This morning, the Ada Initiative, which I co-founded in 2011 and have been employed by between 2011 and now, announced our shutdown.
I’m proud of all the work we talked about in the announcement, but a few things of mine over the years in particular that I enjoyed doing a lot and that I hope will have a continuing impact:
AdaCamp. AdaCamp Melbourne was my idea, and was, for me, something of a followup to the LinuxChix/Haecksen miniconfs I founded in 2007, but, as we had done with the Ada Initiative, decoupled from the Linux community specifically, and explicitly feminist and incorporating what I’d learned from organizing earlier women’s events and meetups. It grew into much more over time, incorporating ideas from other events like quiet rooms and inclusive catering, and solving problems that plagued the events that all of the Ada Initiative staff and AdaCamp staff had been to over the years.
The guide to responding to harassment reports as an event organizer. This was based on a email I wrote to a conference organizer who was wondering what one actually does when a harassment report comes in, which, as I tend to do with my best emails, I later edited to put on the web. The wiki text has been somewhat edited and expanded of course, but is substantially similar to my initial version. It formed the basis of the enforcement manual that PyCon developed.
The AdaCamp Toolkit. I wrote more than half of this in the month between closing the AdaCamp program and launching the Toolkit, and edited the remainder from material developed internally. Not since the Geek Feminism wiki have I had so much (rather intense) fun emptying the contents of my head onto a website.
The Impostor Syndrome Training and our Impostor Syndrome Proofing article. AdaCampers had been discussing Impostor Syndrome since the event in Melbourne. I developed the version given at AdaCamps from Portland onwards, and which I will teach in Sydney shortly, built up around an exercise developed by Leigh Honeywell for AdaCamp SF, and we’re releasing it publicly after the Sydney workshop.
I also did a great deal of the behind the scenes project management and technical work (web work, systems administration, payments processing setup) throughout the life of the organization, and internally my documents are the core of our institutional knowledge. (I am hoping to edit a few of the fundraising documents for publication this month.) Valerie’s life will never be the same again now that everything goes in a spreadsheet. I am hoping I can offer my project management skills to another organization soon.
Thank you to Valerie Aurora, my friend and co-founder, who made a very unlikely and very lucky gamble on me four and a half years ago. Without Valerie the Ada Initiative could never have existed in the first place and would never have had the vision or the conviction to do 95% of what it did. I’m in San Francisco right now, my last trip for the Ada Initiative, so that we could do this last thing together and go out leaving as much for the community to use as possible.
Thank you to the many many people who worked and volunteered for us over the last four and a half years, who came to our events, who donated, and who advocated for, amplified, and improved our work.
As for what’s up next, I’ll be at the Ada Initiative for another couple of months. During that time, if this sentence of our shutdown notice was of interest, let’s talk:
Mary will be looking for a new position based in Sydney, Australia, working in a leadership role with the right organization.
Nan Palmero, You Heading to Oakland or Space?, CC BY, cropped and colour adjusted by the author of this post.
Tom French, Harbour Sunrise, CC BY, cropped and colour adjusted by the author of this post.
2 Replies to “The Ada Initiative’s sunset”
@puzzlement @adainitiative congratulations on changing the world
@me_gardiner @vaurorapub Thank you both for creating the @adainitiative, for doing such great work & for sharing it so it may continue on.
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