Meryl Streep and Joshua Bell Sit in CEWiT’s Red Chair

By Jenny Hertel

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The National Center for Women in IT (NCWIT) Pacesetters, one of CEWiT's supporters, created the Sit With Me national advocacy campaign to inspire women in computing and IT. The invitation, "Will You Sit With Me?" gives everybody (men, women, technical, non-technical) the chance to take a small, but symbolic, action to "sit" in solidarity with women in computing, raise visibility for their contributions, and ask others to do the same.

The physical symbol of the Sit With Me campaign are red chairs, each made from 111 recycled plastic Coke bottles. Since it's inception, CEWiT has taken inspiration from the chair. Our student alliance decided to call itself WESiT, which stands for "Women Empowering Success in Technology," after learning about the campaign, and we've ensured the chair is present at many of our events, including our Launch Party in October and our Techie Women Have More... Conference in March. Our Aspirations in Computing ambassadors even used it at the centerpiece of their new video.

Recently, CEWiT's Advisory Council Chair and IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie welcomed Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep and Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell to the Bloomington campus. While they were here, both showed their support of women in technology by sitting in and autographing our red chair.

Check out the photos of the two celebrities with our chair!