Ally Skills Workshop at PyCon 2015!

Do you think diversity in open source is important? Would you like to be part of changing the culture of open source to be more welcoming to women, newcomers, and marginalized people? You can help by attending the Ally Skills Workshop at the PyCon 2015 on Sunday April 12th, 2015 from 2pm until 5pm in room 513D at the PyCon 2015 venue in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

This workshop is provided free of charge to PyCon attendees, in conjunction with AdaCamp Montreal which is co-located with PyCon 2015.

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men how to support women in their workplaces and communities, by effectively speaking up when they see sexism, creating discussions that allow more voices to be heard, and learning how to prevent sexism and unwelcoming behavior in the first place. The changes that reduce sexism also make communities more welcoming, productive, and creative.

Attendance at the Ally Skills Workshop is free but limited, with applications open to all registered PyCon attendees. Apply now to have the best chance to attend by filling out this Google form (or just scroll down to the form at the end of this post). We welcome participants of all genders – the best workshops have at least 20% women and genderqueer folks. You will be notified via email if we cannot fit you into the workshop. Sign up now!

Recommendations

Here are a few things people have said after attending other Ally Skills Workshops:

“We’ve run the [Ally Skills Workshop] 4 times and the impact has been fantastic. This workshop has been the catalyst for many ‘a­ha’ 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 participant

“I’ve already witnessed a couple of incidents where coworkers who attended the workshop corrected themselves after saying something that could be misconstrued.” – Anonymous participant

There’s still time to join us for AdaCamp Montreal! Apply today!

AdaCamp Montreal is only six weeks away, on Monday April 13 and Tuesday April 14!

Photograph of Lachine Canal

by Emmanuel Huybrechts CC BY

We’re excited to have already invited over a hundred people to Montreal, but we still have places left and we want to have as many women in open tech and culture have the chance to attend AdaCamp Montreal as possible. Therefore, we’ve extended our deadline for for AdaCamp Montreal and we encourage you to apply today!

If you’re a woman involved in open technology and culture, apply now to attend AdaCamp Montreal.

Past attendees of AdaCamp have included fan works creators, open mapping volunteers, open source programmers, artists, tech feminists, online activists, Wikipedia editors, and more! Do you create technology or culture and share it widely for others to reuse, remix and improve? Do you identify as a woman in a way that is significant to you? Do you work for change for women in your community and want to share strategies? AdaCamp Montreal wants you to apply!

Applications will absolutely close on Sunday, March 22, 2015 — or earlier if we fill all our spaces — so get yours in ASAP!

About AdaCamp

Five pointed star with a rainbow of colors and the word "AdaCamp"

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

AdaCamp is the world’s only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Attendance at AdaCamp is by invitation, with applications open to the public. Attendees will be selected based on experience in open tech/culture, experience or knowledge of feminism and advocacy, ability to collaborate with others, and any rare or notable experience or background that would add to AdaCamp.

AdaCamp Montreal will be the seventh AdaCamp, and will be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 13–14, 2015, immediately following PyCon, the world’s biggest Python conference. Applications to attend AdaCamp Montreal are open until March 22, unless sold out prior.