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Thank you for ten great years

On June 29 we came together to acknowledge all that the Open Source Bridge community has built over the last ten years. Christie Koehler started the day with a look back at the history of the conference and our local tech community.

Together we created an amazing body of work that will continue to influence others. We should all be proud of this.

Kronda Adair followed with a personal history of her experiences at Open Source Bridge, and of building her business. She offered these take-aways on the work we still need to do to create a truly inclusive and equitable industry.

Listen the Startup podcast series about Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage capital. You’ll learn what radical wealth redistribution looks like. You’ll upgrade your definition of hustle. Hint: it’s not taking a summer off and flying around the country to get 50 of your rich friends to give you 5 million dollars and then starting a VC fund.

If there’s one theme that pervades my experience in tech, it’s that the people who have traditionally have the least access to money and resources are the best at sharing what they do have with others. But as Arlan likes to say, we’re done settling for crumbs. We’re here for the cake.

Make a list of the products and services you regularly use and recommend to others and then find some black and brown entrepreneurs who provide those services and start using them and recommending them to your networks.

Ask your boss if the women and people of color in your company are being paid the same as their white colleagues for the same work.  If you’re white, tell colleagues how much YOU make.

Check out the Ascend Project repo and run your own version of it.

If you have the skills and the free time, make a website for a business owner who doesn’t have one.

Pay someone who’s given you free advice that helped you grow your business or advance your career. In cash.

Stop looking for underrepresented people to be your junior developers and start looking for us to be your CEOs, CTOs, and CFOs. I’m tired of watching companies hire us for VP of diversity positions and then blocking real change. There’s a lot of white people out here talking about they want to help but you don’t want to give up any of YOUR privilege. That’s not how it works.

These are just a few suggestions that I’ll leave you with as you go and consider your unconference topics for the day.

Lastly, I want to give you an easy metric to measure by so you know if your efforts are making real change:

Find ways to transfer MONEY, ACCESS, NETWORKS and POWER to those who have the least of those things.

If you’re not doing that, then you need to work harder.

We had a full set of unconference sessions, spanning the breadth of our community’s interests.

We collaborated and created things in the Hacker Lounge, including buttons.

And we talked about what comes next. You’re welcome to join us on our new Zulip Chat and be a part of this conversation.

Audrey shared her thoughts on Open Source Bridge ending in a blog post, Saying Goodbye to Open Source Bridge.

Do you have photos or reflections you’d like to share from our final conference? Leave a comment or let us know on Twitter or in Zulip.

Thank you everyone for being a part of this community and the work we did together! We’re excited to see what all of you create next.

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