Monday, 06 April 2020 09:28

Outreachy gets US$50,000 IBM Open Source Community Grant

Outreachy gets US$50,000 IBM Open Source Community Grant Image by ar130405 from Pixabay

IBM's second quarterly grant to help non-profits that promote education, inclusiveness, and skill-building for women, underrepresented minorities, and underserved communities in the open source world has gone to Outreachy.

In a statement, IBM said the US$50,000 Open Source Community Grant was timely because it would "help Outreachy provide paid remote work to underrepresented groups in a time when people are being forced to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic".

Outreachy offers three-month internships for people around the world to work in open source and free software. The work can be done remotely and interns are paid a stipend of US$5500. They are also given US$500 for travel to attend conferences or events.

The grant includes a cash award US$25,000 and a technology award valued at US$25,000 to directly support education and career development activities.

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Winners are picked through votes cast by IBM's internal open source community. Girls Who Code won the inaugural award in October 2019.

“The current COVID-19 crisis underscores the inequities in our society," said Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, the parent organisation of Outreachy.

"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.

“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.”

Todd Moore, vice-president of Open Technology and Developer Advocacy at IBM, said the award was timely as it would help Outreachy provide paid remote work to underrepresented groups at a time when people were being forced to work from home.

"Our open source community nominated a number of non-profits doing incredible work and, while voting was close with plenty of deserving organisations in the mix, we awarded Outreachy the most votes for their commitment to providing paid internships to underserved and underrepresented minorities," he added.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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