Creating an Infrastructure for Inclusive Innovation

On October 27, 2021 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET,  our Elevating Conversation focused on “Creating an Infrastructure for Inclusive Innovation.” It was hosted by AnitaB.org Fellow in Residence, Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton, and moderated by President and CEO of AnitaB.org, Brenda Darden Wilkerson.

This exciting conversation highlighted the importance of getting women and historically overlooked people involved in the innovation ecosystem and rebuilding the economy. Our distinguished speakers included, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina M. Raimondo, and Oracle CEO, Safra Catz.

More About Our Speakers:

President and CEO of AnitaB.org – Brenda Darden Wilkerson

Brenda Darden Wilkerson is an advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities in technology. She currently serves as the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, an organization that connects, inspires, and strives for greater equality for women technologists in business, academia, and government. She founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools, and serving as the inspiration for the Obama administration’s national CS For All initiatives.

Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton

Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton

Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton was the Senior Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Dartmouth College. While there, her portfolio focused on developing  multi-dimensional engagement strategies with foundations and industry enterprises in partnership with faculty across the basic and biomedical sciences, physical sciences, computer science and tech, to advance research development and innovation initiatives.  Dr. Two Feathers Orton was also a Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in the School of Education and Social Policy and Faculty Liaison for the Office of STEM Education Partnerships. She founded the Computational Thinking for Girls Clubs (CT4G) to empower girls of color through experiences in computing, technology, and STEM.

Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce

U.S. Secretary of Commerce – Gina M. Raimondo

Gina M. Raimondo serves as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 3, 2021. As Secretary of Commerce, she is focused on a simple but vital mission — to spur good-paying jobs, empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and help American workers and businesses compete. View her complete bio.

Oracle CEO – Safra Catz

Safra A. Catz has been chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation since 2014 and a member of the company’s board of directors since 2001. Previously, she was president of Oracle and has also served as the company’s chief financial officer. Prior to being named president, Catz held various other positions since starting at Oracle in 1999. She is also currently a director of The Walt Disney Company and previously served as a director of HSBC Holdings plc. Prior to joining Oracle, Catz was a managing director at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a global investment banking group.

Education is a key priority for Catz, who shares her wealth of industry knowledge and practical experience as a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she teaches Mergers and Acquisitions.

She has also been a director of the Oracle Education Foundation since its founding in 2000, serving as chair since 2004. The foundation initially made hardware grants to US schools that lacked access to technology and later provided them with ThinkQuest, an online learning platform. In addition, Catz led the team that built a public high school on Oracle’s Redwood Shores, Calif., campus. Design Tech High School (d.tech) is a free charter school that incorporates technology, design thinking and problem solving skills.

Catz graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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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.