“Creating a Welcoming and Diverse Space Workshop”
I was incredibly honored to have been invited to co-organize this workshop. I was asked to do so after writing my How to Be An Ally blog post. I understand that some people apply to speak at WCUS year after year and do not get chosen. I don’t take for granted the incredible privilege I had in being asked to work on this presentation.
A few important things to note about this workshop going in:
- This was one of the very first talks on diversity that appeared at a large regional WordCamp. I believe (please contact me if I am incorrect) that was the first diversity workshop at a WordCamp US.
- This workshop is for people who organize groups or communities. That’s it. It’s not only for people who struggle with racism or diversity, although those kinds of people would benefit as well.
- If you organize any kind of community, the Speakers and Space sections would be best for you.
- If you want to understand more about how to support diversity in a space you don’t run/organize, the Mindset and Allyship sections would be good for you.
The feedback we got from this presentation was incredible. The conversations we have afterward were emotional and moving. The impact of this workshop will be powerful and long-term. I only wish it could have been larger.
Out of the 1500~ WCUS attendees, fewer than 20 individuals attended this workshop. The Community Track room that this workshop was in was not live-streamed at all. There are people I know who would have directly benefitted from this workshop, people who need this workshop, who did not come.
It makes me wonder about the ways we speak about topics like this. It crossed my mind that seeing the title, many people would have thought, “I’m not a racist, I don’t need diversity training.” And so, didn’t come. To me, this expresses the need to couch these discussions in our every-day discussions, as well as having dedicated content on diversity and inclusion. Diversity is necessary and lacking at every single level of our WordPress community and our technical community. Any talk about people should include mention of the moves we can make to make our communities more enriched by diversity.
If you attended the workshop or reviewed our slides afterward, please leave me a comment with the #1 takeaway you got from it. What was the one thing that stuck out, that one ah-ha moment you got? This workshop will be reiterated and re-performed and it can only grow from here.
Description: Do you run a WordPress event, but noticed only one type of person is attending? You’d love to have more diversity in your group, but folks are either not showing up – or they attend once and don’t come back. What can you do to foster, promote, and support diversity and an inclusive space? In this workshop, we’ll cover 5 topics: Shifting the way you think about diversity; how to attract and foster a diverse community; creating a welcoming environment, both in person and online; how to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to step up to be speakers and leaders; and how to be a better ally. You will walk away with an action list to start making changes right away. This is not just for organizers, but anyone who wants to champion this kind of environment, now or in the future! Bring an electronic device or computer: We will be working with a workbook PDF and there will be an opportunity to anonymously submit those questions you’ve always wanted to know but been afraid to ask.