Worker Coops: A Better Way to Make a Living in Tech

Curated by: Small Business Management

Originally published in Model View Culture’s 2016 print edition.

In late April of 2016, I attended the Aspiration California Nonprofit Technology Festival in Watsonville, gathering with other technologists, nonprofit workers, organizers and activists to exchange ideas on how to better work for social justice through technology. I lead a session about alternative careers in tech after hearing that students from the Everett Program at nearby UC Santa Cruz were keen to hear about possibilities for making a decent living in tech while still being grounded in social and economic justice. Since that’s a pretty good description of my fourteen years in nonprofit technology, I was excited to share my experiences and advice.

Our small group included two young Latinx women who, as they approached college graduation, were eager to figure out how to work in tech in ways that didn’t reflect the dominant culture of nearby Silicon Valley. They talked about social and economic justice, immigrant and women’s rights, anti-racism, and how they wanted to work those things into their careers. It was inspiring to talk with young women intent on blazing a different trail, and I was excited to offer some hope for a viable path:

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