IBM has announced Outreachy is the winner of its $50,000 Open Source Community Grant. IBM started awarding quarterly grants last October as an effort to promote nonprofits dedicated to education, inclusiveness and skill building. Girls Who Code were awarded the first IBM Open Source Community Grant.
Oureachy provides an internship and mentorship program in the open source and free software community for groups that face under representation, systemic bias and/or discrimination in the technolgoy idustry. The internships are done remotely, which according to IBM will become essential as people are forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interns are provided a $5,500 stipend for a three-month internship and an additionally $500 to travel to conferences or events.
“The current COVID-19 crisis underscores the inequities in our society. People who have jobs that can be done remotely find themselves in a stable situation and able to weather this crisis at home while many workers have no immediate way to earn a living without risking their lives,” said Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, the parent organization of Outreachy. “Getting paid home-based work to folks who are subject to systemic bias has never been more important than it is right now. We’re working to make this Outreachy round the biggest one ever to help the most people right now. This grant will make a big difference to offset the reduction in some of our corporate sponsorship from companies that are struggling.”
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The grant is split up between a $25,000 cash award and a $25,000 technology award to go to education and career development activities.
“Our Open Source Community Grant identifies and rewards future developers and open source leaders and creates new tech opportunities for underrepresented communities,” Todd More, vice president of open technology and developer advocacy at IBM, and Guillermo Miranda, vice president and global head of corporate social responsibility at IBM, wrote in a post. “Our open source community nominated a number of nonprofits doing incredible work and, while voting was close with plenty of deserving organizations in the mix, we awarded Outreachy the most votes for their commitment to providing paid internships to underserved and underrepresented minorities.”