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Honoring Outreachy's support for paid internships to underserved, underrepresented minorities

Last October, the open source community at IBM awarded a first-of-its-kind quarterly grant to promote nonprofits that are dedicated to education, inclusiveness, and skill-building for women, underrepresented minorities, and underserved communities in the open source world. Our Open Source Community Grant identifies and rewards future developers and open source leaders and creates new tech opportunities for underrepresented communities.

Today, we are pleased to announce that the winner of the second quarterly Open Source Community Grant is Outreachy. 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.

The award is timely as it will 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.

Open source internships provide skills, training remotely

Outreachy is a nonprofit that provides internships in the free and open source software (FOSS) space for people from groups that face under-representation, systemic bias, or discrimination in the technology industry of their country. Outreachy explicitly invites applications from women (both cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people and people from Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander backgrounds.

“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.”

Outreachy internships are open to applicants around the world; interns work remotely and are not required to move. Outreachy interns are also paid a stipend of $5,500 USD for the three-month internship and usually have a $500 USD travel stipend to attend conferences or events. Outreachy has converted the travel payment to support people in their efforts to stay at home while the current pandemic crisis continues.

What is the Open Source Community Grant?

IBM has a longstanding commitment to investing in diversity and inclusion. The IBM Open Source Community Grant recognizes a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and skill building for women, under-represented minorities, and underserved communities, while also promoting open source. The grant includes a cash award ($25K) and a technology award (valued at $25K) to directly support education and career development activities. Our internal open source community votes on the winners, with Girls Who Code winning the inaugural award in October 2019.

Stay tuned for how Outreachy uses their award

We owe a big thank you to our open source community at IBM for casting their votes and helping us decide which of the many great community improvement initiatives we should support with this second Open Source Community Grant. Stay tuned for updates about how Outreachy uses their award.

Todd Moore is the Vice President of Open Technology and Developer Advocacy at IBM and Guillermo Miranda is the Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at IBM.