Full Circle | Software program for Good

The chance: coming full circle

As Software program for Good welcomes the brand new 12 months with our new imaginative and prescient and values, I really feel the humbling sense that I’ve come full circle.

After I went to school, I realized tips on how to think about what Black liberation would imply for the world, to dream of what we humanity might obtain in a world free from racism and misogyny. Pursuing that imaginative and prescient was the work I longed to do, as a scholar and trainer like my mentor. However as a younger mom, I needed to put my goals of liberation on maintain to help my child — so I realized to construct software program. Again then I by no means imagined, as I coded web sites by hand, that expertise itself could possibly be a power for liberation.

As I grew as a technologist — virtually all the time in areas the place I used to be the one individual like me (the one Black individual, or the one lady, or the one Black lady) — I typically felt as if I have been getting farther and farther away from the work of liberation that my soul nonetheless longed to do. However at any time when I despaired, my mentor would remind me that expertise can make it attainable for human beings to stay extra totally and freely — and typically does. So I began pursuing alternatives to make use of tech to energy liberation in academia, within the public sector, and in neighborhood with like-minded technologists wherever I went.

Nonetheless, in each job I’ve had, there have all the time been obstacles to constructing the form of expertise I dream of. Through the years I steadily resigned myself to separating my life’s goal, the pursuit of liberation for everybody, from the day-to-day work of managing groups and transport code.

Then I joined Software program for Good.


The problem: deep questions

This summer season and fall, once I gathered with Casey, Cassi and Kevin to plan our firm’s future, I found a bunch of people who find themselves as excited as I’m in regards to the energy of expertise to liberate human beings. Thinkers like Robin D.G. Kelley and bell hooks fashioned my political consciousness in school, and I discovered myself drawing deeply on that lineage because the 4 of us deliberate a technique round liberation and love, centering individuals who have been traditionally excluded from full humanity. On Google Meet or round whiteboards at The Coven, I discovered this staff welcomed my greatest hopes and most sacred goals — not just for our firm, however for humanity.

The imaginative and prescient we articulated for our shared work took my breath away:

At Software program for Good, we envision a  world the place all communities can use the ability of knowledge and expertise to domesticate shared abundance and liberation. To deliver this world into being, we construct software program with love.

This can be a mission assertion for an organization that may and can construct expertise that liberates.

Photo of a whiteboard from a Software for Good strategic planning meeting on August 12, 2022. Among blue sticky notes, handwriting in marker says: JOY & LOVE in a heart; People First in a circle; Holistic Good, Anti-Oppression, and Liberation & Love (underlined). Photo: Ash Chudgar

When the management staff  introduced this imaginative and prescient to the entire SfG staff, they responded with an outpouring of joyful enthusiasm, mental engagement, and an entire lot of very deep questions. How can we inform if the apps we construct are literally making the individuals use them extra free? How will we shift from a shortage mindset to an abundance mindset? How can a software program company love our individuals as human beings in a labor market that’s constructed on exploitation? How ought to we stability the wants of our personal staff with the calls for of our purchasers and our duties to our communities and the world? How can we permit time and house for  our personal staff to be taught and develop in an company that payments by the hour? How will we all know if we’re constructing software program with love, anyway?

Making an attempt to reply deep questions like these collectively is the work earlier than Software program for Good within the years forward. As CEO, it’s my job to deliver our expansive shared imaginative and prescient again down into the day-to-day actuality of software program engineering. Creating the circumstances for love, abundance and liberation to flourish in a software program company is an immense and persevering with problem — particularly as a result of my staff is united in believing the problem is price taking over.

Fortuitously, I do know I can rely on the power of my staff’s shared imaginative and prescient for expertise that liberates — and on our curious willingness to attempt new issues, experiment, and help one another as we be taught. My father, a farmer, all the time informed me that “scared cash don’t make none,” and I do know he was proper. Cultivating shared abundance, like rising crops in rural Georgia, is an act of hope over worry. Right here at Software program for Good, shoulder to shoulder with my complete staff, we’re already constructing software program that liberates human beings to stay extra freely. We’re solely simply getting began.


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