Activities For the Civic Geek: Diversity In Geekdom

Geekdom is about enthusiasm, intelligent, and imagination.  Those things are better when we have a broad community that supports different people – and it’s the right thing to do.

Geekdom, that grand celebration of enthusiasm and brains and inspiration, is a wonderful place.  However there are times – let us be honest – it has been to narrowly defined.  It’s been defined by race, gender, even sexual preference and economic strata.  The image of the white, nerdy, straight guy still haunt us – even those of us who are white nerdy straight guys.  People in geek history get forgotten because they didn’t fit the mold – or shut out because they don’t.

So it’s up to we geeks to make sure this is a place for everyone.  Otherwise we really can’t call ourselves geeks, can we?

Here’s a few things you can try:

  • There’s many good causes.  Again, simply donate or raise money for them.
  • Donate equipment.  A lot of good geeky causes involve IT skills and training, so maybe you – or your employer or company – can make a donation.
  • Go get involved.  A lot of organizations fighting the good fight for equality and diversity need people to teach, speak, and more.  You may just learn something when you get hands-on.
  • Visibility.  A lot of people don’t know that the issues of bias that can occur in geekdom, so make them visible in your writing, your convention rules, convention events, and more.
  • Invite.  A lot of the organizations listed below (and many others not listed) would be delighted to speak at your business, convention, club, campus, and more.
  • Team Up.  Many causes for geeky diversity and underserved communities involve training and projects, such as teaching coding or website development.  Why not have your club, con, or even business employ people from one of these groups?
  • Think Geek broadly.  Challenge and change yourself.


Geekery really isn’t geekery without diversity.  We ignore ideas.  We forget history.  We forget people.  Making an effort for a broader, more historic, more inclusive geekdom is really something for all of us.

See if any of these organizations and groups can help you do more

Geeks Of Color

  • Black Girls CODE – Introduces girls from underrepresented communities to coding. Focuses on community outreach, education, and technology awareness
  • Code 2040 – A nonprofit assisting communities of color by creating paths for education, professional, and entrepreneurial success in technology.
  • Con Or Bust – Focuses on helping geeks of colors and creators of color attend conventions.
  • The Hidden Genius Problem – An Oakland-based nonprofit that encourages technological skills and entrepreneurship for young men of color.

Female Geeks


  • Anita Borg Institute – A historic institute to assist women in technical careers, fostering innovation by ensuring a broad range of people in technology. Provides a variety of services and ways to get involved.
  • Girl Develop IT – A nonprofit that provides accessible programs for women who want to learn coding.
  • Girls Learning Code – A Canadian non-profit that focuses on helping young women learn technical skills in a supportive atmosphere.
  • Girls Teaching Girls To Code – A Bay Area program where women in CS teach Bay Area high school girls to code.
  • Grace Hopper Celebration – Produced by the Anita Borg institute, this is a celebration of women in computing.
  • Ladies Learning Code – A Canadian non-profit that focuses on helping people learn beginner technical skills in a comfortable, social way.
  • Made With Code – Promotes women in coding with projects, events, and mentoring. Has several alliances and supporters.
  • Mothercoders – An organization focused on helping mothers get tech-savvy and up-to-date for this economy
  • National Center For Women And Information Technology – Focuses on correcting gender imbalance in technology, and bringing the balance of diversity to the industry.
  • Rails Girls – A worldwide group that works to empower women with technology.
  • The Ada Initiative – An organization that supports women in technology, with a heavy emphasis on codes of conduct, training, and an embrace of open source.


  • Geek Girl Dinners – Promotes geek girl friendly events, resources, and connection.
  • She’s Geeky – An SF Bay organization that provides events and and conferences around the USA for women in STEM>
  • Tech Girls Canada – Provides national leadership for the various industry groups in canada encouraging women in tech careers.
  • Women Rock Science – A blog about women in science, from resources to history to recent discoveries.

Video Games

  • Girls Make Games – A series of international summer camps encouraging girls to explore the world of video games.


  • Girls Write Now – Supports future female writers with mentoring, advice, and more.





  • The Box Scene – A nonprofit organization focused on representation of people in media


  • Platform – A nonprofit working to increase the participation of under-representted people in the “innovation economy.” Has an annual conference and works with YesWeCode.
  • Tech Access – Nonprofit focusing on providing students of color access to STEM careers via setting expectations, providing role models, and access.


  • We Need Diverse Books – Focus on promoting diverse narratives in children’s literature. Reaches out to individuals and groups in children’s publishing, and is always looking for people to help out.