Free and Open Software Conference and Expo - Columbus, Ohio - October 24-26, 2014

Diverse Inclusive Open Source Workshop 2014

If you want Free and Open Source Software communities to become more diverse and inclusive, and want to meet others who are working toward the same goal, then come to the Diverse Inclusive Open Source workshop!

This workshop is shaped by the people who come to it. If you attend, you're welcome to present a short talk, artwork, video, essay, or whatever format you're comfortable with. Or you can submit ideas for discussion topics. Even if you can't attend the workshop, you can still submit stuff for display on a website. Contributions are accepted up until the workshop, which is October 26. 

(This page has been edited. The previous version is here.) 

Motivation

"Another thing about "meritocracy"... is that it implies excluding people who aren't good enough, who fail the 'merit' test. But why exclude people who someone judges 'not good enough' if those people could still be contributing *something*?" — Tim Chevalier, commenting on Garann Means, "you keep using that word"

"We finally have the means to allow more than just programmers and big game publishers to create games — and the vast majority of people in the world aren't engineers, or designers employed by Epic Games. What do we gain by giving so many people the means to create games? We gain a lot more games that explore much wider ground, in terms of both design and subject matter." — Anna Anthropy, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters

"We are not just another diversifySTEM™ organization aiming to integrate 'minority' groups into the so-called 'open source' community. We are creating our own space." — The Empowermentors Collective

"I ask that we... question whether we are willfully participating in, and internalizing, the ways capitalism associates our human worth with the amount of production they can extract from us." — Chio, "Stop the Glorification of Busy"

What would the world be like if everyone who used a computer / mobile device knew how to contribute to the open source software they're using? What if more open-source projects were created by people who are poor, people with disabilities, people who don't speak English, and people who are primary caregivers for kids or elders? What if anyone could join an open-source community without fear of harassment?

When and where?

There are two parts to the workshop: an in-person event and a website.

The in-person workshop is Sunday, October 26, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. It's co-located with and sponsored by Ohio LinuxFest. If you come to the workshop, you're welcome (though not required) to attend Ohio LinuxFest as well.

Even if you can't attend the in-person event, you can still participate by submitting work for display on a public website. Every (relevant) submission will be accepted for the website.

Who can participate?

Have you ever been pushed to the margins of open source? Have you experienced racism, classism, ableism, sexism, cissexism, transphobia, homophobia, etc.? Maybe you've had to put up with jokes about people like you. Maybe you've been harassed. Maybe you've gone to an event and you couldn't get your wheelchair through or you couldn't find a safe restroom. Maybe you've missed an event because you couldn't afford it. Maybe you have to choose between being yourself or fitting in.

Have you contributed to a feminist, anti-racist, or other social justice project? The project doesn't necessarily have to be related to open source. Have you learned something from it that could apply to open source?

Do you want to learn how you can make open source more diverse and inclusive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this workshop is for you.

How to participate?

You're invited to share your thoughts and experiences in pretty much any format — a short talk, a video, a skit, an essay, a story, a song, a comic strip, a video game, or however you can best express them.

You can also suggest any number of topics for group discussions during the workshop. 

Read on for details. If you have any questions, you're welcome to ask dios@ohiolinux.org.

Choosing a topic

What topics are relevant for this workshop? Basically, your own experiences as a marginalized person in open source and/or your ideas on how to make things better.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Something that made you angry
  • Something that helped you participate
  • Someone you admire
  • Some data you collected
  • Something you want to change

 

Submitting your work

1. You create an account on the Ohio LinuxFest website and log in.

2. You submit a summary ("proposal") of the work you'd like to create. It should include a title and several sentences of description. (This gives you a quick way to make sure your idea is OK for the workshop, before you invest a lot of effort in creating it.) 

3. The DIOS organizers decide if the summary is OK for the in-person event or the website, based on the selection criteria (below). You'll get an email from them within a couple weeks. 

4. If your work was accepted for the in-person event, then be sure to register for the workshop soon (or let us know if you can't attend), in case the workshop fills up. 

5. If your work was accepted for the website, then, a couple weeks before the in-person workshop, you'll get instructions on how to post your work on the website. You retain the copyright on your work. At any time in the future, you may request to have it removed from the website.

Registering for the event

1. You create an account on the Ohio LinuxFest website and log in.

2. You fill out the workshop registration form (link to be announced). Registration is first-come, first-served. 

 

Selection criteria

Note from an organizer: How do you have a selection process that avoids marginalizing people? Well, for one thing, the selecting needs to be done by a diverse group of people. Right now DIOS doesn't have that. Can you help by volunteering to be an organizer? Do you have any other concerns or suggestions about the selection process? Please email dios@ohiolinux.org. — Jaymie

For the website, all proposals will be accepted as long as they don't meet any of the criteria for rejection (below).

For the in-person event, a limited number of proposals will be accepted. If your proposal is accepted, you'll get 10 minutes to present your work (not including questions and discussion). You can submit multiple proposals, but probably not more than one will be accepted.

Things that will make your work more likely to be accepted:

  • Less-heard viewpoint — Since much discussion of diversity/inclusion in tech is dominated by men and women who are white, cis, able-bodied, and privileged-class, this workshop will give precedence to proposals that speak from different viewpoints.
  • Intersectionality — Since discussions of diversity/inclusion often ignore the fact that people within a group have a wide range of experiences and issues (for example, those of white middle-class women are not typical of all women), this workshop will give precedence to proposals that are keenly aware of this fact.
  • Clear description — Your proposal should communicate:
    • The type of work you plan to present (short talk, video, etc.).
    • What your work will be about / the story it will tell.
    • What you hope other workshop participants will learn or experience from your work.
  • Thoughtful planning — If your presentation relies on internet access, what's your backup plan in case the meeting room wifi is unreliable? Does your presentation require any special equipment other than a projector and speakers? If applicable, talk about this in your proposal.

Things that won't affect your chances of acceptance:

  • Your résumé — Although prior experience with open source or diversity/inclusion might help you come up with an interesting idea for your proposal, your level of experience won't directly be part of the selection process.
  • The tone of your proposal — For example, it won't be rejected as "too angry" or "too negative".

Things that will get your work rejected:

  • Possibility of libel or slander — If you talk about a specific person's wrongdoing, avoid saying anything that could get the workshop into trouble for libel or slander. Either stick to public information (such as Twitter feeds and conference presentations) or don't identify the person.
  • Against the purpose of the workshop — Any proposal that opposes diversity/inclusion or that violates the DIOS anti-harassment policy (below) will be rejected. Any proposal that marginalizes people will be considered for rejection. If the proposal can be easily fixed (e.g. different word choice), then you'll be asked to revise it. If the problems are fundamental, then the proposal will be rejected.

You're also encouraged to submit a talk to Ohio LinuxFest — including longer talks about diversity/inclusion. Having a talk accepted at Ohio LinuxFest won't affect your chances of having a proposal accepted at DIOS.

Yes, you!

Not sure if your topic is "good enough" for this workshop? Not sure if you're ready to give a workshop presentation? Please drop the organizers an email (dios@ohiolinux.org)! We're here to help if you're unsure about something or you want to run an idea by us.

What will the in-person workshop be like?

The workshop will be held at a meeting room in the Drury Inn at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. It will be a mix of presentations and discussions. We're aiming for between 15 and 50 people to participate.

Coffee and lunch will be served. (If you have any dietary needs, please mention that when you register for the workshop.)

The DIOS workshop has been held annually at Ohio LinuxFest since 2009. This is the first year to include presentations by participants.

Cost

Registration is free. It includes coffee and lunch.

Parking is $14 for 12 hours at the Greater Columbus Convention Center or less at nearby parking lots.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center is accessible via COTA bus ($4.50 for a day pass) COGO bike share ($6 for a day pass).

If you'd like to attend but may not be able to afford it, please let the organizers know (dios@ohiolinux.org). We're looking into providing sponsorships for regional travel, hotel, childcare, etc. Though we don't yet know the amount of funding available, it would help to know how many people need financial aid.

Anti-harassment policy

The following policy applies to both the in-person event and the website:

DIOS is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of workshop participants in any form. Workshop participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event/website at the discretion of the workshop organizers.

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of presentations or discussions, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Exception: Discussion or images related to sex, discriminatory language, or similar is welcome if it meets all of the following criteria: (a) either it is in a proposal being submitted or it was described in a proposal accepted by the organizers, (b) it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists, (c) it is presented in a respectful manner, especially towards people who are women and/or LGBTQIA, (d) attendees are warned in advance in the program and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand. This exception specifically does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please report it immediately. Methods of reporting issues include:

  • In-person event:
    • Contact a DIOS or Ohio LinuxFest staff/volunteer (identified by red or green highlighted name badges).
    • Email olf-security@ohiolinux.org.
    • Call the toll free number 888-OHLINUX(645-4689) and select option 8.
    • Call the local Columbus police department at 614-645-4545.
  • Website:

 

Organizers

The workshop is organized by:

  • Jaymie Strecker — A white, genderqueer, middle-class, able-bodied, anxiety-disordered software developer from southeastern Ohio.
  • ... you? If you'd like to become an organizer, email dios@ohiolinux.org.

Support is provided by the Ohio LinuxFest staff.

Contact

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns about DIOS, email dios@ohiolinux.org.

If you'd like to discuss DIOS, meet other participants, or arrange a ride share, you can join the mailing list.