The GDI Board and HQ have yet to appropriately respond to this open letter and have demonstrated that salvaging what is left of the brand is the top priority. There is no coming back from almost a year of inaction and refusal to be held accountable for the harm that was caused within the organization. There is no path forward at this point. GDI must come to an end. 5/20/2019

If you are here to learn about this past year, this statement to the Girl Develop It Board of Directors was shared broadly with the public on Friday, December 7, 2018. You can also view a timeline of events and view current stats about how chapters are responding.

Dear Members of the Board of Girl Develop It:

In light of recent events, it has become clear to the community in and around Girl Develop It (GDI) that it is imperative for us to bring to you our specific concerns around the leadership and direction of the GDI organization. This letter outlines those concerns, the impact of those concerns and outcomes we would like to see to address those concerns.

Below is a list of those concerns and specific examples of the impact each of them has had on the organization.

Lack of trust in the moral and ethical character of GDIHQ Leadership.

As we are sure the Board will agree, creating trust is a key component to building a healthy community. Over the past few years, the community has observed a slow decline of the trust between GDIHQ and Chapter Leaders. This is due to several sudden policy shifts, along with the failure to address several issues around race and inclusivity at both the Chapter and HQ level. This loss of trust has caused Chapter Leaders to resign, chapters to shut down and difficulty in keeping/recruiting new Leaders. Here are some specific examples:

Lack of transparency.

Throughout the past few years, there has been an issue with decision transparency between Girl Develop It Headquarters (GDIHQ) and Chapter Leaders. There have been numerous occasions where there is an announcement of organizational decisions, with little guidance or context for the Chapter Leaders to follow. The result of this has been poor alignment with Chapter Leaders, which has directly impacted and disjointed the programming to our members.

Policies that adversely impacted the community.

There have been several policy changes that have directly and negatively impacted marginalized communities within Girl Develop It. Examples include: childcare, venue/location, scholarship limits and oversight, transportation, hardware, and the inability to expense food & beverage from chapter funds.

We urge the Board to commit and take immediate action on the following outcomes:

As one of the largest “women in tech” communities, your vision is to empower women to feel confident in their abilities. You now have a choice: you can show your community (and the world) how leadership can empower women through actions and demonstrate what it looks like when true leadership embraces all of its community. Or you can ignore your community and continue down a path to an untrustworthy and uncertain future.

Your community is standing by and is ready to work with you on your progress.


Current and Former Chapter Leaders, Organizers, Instructors, and Volunteers of GDI

Julia Elman

Former Chapter Leader/Co-Founder - Raleigh-Durham

Kristen Seversky

Chapter Leader / Co-Founder - Rochester (offboarding, stepping down due to recent events)

Amy Gebhardt

Former Chapter Leader - Minneapolis

Sarah Kahn

Former Chapter Leader, Instructor - Raleigh-Durham

Amy Howes

Chapter Leader - Cincinnati

Alyssa Lemon

Chapter Leader - Charlotte

Andrea Cannistra

Founding Chapter Leader - Tampa Bay

Jennifer Maher

Chapter Leader/Founder - Portland

Catherine Zarra

Former Chapter Leader, Co-Founder - Providence

Megan Otto

Former Chapter Leader, Co-Founder - Fargo

Shannon Wiedman

Former Chapter Leader, Co-Founder - Fargo

Valentina Peric

Former Chapter Leader - Rochester (offboarding, stepping down due to recent events)

Katy Bowman

Chapter Leader - Dayton

Becky Blank

Former Chapter Leader - Cincinnati

Paige Bystrom

Chapter Leader - Seattle-Tacoma

K.C. Jones-Evans

Chapter Leader - Dayton

Kirsten Henagin

Chapter Leader - Fargo

Sophie Pouliquen

Chapter Leader - Cincinnati

Lindsay Siovaila

Founding Chapter Leader - Indianapolis

Ronda Bergman

Chapter Leader - Ann Arbor

Talya Flowers-Souley

Event Org/Instructor - Cincinnati

Caitlin Steinert

Former Chapter Leader / Instructor - Columbus

Heather Wade

Chapter Leader - Seattle-Tacoma

Cara Jo Knapp

Founding Chapter Leader / Former Board Member - Boulder/Denver

Nicole Peoples

Chapter Leader - Seattle-Tacoma

Basia Coulter

Former Chapter Leader - Raleigh-Durham

Maria Szubski

Chapter Leader - Cincinnati

Elise Wei

Former Chapter Leader - Philadelphia

Stephanie Clark

Former Chapter Leader/Co-Founder - Louisville

Maura Oray

Chapter Leader - Boston

Suzie Nieman

Chapter Leader - Philadelphia

Quintessence Anx

Chapter Leader - Buffalo

Danielle Allan

Chapter Leader - Buffalo

Sara Cashman

Chapter Leader - Boston

Marylou Lenhart

Former Chapter Leader - Pittsburgh

Jocelyn Harper

Former Chapter Leader - Wilmington

Catherine Meade

Chapter Leader - Dayton

Liz Tiller

Organizer/Instructor - Tampa Bay

Olga Nelioubov

Chapter Leader - Buffalo

Jen Dionisio

Former Chapter Leader - Philadelphia

Christine Brydges

Event Organizer - Boston

Meghan Kelly

Organizer, Instructor  - Philadelphia

Misty Melton

Former Chapter Leader / Founder - Baltimore & D.C.

Angelique Weger

Former Chapter Leader - Baltimore

Lily Barrett

Organizer - Boston

Cecy Correa

Former Chapter Leader - Austin

Natalia Vidal

Organizer - Boston

Katie Grundl

Former Chapter Leader - Milwaukee

Amber Burgess

Organizer/TA - Philadelphia (former, I am stepping down out of disgust)

Virginie Adams

Chapter Leader - Indianapolis

Maureen McElaney

Former Chapter Leader / Founder, Instructor - Burlington

 Sylvia Pellicore

Former Chapter Leader, Instructor - Raleigh-Durham

Lenna Schirf

Chapter Leader - Austin

Sammie Beebe Clark

Chapter Leader - Burlington

Jenna Cline

Organizer, Instructor - Buffalo

Dalia Icedo

Former Chapter Leader - San Jose

Katy Exline

Former Chapter Leader - Chicago

Julie Taylor

Chapter Leader - Atlanta

Karla Lopez

Chapter Leader - San Francisco

Swati Agarwal

Organizer - Rochester, NY

Sarah Facci

Former Organizer - Rochester, NY

Valerie Sharp

Chapter Leader - Los Angeles

Amy Gori

Chapter Leader - GDI Raleigh-Durham, NC

Willamina O'Keeffe

Chapter Leader - GDI Raleigh-Durham, NC

Marcy Sutton

Former Chapter Leader and Instructor, Seattle-Tacoma; Coding Club leader, Bellingham WA

Jennifer Shehane

Former Chapter Leader - Atlanta

Julie Pagano

Former Chapter Leader/Co-founder, Instructor - Pittsburgh

Vanessa Archambault

Chapter Leader - Oakland

Sam Provenza

Chapter Leader - New York City

Anastasia Lanz

Chapter Leader - Pittsburgh

Alex Lash

Teaching Assistant/Instructor - Philadelphia

Brittney Braxton

Chapter Leader - Chicago

Kathleen McMahon

Former Teaching Assistant and Public Speaker - Boston

Emily Drier

Chapter Leader - Ann Arbor

Jenn Brien

Former Chapter Leader - Tampa Bay

Amy Hendrix

Instructor - Raleigh/Durham

Esther Jackson

Chapter Leader - New York City

Angel Thomas

Chapter Leader - Toledo

Bridget Reed

Former Instructor/Organizer - Philadelphia

Rita Hill

Chapter Leader - Richmond

Michelle Brush

Former Chapter Leader - Kansas City

Katie Zwick

Volunteer / Assistant Organizer - New York City

Megan Boczar

Event Organizer / Instructor - Ann Arbor

Val Head

Chapter Leader - Pittsburgh

Tracey Berg-Fulton

Teaching Assistant - Pittsburgh

Parker Dyer

Chapter Leader - Columbus

Andrea Jessup

Instructor - Columbus

Angela Andrews

Teaching Assistant / Speaker - Philadelphia

Brittney Ball

Organizer - Charlotte

Mina Slater

Organizer - Chicago

Ivana Veliskova

Instructor / TA - Philadelphia

Sara Gibbons

Former Chapter Leader - Ann Arbor

Maddie Kasula

Former Chapter Leader - Chicago

Allison Seboldt

Instructor / Organizer - Chicago

Briana Morgan

Teaching Assistant - Philadelphia

Emily Ring

Organizer - Charlotte

Michelle Rodriguez

Co-Founder / Chapter Leader - Orange County

Ashly LaMarr

Member - Salt Lake City / Provo

Gina Vasiloff

Member - Salt Lake City

Pauline Rubin

Former Chapter Leader - Wilmington

Cristina Veale

Chapter Leader - GDI Charlotte

Leo Newball Jr.

Instructor/TA - New York City

Shayna Cummings

Instructor/TA - Boston

Gabrielle Hempel

Member - GDI Cincinnati

Amanda Grossmann

Former Instructor (Cincinnati), member (San Diego) - Cincinnati, San Diego

S. Makai Takori

TA/organizer - Atlanta

Sara Powell

Member - Cincinnati

Denisse Osorio de Large

Former Chapter Leader, Instructor - Kansas City

Marjorie Sample

Former Chapter Leader, Instructor - RDU

Sarrah Vesselov

Former Chapter Leader - Tampa Bay

Erika Languirand

Former Chapter Leader - Detroit

Stacie F.

Former Chapter Leader - SLC

Tracy Levesque

Instructor - Philadelphia

Kalene Csefalvay

Organizer - Pittsburgh

Chris DeMars

Instructor, instructor assistant, supporter, volunteer, O.G. - Ann Arbor & Detroit

Megan Anthony

Former Chapter Leader - Wilmington

Brooke Sargent

Member - Cincinnati

Christina Deemer

Teaching Assistant - Philadelphia

Meredith Burke

Former Instructor - GDI Baltimore

Stephanie Mecham

Member - Ann Arbor

Dominique Fontaine

Member - Baltimore

Hack the Gap

Former Community Sponsor - Minneapolis

Louise Clark

Chapter Leader - Charlotte

Tamara Temple

Member, Teacher, TA - Minneapolis

Leslie Wendling

Chapter Leader., On my way out - Dallas/ Fort Worth

Timothy Allen

Sponsor / Learning Space Host - Philadelphia

Elizabeth A. Hall

student participant - Philadelphia

Renée Carignan

Chapter Leader - Oakland

Amenity Applewhite

Chapter Leader - Austin

Rachael Arnold

Former Chapter Leader, Instructor - Burlington

Erin Scott

Chapter Leader - Albuquerque

Rhiannon Grames

Student and volunteer - Toledo

Wendy Aviña

Student - Toledo

Lena Levine

Chapter Leader - Buffalo

Sheila O'Donnell

Teaching Assistant / Student - Philadelphia

Vanessa Nicole Naff

Instructor - Seattle

Lauren Klinefelter

Instructor and Teaching Assistant - Philadelphia

Upma Singh

Teaching Assistant - Philadelphia

Kate Kourbatova

Teaching Assistant - Seattle-Tacoma

Lisa D. Smith

Former Instructor - Raleigh-Durham

Melanie Gershman

Volunteer - New York City

Jessica Weeber

Former Chapter Leader - Seattle-Tacoma

Aleksandra Patrzalek

Organizer - Buffalo

Becky Sroufe

Former Chapter Leader - Cincinnati

Nicole Rodriguez

Former Chapter Leader / Instructor - Detroit

Theresa Zottola Drift

Volunteer & Student - Minneapolis

Sara Cope

Former Chapter Leader / Co-Founder - Dayton

April Stevenson

Co-Organizer - Fargo

Nura Renke

Chapter Leader - Los Angeles

Mikey Ilagan

Instructor - Philadelphia

Erin Brown

Chapter Leader - Raleigh-Durham

Audrey Bryson

Social Media Volunteer - Raleigh-Durham

Isma Terrence

Student - Philadelphia

Jenn Downs

Former TA - Atlanta

Faith Ocasio

Volunteer - Buffalo

Colleen Reese

Student - Philadelphia

Liz Lockard

Former Instructor - Philadelphia

Laura Barnes

Co-Organizer - Charlotte

Jasmin Smith

Former Chapter Leader - Dallas/Ft. Worth

Anne Maiale

Instructor - Philadelphia

Bree Thomas

Former Chapter Leader / Co-Founder - Denver/Boulder

Gretchen Kastetter

Former Chapter Leader / Founder - Fort Collins

Tara Schultz

Chapter Leader - Bismarck

Kevin Jones-Evans

Instructor - Dayton

Anita Cheng

Former TA / Member - Los Angeles

Molly Young

Former Chapter Leader - Minneapolis

Melissa Hendrickson

Chapter Leader - Bismarck

Kristen Vinh

Teaching Assistant / Student - Philadelphia

Vui Nguyen

Co-Organizer / Volunteer - Boulder/Denver

Anne Katzeff

Instructor / Teaching Assistant - Boston

Samantha Kingston

Volunteer - Boulder/Denver

Christina Aiello

Member - Boston

Sylvia Maguina

Former Chapter Leader - Las Vegas (stepping down due to recent events)

Christine Whitlock

Student / Participant - Boston

Mary Rocheleau

Former Chapter Leader - Boston

Sweeney Arnett

Teaching Assistant / Volunteer - Seattle

Jennifer Houchins

Teaching Assistant / Member - Raleigh-Durham

Erin Wilbur

Former Chapter Leader - Milwaukee

Truc Nguyen

Chapter Leader - San Francisco

Catherine Farman

Teaching Assistant / Instructor - Philadelphia

Sarah Gray

Former Instructor - Philadelphia

Katryn McIntosh

Former Instructor - Providence

Aniela Wolkonowski

Member - Rochester

Amber Alter

Former Member / Volunteer - Seattle / Tacoma

Lina Swislocki

Chapter Leader - Burlington

Megan Cole

Chapter Leader - Dallas / Fort Worth

Valerie Jimenez

Member - Orange County

Jessica Leaf Roy

Member - Boston

Elizabeth Rich

Student - Philadelphia

Terri Cvetan

Member - Rochester

David Chmura

Volunteer Instructor - Ann Arbor

Maneesha Sane

Former Volunteer / Student - Philadelphia

Michelle Srbinovich

Former Chapter Leader - Detroit

Adrianne Padua

Member - Oakland

Alanna Burke

Former Chapter Leader - San Diego

CK Scheinfeld

Student - Philadelphia

Colleen McAuley

Teaching Assistant - Tampa Bay

Juanita Soranno

Community Member - Philadelphia & NYC

Gelsey Torres

Former TA / Student - Philadelphia

Rebecca Moreau

Organizer - Boston