Ascend Project is a "mentorship and barrier-removing accelerator program designed to explicitly invite, include, and support adult learners in making a first technical contribution to Open Source software." It was created by Lukas Blakk at Mozilla in 2014.
Ascent ran in Portland, Oregon in 2014 and will run in New Orleans in 2015.
Ascend Project particularly targets populations that are ignored or pushed away from Open Source Software. In order to do this it provides support and incentives not often seen in other programs, including:
- Financial support (in the form of an $50 honorarium for each full day of attendance)
- Equipment (eg. laptops) provided during the course, and then given to participants upon successfully completing the course
- Meals and transport
- Childcare reimbursement
Connection to other Mozilla incidents
Project Ascend was announced just after Brendan Eich (who had supported anti-LGBT causes) was appointed and rapidly resigned as CEO of Mozilla. Some saw Project Ascend as an attempt by Eich/Mozilla to reduce criticism at that time. However, the project had been in development for a long time before that.
- Ascend Project homepage
- Related conference talk: Explicit Invitations: Passion is Not Enough for True Diversity