East or West – GHC is the best!

If you had told me last year at GHC 2010 in Atlanta that about one year later I would be sitting in Bangalore attending the 2nd annual Grace Hopper Conference India, I wouldn’t have believed a word of it. But here I am, one of the few lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend GHC on two different continents!

I first heard about GHC through my fellow WISE members at Carleton University in Canada, where I was completing my Masters while working in the telecommunications industry. GHC 2010 proved to be a great learning and networking experience and when I made the decision to move to Bangalore this year, I regretted what I thought would be the lack of such forums for women in computing here in India. Cue the pleasant surprise at the fact that GHC India had been launched in 2010 and that planning was underway for the 2011 edition. I immediately got in touch with the folks at AnitaB.org and they were able to find a way for me to be involved as a volunteer. Woot!

In just half a day’s worth of keynotes and sessions, I am already finding that the essence of the conference remains the same whether it be in the US or in India – a celebration of the achievements and capabilities of women in computing, a conference with superior sessions on technology, management, and personal/professional development, and, most importantly, a forum for technical women to meet each other.

I’m so glad to be back at GHC and am looking forward to all the next two days have in store!

I will be blogging and tweeting(@shrutsats) throughout the conference as well as posting session notes on the conference wiki.

Roe v. Wade Has Been Overturned. You Have Every Right to Be Upset. Here’s how to take action

We at AnitaB.org, are disheartened and dismayed by the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that enabled the right of an abortion to people around the nation. AnitaB.org brings together allies and champions across every sector to advance intersectional gender equity in technology. The technologists we support are also people impacted by targeted oppressive and unjust laws including laws that restrict reproductive rights. Not only do we empower technologists through our year-long programming but, we also advocate for better systemic solutions for the workforce and for their humanity. 

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, we are joining to elevate the calls to action of our social justice colleagues and community partners. 

If you feel called to do something today or in the next coming days, here are some action steps:  

  • Support and donate to Repro Legal Defense Fund, which is a national organization that covers bail and funds strong defense for people who are investigated, arrested, or prosecuted for abortion. Because no one should be behind bars for ending their pregnancy or helping someone else do so.
  • Support and donate to Plan C, an educational resource for learning about how people in the US access abortion pills.
  • Support and donate to your local Planned Parenthood, independent abortion clinics, and abortion funds.
  • Go to the streets and join a protest near you. Most protests are happening today at 5 PM at the federal courthouses or state capitols.

AnitaB.org is also launching a political advocacy series, Power to the People, with our first event on July 20th. The first event of this series, Power to People: Abortion Rights and Digital Privacy, will elevate the voices of abortion advocates and the risks emerging with digital rights and privacy. This event will empower you to take additional action regarding abortion rights and data privacy. Stay tuned for more information about this upcoming event. 

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