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Caption: Calling all queer/trans/female/disabled P.O.C. who create and remix digital media; hack/code/program or want to start; love, hate, or love to hate technology; and oppose private tech & media ownership. We need you! The Empowermentors Collective is a skillshare, discussion, and support network for intersectionally marginalized people of color with a critical interest in technology and media hacking.

We are called Empowermentors because we focus on sharing knowledge and technical skills, producing free software and free media, and supporting one another however we can. In this way we are both teaching and learning from each other to collectively empower ourselves. We see radical potential in copyleft, free software (often marketed as "open source software"), and free culture as forms of resistance against the subjugation enabled by private ownership over media, ideas, and technology.

  • This is not a space for white allies. If you are not an intersectionally marginalized POC, you may follow us instead, and we appreciate any help spreading the word.*

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We maintain a safer space for each other. We have no tolerance for oppressive attitudes, and expect accountability for any oppressive behavior. That is, any language or actions that upholds ableism, racism, cissexism, heterosexism, misogyny, and/or classism.

Driving questions:

  • What dangers lie in private ownership over technology, media, and ideas as it concentrates control over those resources?
  • How are race, gender, sexuality, class, and other cultural meanings coded into technology?
  • Does free culture necessarily topple or reproduce those in power?
  • Can we reconcile opposing both permission culture & cultural appropriation?
  • Why do movements aiming to represent everyone often leave out already marginalized groups?
  • Why does openness and meritocracy frequently lead to exclusion?
  • When does equal treatment ignore preexisting differences in power, privilege, & access?
  • Where do we fit into the free software & free culture community as queer people of color, women of color, POC with disabilities, etc. ?
  • Who does the free software & free culture movement fight for...and who is leading it?

On intersectional marginalization:

We say "intersectionally marginalized" to refer to people of color who experience intersectionality, that is, the interactions of multiple systems of oppression. This means we are open to all people of color who are also one or more of the following: people with disabilities, LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, transsexual, queer, intersex, and asexual) people, women, class oppressed people, etc.

On liberalism, assimilation, and multiculturalism:

We are not just another diversifySTEM™ organization aiming to integrate "minority" groups into the so-called "open source" community. We are creating our own space. We combine a critical passion for technology and digital media arts with our work towards POC empowerment, disability justice, decolonization, queer liberation, prison abolition, the destabilization of patriarchy, and other struggles we share.

On hacking:

Hacking is any act of constructing, deconstructing, examining, remixing, or studying something, with the attitude of playfully exploring a difficult challenge. Hackers are everywhere, and almost all hacking is not malicious or exploitative. The Empowermentors Collective is a space for hackers and aspiring hackers of all sorts: media and culture hackers, lingual hackers, software hackers, academic hackers, and more.