The Ada Initiative For Supporting Women In Open Tech Is Ending
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 4 August 2015 at 10:09 AM EDT. 47 Comments
The Ada Initiative, which carries a tag line of "supporting women in open technology and culture", is shutting down in October after four years of being a 501(c)3 non-profit.

The Ada Initiative is shutting down in mid-October once they've exhausted their funds on current obligations and shutting down their non-profit organization. However, they expect many of their programs to continue in some form in a post-Ada Initiative world.

The program decided to shutdown as co-founder Valerie Aurora was planning to step down to just focus on running training programs and the other co-founder, Mary Gardiner, didn't want to take over Valerie's spot as executive director. The board pursued finding a new executive director but after their initial new hire didn't work out for them, the board decided to close up shop.

The Ada Initiative focused on encouraging more women to get involved in open-source and technology and for it to be a more welcoming, safe, and positive environment.

Wrote in today's shutdown announcement abut what they accomplished, "When the Ada Initiative was founded in 2011, the environment for women in open technology and culture was extremely hostile. Conference anti-harassment policies were rare outside of certain areas in fandom, and viewed as extremist attempts to muzzle free speech. Pornography in slides was a regular feature at many conferences in these areas, as were physical and sexual assault. Most open tech/culture communities didn’t have an understanding of basic feminist concepts like consent, tone policing, and intersectional oppression...With the support of hundreds of volunteers, the Ada Initiative led the drive to make strong, specific, and enforced anti-harassment policies a standard and expected part of any moderately well-run conference. Today, thousands of conferences have these policies, including many in the area of free and open source software, fandom, Wikimedia projects, computer technology, library technology, science writing, entomology, and many other areas we never expected to influence."
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