Living our Mission at GHC 22 in Florida
With the Grace Hopper Celebration just around the corner, our staff is all-hands-on-deck preparing an incredible event in Orlando and virtually. We have been asked why we are hosting GHC 22 in Florida given the continued onslaught of legislation aimed at further devaluing and harming women and non-binary people and, at the intersections, those who live as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The constant affront to human dignity embodied in these regulations also falls on all people who want to accurately teach our nation’s history. We vehemently oppose these actions that directly contradict our mission and vision
It would be easy for us to lean solely on our longstanding commitments and contractual obligations to venues and hotels as rationale for hosting GHC in Orlando. However, our intention is much more mission centric. We believe in supporting those who are historically excluded from the technology ecosystem wherever they live, work and create technology.
The rights of excluded people remain continually under attack. The overturning of Roe v. Wade puts Black and Brown people even more at peril by all accounts, and Florida’s ‘Stop Woke’ Act furthers this assault.
Just as freedom fighters in the Civil Rights Movement dared to take their struggle to the centers of injustice, we are stalwart in our commitment to women and non-binary technologists who call Florida home.
At prior GHCs and Elevating Conversations, we have been energized by thought leaders who inspire greater inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community and communities of color. There, tech and culture advocates like Megan Smith, Layshia Clarendon, Megan Rapinoe, Nadine Smith, and our own Amanda Hill-Attkisson have educated us and moved us to think differently and act locally.
We have met with local leaders and community organizations advocating for human rights in Florida throughout this year. We aim to understand how we can use our unified influence to raise the visibility of local efforts and galvanize the members of our global community to affect change. We have an incomparable opportunity to make our voices heard at GHC 22 in Orlando. We are committed to leverage this moment to move from now to next.
We want our support to be tangible to those most impacted. Putting our resources where our values are, we are donating a portion of the proceeds from GHC 22 registrations to two organizations that meet our Florida-based community at places that spark bright futures. One of these organizations centers on uplifting the LGBTQIA+ community and one is foundational to all Florida women and non-binary people.
• Zebra Coalition | Zebra Coalition® is a network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) ages 13 – 24. The Coalition assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability.
• Florida Access Network | Florida Access Network builds pathways for abortion access by advocating for reproductive justice, funding abortion care, and providing logistical support.
We encourage you to support these organizations and our mission in Florida at GHC. We also invite your continued allyship year-round as the AnitaB.org team labors for a just future in technology for all people. For greater clarity on our stance against the legislation passed in Florida, check out our news article AnitaB.org Responds to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay, Don’t Say Trans” Bill.