Drama, Accountability, and a Way Forward

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Written By Michelle Frechette

2 thoughts on “Drama, Accountability, and a Way Forward”

  1. Thank you for these words Michelle. All of the work we put in over the past 20 years has made the WordPress community a pioneer for how open source communities can and should function.

    Other communities look to us and the practices we put in place to show them a way forward. Inclusion has a network effect.

    I was considering attending Sub Summit, looked at the speaker list, then said to myself ‘this isn’t an event for me.’ Other potential attendees will do the same – an inclusive speaker selection is where it can all start. More diverse attendees. More diverse speaker submission next year. More diverse volunteer groups.

    Let’s be as public as we can about our commitment to inclusion.

    Let’s lead the way for all Open Source communities.

  2. I really appreciate this. I recall the WCEU organizers listing out all the efforts they made to diversify their lineup, and thinking, “You know, I really wish I had heard all this while the Call for Speakers was open, maybe more suggestions could have been made.”

    We are right to expect that WordCamp organizers will make their best effort. We are right to be vocally disappointed when the results aren’t great. We are right to demand better than “this is what the applicant pool looked like.”

    And yet it is also true that this problem, by which I mean “marginalization of women, people of color, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, and others” was not created by any particular group of WordCamp organizers and it is only going to get addressed through concerted community effort.

    I would love to see greater coordination between organizers and the companies/groups willing to sponsor travel for underindexed speakers. I would love to see organizers promoting the availability of those programs as a way to encourage more applications.

    Organizers have a lot on their plate, but there are so many community-driven efforts to address this specific issue that it doesn’t have to be all on them.

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