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Last fall, when we announced that Red Hat would be opening a new facility in Boston (coming soon!), we also made a commitment to become an active member of the Boston technology community. Our recently announced collaboration with and commitment to Boston University to, among other things, create the Red Hat Collaboratory at Boston University to advance research on cloud computing, machine learning and automation, and big data, was a big first step from us toward that.

Participation is the new innovation, and the power of open source transcends technology. Red Hat recognizes this potential, and we plan to continue to shine a light on how openness is a catalyst for change, and how “open” philosophies like meritocracy, community-building and transparency are defining 21st-century innovation through human-centered stories about the impact of open innovation.

Today, we’re back in Boston to lead another initiative that we hope will highlight the broader impact of open source and collaboration.

In collaboration with Boston University, Sociedad Latina, Boston After School & Beyond, and the City of Boston, Red Hat is hosting 20–25 Latina-American and African-American girls (ages 11–14) from underserved areas of Boston in a three-day immersive experience, introducing them to coding, collaboration, and the open source way. Through this CO.LAB initiative, we hope to show these girls the potential of collaborative innovation and, along the way, perhaps help spark their interest in open source technology or coding.

As the world’s leading open source software provider, we know the value of participation and collaboration, and we’ve talked before about our belief in the importance of diversity and inclusion to help us think about the world in new ways. Through our diversity and inclusion initiatives like the Women in Open Source Award, support of Outreachy, and outreach efforts targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), we hope to help build a more inclusive and innovative technology industry. The CO.LAB initiative this week in Boston represents the newest opportunity for us to help advance diversity and inclusion in tech for the next generation.

Here’s how we’ll be spending the next three days in CO.LAB:

Day 1 (April 19, 2017): We’ll give the girls an introduction to Red Hat and Boston University and talk about what it means to be a female in technology. The girls will spend the day learning to code Raspberry Pis to create simple digital cameras.

Day 2 (April 20, 2017): The girls will explore the city of Boston to photograph themes around the inspirational Emily Dickinson poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers,” helping them interpret and capture images that bring the poem to life.

Day 3 (April 21, 2017): – We’ll collaborate to build a digital installation that curates their photographs into a cohesive story that represents the CO.LAB experience. The installation will be on display in Boston’s City Hall and at various locations within Boston University.

You can follow along with the CO.LAB initiative via our website: www.redhat.com/colab and on our social media channels via #RedHatCOLAB.

And in less than two weeks, we’re bringing thousands to Boston for Red Hat Summit 2017, putting open source innovation center stage once more. Through all of these initiatives, we’re excited to continue our commitment to Boston’s technology community and to bringing open source and the transcendent potential of open innovation to an even bigger audience.

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