IBM has named internship and mentor program Outreachy as the winner of its second $50,000 Open Source Community Grant. 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 countries.
In a blog post, IBM said the award was especially timely because 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.
“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, in a statement.
Outreachy seeks 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.
Outreachy's internships are open to applicants around the world. Interns can work remotely and are not required to move. Outreachy interns are also paid a stipend of $5,500 for the three-month internship and usually have a $500 travel stipend to attend conferences or events. Outreachy converted the travel payment to support people who now need to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a blog by IBM's Todd Moore, vice president of open technology and developer advocacy, and Guillermo Miranda, vice president and global head of corporate social responsibility, the grant included $25,000 in cash as well as a technology award of $25,000.
In October, Girls Who Code was the winner of the first $50,000 IBM Open Source Community Grant. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization working to increase the number of women working in computer science.