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Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.

Dr. Kit Stubbs is a non-binary/queer/femme maker & entrepreneur who’s more interested in people than in technology. After earning their Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, Kit is now the Founder and Executive Director of the Effing Foundation for Sex-Positivity (http://effing.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to foster sex-positive art & education. Kit has spoken on gender, sexuality and sex/tech at events across the US including Arisia, Burning Man, Dark Odyssey: Winter Fire, Harvard Sex Week, HOPE X-XII, the NELA Fetish Fair Fleamarket, and WisCon. They blog about technological empowerment for sexuality & pleasure (toymakerproject.com) and co-organize teasecraft, a meetup group for sex/kink-positive makers and hackers (teasecraft.com).
The Effing Foundation for Sex-Positivity is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to reduce sexual shame and normalize conversations around human sexuality by fostering sex-positive art and education. 
Our major effort is a grantmaking program — last year we raised $40,000 in pilot grants which we gave out to eight artists and educators across the US who have been doing amazing things (http://effing.org/grantees). So far, those grants have directly benefited over 1,000 people (including event participants and audience members) and indirectly reached approximately 57,000 people via social media and the web. Right now we’re raising $75,000 to fund fourteen grants and bring sex-positive art and education to even more people! Make your contribution today at http://effing.org/donate.
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Tamara Temple

“There is this global expectation that I can walk through the world and just demand things because of who I am and the color of my skin. And that is fucking wrong.”

Image of Tamara TempleTamara Temple is a self-described “Webologist”, tech maven, and deeply interested in software as a craft. As a life-long learner, Tamara has long had an interest in teaching, coaching, and mentoring people in the arts of programming and helping people to learn how to use computers to solve problems, communicate with others, and have a lot of fun.

Tamara works on both back-end development in Ruby on Rails, front-end development in ReactJS and GraphQL, and loves using static site generators such as Jekyll and Gatsby. She loves coaching and mentoring new developers, and loves answering questions of almost any sort.

“I am deeply committed to increasing the diversity of my chosen field by increasing the opportunities for people of colour and people with disabilities, especially. It’s important for marginalized and underrepresented people to have wonderful, rewarding, and respectful learning opportunities and experiences.”

When not working around computers, Tamara is a mom to two grown daughters, a watercolourist, sketcher, and photographer, and sometime musician.

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Authors of Color I’m reading a lot of lately:

  • Nnedi Okorafor, Ph. D. – a prolific author in the aforementioned Afrofuturism style, author of the “Binti” series. Dr. Okorafor’s writing is beautiful, and has opened up vistas for me into African culture as it could play out in the far future. She’s also the writer on the latest Black Panther graphic novel series, and a new spin-off series, Shuri.
  • Nora K. Jemisin – another speculative fiction author, winner of 3 Hugos in a row for the “Broken Earth” triology. An essay she wrote in 2010 is hugely important to understand: Don’t Put My Book in the African American Section
  • Saladin Ahmed – an Arab American writer, writer of graphic novels including Black Bolt, Exiles, and the very fabulous book Abbot.
  • Tananarive Due – an AA speculative horror fiction writer and instructor, her books are not in a genre know for Black writers, and while not really my personal favorite genre, these are illuminating and expansive into areas where I have had no prior view of African American and African culture

Correction from Tamara: After listening to the podcast, I realize I made an error: Alice Walker is the author of “The Color Purple”. Toni Morrison is the author of “Beloved”. My apologies to both authors and the audience.

All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud

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Leah & José

“The way that I describe it, and this is the god’s honest truth, I’m white enough to get the job, white enough to get hired, but I’m not quite white enough to get paid.”

Image of Leah La SallaLeah La Salla is a self-taught, polyglot software architect. Her high school years in the Chicago area involved many hours working in her dad’s super-precision tool-and-die machine shop.  Leah got started in tech long before there were any initiatives trying to bring women into development. She studied CAD design in college and then spent a decade in software engineering –  including five years as a Federal employee – while teaching herself to program in an additional 9 languages.

Leah’s worked on wide range of technically unusual products including fabrication application development, industrial printing, and more conventional app development and app security.  She’s mentored over a hundred in women in coding as the LAMP/Js curriculum advisor for the Ada Academy, and she’s rated in the top 10% of Stack Overflow (her social media handle is Open Sorceress). Leah built Astral’s original prototype in between assembling the company team out of the personal and professional network she has built over the course of the last seventeen years. As the inventor of toaster-sized neuromechanical drones for unbiased public safety, she hacked NASA with a toaster.

Image of Leah La SallaJosé La Placa Amigò grew up in Puerto Rico where his mother is the Dean Emeritus of the University of Puerto Rico School of Science.  José served in the US Air Force, as an off-site engineer specializing in installation, fault isolation, and reconstitution of fixed cable and wireless distribution systems, as well as LAN and WAN.  As a war veteran, he’s been shot at. Fluently bilingual Spanish / English, he establishes and oversees our Spanish-speaking international strategic partnerships. He also handles WAN network engineering for line-of-sight development at Astral AR.  José is also a longtime volunteer and foster parent with the Santa Rosa Dog Den Rescue, helping countless dogs find forever homes.

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All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud