Dear Brenda Darden Wilkerson (President & CEO, AnitaB.org),
As women technologists and leaders at Palantir, we were deeply disappointed by AnitaB.org’s decision to remove Palantir as a sponsor of the Grace Hopper Celebration because of our work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
For seven years, our organizations have been partners with a shared commitment to increasing representation in technology. You chose to end our relationship with an inaccurate statement, without engaging us in a robust dialogue or verifying facts, and without applying the same standard to other companies working with ICE that you’ve allowed to remain Diamond Sponsors (and that employ some of your board members).
Every day, our work at Homeland Security Investigations at ICE helps combat human trafficking, locate terrorists, and convict drugs and arms traffickers. Your decision to dissociate Palantir’s name from Grace Hopper sends a message to women in tech that we should turn away from these critical yet complex problems, rather than engage in the hard work of solving them. We as co-signers openly disagree on many issues, but we continue to engage, rather than remove divergent views from the discussion. Your actions foreclose the possibility that thoughtful debate among people with differing views might produce better answers and a brighter future for society.
Every day, our hardworking colleagues choose to prioritize the mission-critical work we do with ICE over the veneer of positive press. AnitaB.org has chosen the latter by making a decision based on optics instead of substance. We respect your right to make this decision, and hope that eventually, we’ll once again have the opportunity to “change the direction of tech together.”
Bonnie McLindon, Head of Communications and Recruiting
Meline Von Brentano, Business Development Lead
Margaret York, Commercial Business Lead
Natalie Meurer, Privacy and Civil Liberties Software Development Lead
Lindsay Ward, Government Product Lead
Parvathy Menon, Commercial Product Lead
Hamutal Meridor, Business Development Lead