AnitaB.org Responds to Florida's "Don't Say Gay, Don't Say Trans" Bill

SAN MATEO, CA, March 14, 2022 – In response to the Florida Senate passing the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill (HB 1557), which will now head to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk for his signature or veto, Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President & CEO of AnitaB.org had this to say:

“We at AnitaB.org – an organization that helps women and nonbinary people succeed in technology – vehemently oppose Florida’s proposed ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill. The possibility of this bill becoming law is infuriating and antithetical to our core beliefs and that of the global community that we have cultivated for twenty-five years and counting.

“We challenge all those who stand for equality, equity, truth, and justice to join us in denouncing this act of aggression: tech companies, institutions of higher learning, corporations, and everyday people, join us and tell Governor DeSantis that there’s no room in our changing world for discrimination and hate and that he must veto this bill.

“The table in tech needs to be more diverse, and that diversity starts with a full, accurate and well-rounded education. Cutting off important conversations, for reasons that have no merit, deprives our young people of diversity in thought, approach, character and opportunity.

“AnitaB.org is scheduled to host our annual Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando, Florida, in September 2022. Thousands from all over the world plan to attend this annual event–the world’s largest gathering of women and non-binary technologists. That is why we are so very committed to creating a safe space where ALL will be welcomed and which aligns with our values. While we have experienced a very positive working relationship with the people of Orlando, should this bill become law, we will have no choice but to reconsider Florida as our host state for our 2023 events and beyond. We believe in supporting the economy of a state that is deserving of this gathering, our time, talent, treasures, and dollars. Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay, Don’t Say Trans’ bill falls well below that standard.”

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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.