I recently announced that, after nearly five years as an activist working for change within Google, I will be leaving the company. I firmly believe that as the tech labor movement advances, we need to move to off-corp communication channels, venues not controlled by our employers. I believe that my experience in community building gives me a lot of perspective on the most effective ways to do this. I know it may be surprising to hear that I think the right way forward for the long-term future of the movement is a platform, not simply a Discord server or a mailing list on Google Groups, but I've thought it through and really do believe that; I look forward to being able to make the pitch in more detail once I'm fully outside the company.
I'm sorry if this form feels excessively corporate or anything like that. There are a lot of subtle issues in collecting email addresses with appropriate consent mechanisms, to avoid being treated like a spammer. It wouldn't have been a good use of my time to reinvent all that work, so I am relying on MailChimp for infrastructure. I'm hoping that eventually Rock Garden will be a non-profit organization, but right now, it's just me acting as a private individual.
As I transition to doing activism from outside of Google rather than within, I hope you all will want to stay in touch with me to discuss our working conditions and how we can most effectively fight to improve them.
-- Irene Knapp
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In my activism, I've focused on a wide variety of issues, including diversity, harassment, retaliation, transparency, and ethical oversight. Whether you're at Google or elsewhere, please consider letting me know what issues are most important to you.
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