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Blog, Inspiration
It’s a simple formula–find a problem and then do something about it.

DoSomething.org is a nonprofit giving kids the structure and support they need to change their world. The problem? 90% of Wikipedia editors are men. So the Girls-Only Edit-a-Thon was born, a group project to encourage girls to host edit-a-thon parties and work on female-focused wiki pages together. The DoSomething.org platform page for the campaign provides information, support, suggestions, and a blueprint for change. Girls and groups from all over the world can sign up and sign on to do some good.

Does Wikipedia have a gender gap among its editors, and if so, does that fact bias content on the site? Wikimedia, the umbrella organization that manages Wikipedia, says yes to both. It is believed that the hacker/high-conflict culture drives many women away from engaging in thoughtful discourse. Wikipedia, in their article about the wiki gender gap, describes several contributing factors. A high-tech skills gap was noted, along with the conflict culture and gender differences in language and linguistics.

Wikipedia leadership has committed to making a difference in gender disparity, in wiki-type language: “We’re going to double-down on this problem!” Several other changes are being developed, including the Wikipedia Teahouse, a friendlier user-interface with welcoming for newcomers. In addition to the Girls-Only Edit-a-Thon, which is targeted to high school aged teens, there has been an edit-a-thon yearly for the past several years called Women in Science. The goal of this yearly online activity is to increase the number of prominent women in science with Wiki pages.
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Blog, Inspiration
Transgender people have always been excluded from access to quality, caring, and nonjudgmental healthcare, and still are excluded today.

Healthcare challenges for trans people are significant, and include at the most basic level finding skilled and knowledgeable primary health care and access to medical specialists: endocrinologists, psychotherapists, speech therapists, and surgeons. Two new startups are meeting the needs of this population by developing databases of healthcare providers.

RAD Remedy is designed for trans, non-conforming gender, intersex, and queer folk to find safe, respectful, and comprehensive health care. They have two programs. The original RAD uses a model called a Referral Aggregate Database (RAD).The database includes crowdsourced information, shared experiences and referrals. People seeking information can find provider referrals based on specialty and geographic area. Their new program, RAD Remedy on Demand, is a consulting service for health care providers. Providers can ask for subject matter expert review of their practice forms, systems, and work practices to make sure the care they provide is the best quality possible. This new program has been funded by a capacity building grant from CFW LBTQ Giving Council and the Polk Brothers Fund. RAD Remedy has recently received their 501(c)3 designation.

MyTransHealth, based in Miami, is a guided referral system that uses a detailed screening process for healthcare professionals and specialty clinics to be included in their database. Providers are screened for clinical training, and clinics for nondiscrimination policy, gender-neutral bathrooms, and gender-affirming intake paperwork. Both providers and clinics are re-screened every 12 months. MyTransHealth also contains insurance information by geographic area, so people can find the therapeutics that are included in their insurance coverage. They currently have developed networks of specialists and primary care practitioners in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, NYC, San Francisco, and Seattle, and are working on expanding their database of screened referrals.Save
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Blog, Inspiration
Yep. Still 2016. I still wake up on some days worried about redundancy in app development. I mean, fuck, how many Pomodoro apps do I have to check out before making an informed decision? Pretty sure I tried nine in September of 2015, and that number has more than doubled today.

Also: still weathering a sinking feeling, or a pit maybe, at the center of me, hardening as app developers look more and more like 27 year old white dudes overly interested in profit margins. I mean, I dig profits. And as profits are the fastest route to power in this world we’ve got, I firmly believe women and persons of color need, need, need to seek power shamelessly; I am not here to warn against profits. And yet here I am asking three minutes of your time, in order to introduce you to three apps that are not about profit margins.

These are apps that are world changers, meant to make the world a better, fairer, safer more effective place for women and thereby for everyone. You with me? 

My three favorite, totally ethical and women-focused apps + designers that/who are making qualitative differences in our world while also maintaining my faith in app development.

Ready? Go.

1. Maven: Want women’s health consultations that are efficient and affordable? There’s an app for that. Former reporter for the Economist Katherine Richardson was focused on accessibility when she designed this app, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of space for users to share experiences as well as advice. Think of this as a women’s health clinic for your pocket. And I started my list with health on purpose. Because we aren’t fully chingona (ie badass) when we’re under the weather.

2. W’sHR: And now we also get pocket sized access to the international legal instruments adopted by the UN, those that are relevant to women in particular. Yeah, really. The name is an acronym for Women’s Human Rights, and the app is developed by SCHR/ICGS and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The goal: swifter negotiation for women and for what is right‚Äēaround the world.

3. Wrike: Okay, okay, this one isn’t really women-focused. This one is for everyone; but for you women heads in search of new management tools, I include this for you. Because with more and more of us at the summit each new day, we really ought to keep updating our camalots along with the rest of our gear. Wrike brings project management to the project manager. Let’s say you manage employees who work at different paces, and while you want to be flexible, you want, too, to be effective. This app allows you to track group performance. Further, it allows you to put Word, Google Drive, Excel, and email in the same place, the assumption being: once integrated, you will become even more efficient.

Collaboration, discussion, document building‚Äēit’s all here. Simplifying life for those of you in charge.

*I didn’t include Evernote on this list because everybody and her mom has already written about Evernote as a must download. But know that if you are thinking across multiple projects each day and looking to stay organized, Evernote really is a must. Once again, this is regardless of your gender identity/identities.
*This article was originally posted on KaliWilliams.com
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Blog, Inspiration
It’s 2016. On those days, grey and rainy usually, when I wake up thinking apps are getting redundant if not outright overly-fetishized (you know, like tech co’s gone all yep-our-swooshes-make-our-shoes-worth-$500-regardless-of-production-costs), I pinch myself and then try listing the names of the good guys, those ethical apps + designers that/who are going to make qualitative differences in our world.

I admit sometimes my listing becomes chanting, almost as if I am creating my own zenned out religious ideology, one built upon the technological possibilities of today and an unwavering belief in a better future. But who knows? Perhaps some day I will have a follower or two. For now, can I introduce you to my faves? No ritualistic participation required.

1. Ankommen: This app, released by the German government, has been turning heads since it launched in early 2016. Available for download in Arabic, English, Farsi, French, and German, Ankommen (meaning “Arrive”) is designed to facilitate the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into their new countries. On the chance you ignore the news and wonder about the broader implications of such an app, check out Ai Wei Wei’s documentation of Syrian refugees on Instragram this year.

2. Blendoor: Developed by Stephanie Lampkin who is black + female + an engineer who has been coding since the age of 13, this app is the new Tinder of coding. Except your photo is replaced by your resume, making it, thereby, the opposite of Tinder. By creating a platform that matches coders’ resumes to jobs, Lampkin is doing serious damage to the way-too-long history of sexism and racism in tech hiring practices.

3. Q: CEO Eric Cervini created this app with the goal of eradicating the misogyny, racism, and other dehumanizing practices (especially via commentary) plaguing early attempts at creating online LQBTQIA community. Unlike its predecessors, Q is about complicating how the queer community interacts online, decentering the body, and embracing inclusivity as never before.

4. Okay, this one hasn’t happened yet, but last month Google awarded 500,000 USD to Ella Baker Center fellow, Patrisse Cullors, who is working to develop a #BLM app in collaboration with the ACLU. This will be an app for reporting police violence in real time, and I am certain it will rank among my favorites as soon as it launches.
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