About Code Liberation
The Code Liberation Foundation was founded on International Women's Day in 2013. The organization expands access to computer science to a wider public outside of a formal University setting.
As of 2016, Code Liberation has taught roughly 2,000 women at schools including NYU Tandon School of Engineering and leading games industry events such at PAX, Indiecade, Games for Change and Two5Six. Furthermore, the organization has run four 22-hour semesters of high school outreach classes in collaboration with NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women reaching 30 girls between 16 and 18 years of age.
Our members have stood as role models within the games and creative coding industries to inspire and encourage women into the field through public speaking events. These appearances have included high-profile venues such as The Game Developer Conference, PAX, A Maze, Indiecade, Games for Change, TedX, The Open Hardware Summit, Montreal International Games Summit, Different Games, Comic Con, and AlterConf.
We work together with only one simple mission: teach women, nonbinary, femme, and girl-identifying people to program using creativity as a pedagogical approach. Our aim is to reach women that have never considered entering into the field of computer science or who have left it because it is male dominated. Often presented within the current educational system as something that men or boys do, young women, nonbinary, femme, and girl-identifying people are excluded by default. By offering low risk educational opportunities to this population within a safe, non-competitive atmosphere, these marginalized people can be reintroduced to programming as a way to create and understand their world.
Additionally, we create a support network for professionals working within the field by connecting all of the organization’s volunteers online in an internal social network. These women serve as mentors for new students and members. As well, the organization offers them opportunities to raise their public profile through research roles, speaking opportunities at industry events, publishing and teaching. By creating public profiles for these women, they become invaluable image of representation within the field amplifying and underscoring the organization's’ mission of encouraging women to see themselves as welcome in computing. Further, our game jams, game nights, social networking events and speaker series offer an informal setting for networking and community bonding to encourage participation.
Code Liberation Foundation not only operates in urban hubs but also extends into economically disadvantaged communities connecting these women not only to skills but to industry professionals and job opportunities currently out of reach in other cities such as New York and London. These workshops and events empower local economic growth as well as spike interest in computer science in areas where no or few role models are present.
The organization structure supports an openness that allows for core groups in multiple locations. The organization is essentially a vast group of members, contributors, directors and a board working in concert to accomplish projects. Projects are overseen by the board of directors to ensure they are in line with the mission. The online education series and publishing activities support access to women anywhere. Additionally web and media presences facilitate involvement beyond the classroom. In order to capture the learning within the organization, a research team collects data on our successes and publishes within computer science and education journals to distribute our findings outward to educators.