There's been a lot of changes happening over the past month or so and wanted to update everyone.
I'm in a unique position in the open source community - I often joke that I'm employed by the internet. It's a nice setup - anonymous people support me through recurring micro-payments. This is good for a few reasons:
- I'm paid by and work for the community. My "employers" are people in the tech industry that believe in what I do. I provide resources for the community as whole, speak at conferences, educate people through twitter, and work with people over email who are in difficult spots because of a hostile atmosphere at their workplaces or communities. I can use the money they pay me to work on projects that help the widest audience.
- Conflict of interest and censorship potential removed. Not being employed by a business means that their concerns don't have to be mine - if the company does something wrong, I can still critically discuss the issue without it being a conflict of interest. I don't feel the need to censor myself because I worry about upsetting them. Additionally, I'm not only working on a company's problems, I can work at a larger scale.
- Minimize the risk of financial attacks. Doing this kind of work isn't popular with a certain contingent of people. Standing up for yourself can mean a company chosing to fire you for political reasons, or firing you as part of online harassment turned "hostage" situation. Without a single employer, my risk is spread out over a much larger group of people. If a handful of people are unhappy with how I respond to a situation, they can choose to stop "employing" me without a large amount of harm to me.
Unfortunately, due to various incidents I have personally had with the founder of gittip and other indirect things involving him, I have chosen to leave gittip.
This is complicated, as the majority of my income and funding for my work is received through gittip. This means a potentially huge financial hit for me, which I'm personally a little worried about. At the level I was earning before, I could afford to purchase my own health insurance and attend therapy, which is sadly a very necessary thing when doing this work. Additionally, I am paying a personal assistant to help me with travel arrangements for conferences, coordinating with event organizers, managing my email, and removing threats and abuse from my inbox so I don't have to see it. As you can imagine, these are all things I would like to continue to do.
If you were supporting me on gittip, I would really appreciate it if you would move your weekly donation from there to one of the following services:
- MoonClerk - Stripe-based, so currently accepted in these countries
- Paypal - be sure to check "recurring" if you want to give ongoing support. Takes payments for most countries, but my least preferred as they have a history of holding on to people's funds.
As of 6pm CST on June 25, about 50% of tips have been moved off of gittip.
There are initiatives to create a gittip alternative run by and for marginalized people and I will let you know when those are ready to be used. I would like to close my gittip account as soon as the majority of my donations have been moved over, so your help is appreciated here <3
If you're planning on cancelling your gittip account, contact the other people you donate to and ask them how you can continue to support them. Not everyone has the ability to move off of gittip's platform and they still deserve your support <3
Over the past few weeks, I've backed away from Twitter pretty substantially. Due to ongoing harassment, threats, and abuse I receive there and through other channels, I'll only be using Twitter for my work. I'll still post updates on what I'm working on, links to important things to read and how you can be better involved in increasing diversity in tech.
If you see that I'm being harassed or threatened on twitter, this is what you can do to help me.
As I won't be using Twitter for social or personal stuff anymore, friends are welcome to email and text me.
If you want to contact me about consulting, you can find more information on the consulting page.
The Diverse Team
I finished conference traveling in early June, ending my nearly 15 month(!) travel schedule. It's great to be home, sleeping in my own bed, and not living out of a suitcase. I don't start traveling again until September, so over the next few months I will be finishing up The Diverse Team. If you pre-purchased a copy, you'll receive a coupon code via email as soon as it's released.
I'm already working on the plans for the next book in the series, which I'll announce once I get The Diverse Team shipped.
Vines, Hair Dye, and Burrito Parties
I'm also in the process of updating the Thanks page with requested vines, hair dye photos, and burrito parties.
Diversity Speaking Events!
We are organizing a couple events in NYC and Boston coming up this fall and we need your help! We are looking for:
- local companies to donate space for a venue. Preferably fits ~75-100 people in one room safely.
- potential speakers in the immediate area with expertise and experience in diversity in tech. We especially want to see people from marginalized groups whos voices aren't as often heard.
- sponsors. We will be paying all speakers, providing scholarship tickets, and would also like to provide snacks and drinks to attendees.
If you can provide any of those things, please email me with how you can help and in which city.
As soon as we have the basics worked out for the two events, we will get event pages up so you can get tickets.