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One-Year Later: In Remembrance of Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz, a brilliant 26-year-old software developer at Thoughtworks, renowned hacker and social justice activist, committed suicide on January 11, 2013.

Although our hearts remain heavy, on the one-year anniversary of his death we are reflecting as an organization and as individuals on how we can honor Aaron’s legacy by redoubling our commitment to the struggle for a more just and equitable world.

We believe that among Aaron’s many accomplishments in his too-brief life, one of the most important was to serve as a new kind of role model for technologists in society. We will never forget his talent, his humility, his passion, his courage and most of all his gentle and caring soul.

Last year, Thoughtworkers were honored to support Aaron’s family and friends by developing an open-source memorial site where thousands posted tributes to Aaron. Today we are launching http://rememberaaronsw.com/oneyearlater and inviting the global community to share stories about how their paths have been impacted by Aaron’s life and tragic death last January.

During this time of reflection, let us be optimistic. Stand in solidarity with those in pursuit of social and economic justice. Share your talents, be curious, have courage and keep demanding progressive change.

Some Ways to Get Involved

Thoughtworks is joining with DemandProgress and Aaron’s family to sponsor the inaugural Aaron Swartz memorial award. You can submit nominations for bold social change agents here.

The organizers behind the defeat of SOPA are calling for a day of action in opposition to NSA mass surveillance, commemorating the joint anniversaries of the SOPA victory and Aaron’s passing. The action will occur on February 11; sign up and get more details here

Join Demand Progress, an organization that exists to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing, and grassroots lobbying.

Get involved with VictoryKit, SecureDrop, or other Open Source projects that protect or enable openness, liberty and grassroots people power.

Support the movement to reform the CFAA.

If you’re having thoughts of suicide, please speak to someone. Find numbers for your country here.

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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