Collaborating would mean normalizing the “hate and bigotry” she believes the Trump administration represents, Saujani wrote in an op-ed published by The New York Times on Thursday.
According to Saujani, she received a call from Ivanka Trump’s office in late January to invite her to meet and discuss a new computer science education initiative for which Saujani’s nonprofit Girls Who Code could be a good partner.
Her organization gives free coding classes to grade school and high school girls and is projected to reach 40,000 girls in all 50 U.S. states by the end of this year. Saujani said she was prepared to collaborate with Trump’s White House “in the interest of furthering our mission,” similar to how she had engaged with the Obama administration.
Three days later, Trump signed an executive order, the so-called “Muslim travel ban,” and Saujani, who is the daughter of refugees expelled from Uganda, changed her mind.