The changes in our timeline I described on Outreachy helper report #5: What does it take to achieve true inclusion? are finally real this round. This has impacted both my work as a reviewer (that has become a more peaceful task) and as a promoter — I can finally talk about Outreachy without worrying about how much they have left to contribute!
Speaking of that, I attended Campus Party Goiás, one of the biggest tech conferences in Brazil. It happened from September 4-8 in Goiânia, Goiás’ capital city. Thanks to the generosity of Dumont Hackerspace, I was able to submit a last-minute talk about Outreachy (and other opportunities to work in open source projects) that took place on August 6 to a public of dozens of people in their open space. Most of the audience seemed to be really shy, but once I allowed them to make individual questions without the pressure of a microphone in their hands, I chatted with many wonderful people who looked stunned after hearing about those programs. The one that marked me the most was a person so thrilled to be actively encouraged to engage with technology in a safe place that they asked me for a hug.
On September 23, I will make a (virtual) appearance at SENE/UnB, the Electrical Engineering’s Academic Week at the University of Brasília. Due to time constraints I can’t attend it as I wish, but I’ve asked them to show a pre-recorded talk on Outreachy and Google Summer of Code and then make a video conference with me to answer any questions their audience may have. I deeply appreciate their openness to accommodate my needs and offer us an opportunity to promote our program.
This is a first in my career — I’ve given talks in video conferences in programs like Mozilla Open Leaders, but those took place in strictly virtual environments. It’s going to be a fun experience!
Lastly, at the Campus Party Goiás I met Joel Matos, the IT manager of the Euvaldo Lodi Institute. They are a non-profit civil society with nationwide outreach. After briefly sharing a few facts about Outreachy and the work I do as a helper, he expressed interest in building a long-term partnership with us, and scheduled a meeting with him and their Internships & Personal Development coordinator, Tarciana Maria do Nascimento. That meeting took place in September 12, and after getting to know each other, both parties expressed their interest in moving forward with this idea.
One of the main components of their mission, they said, is connecting the right people to opportunities like ours. As an organization with a good relationship with both public and private schools and the industry, they believe they could provide us extensive promotion and a good support network for both candidates and Brazilian interns.
Even though it’s a late opportunity for the December 2019 March 2020 round, I believe this has an immense long-term potential. I am now focused on creating a few promotional materials to introduce Outreachy and Software Freedom Conservancy to their superintendent. Hopefully, this may a start a long history of collaboration between the both of us.
Yesterday, Richard Stallman resigned from MIT and FSF. Honestly, that’s something I’ve never expected to happen… I’m so used to see people not being held accountable that it didn’t seem like a feasible possibility. But the tide is changing — and we are in the right track to make our community a bit safer every day.
This is a reminder of my duty to use my privilege to give space to marginalized groups in tech, something I strive to do with Outreachy for as long as I can.