Setting Diversity as a DrupalCon Goal

The Drupal Association and the volunteers that contribute to DrupalCon strive to make our conference an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who come. We're actively seeking to increase the diversity of our speakers, attendees, and sponsors at DrupalCon Baltimore.

We are starting this effort by consciously working to increase the diversity of the speakers who take to the stage at DrupalCon to ensure that they better represent the Drupal community.  We are working together between the Drupal Association, Program Selection Team, Drupal’s Diversity Group, and interested community members towards our goal.

For DrupalCon Baltimore we would like to focus our resources on the following to make strides in increasing diversity among speakers:

  • Communicating our intentions to a more diverse audience
  • Providing resources (both monetary and supportive) to those from underrepresented groups that are looking to submit
  • Continuing support and communication with all selected speakers

Communicating our intentions to a more diverse audience

In working to increase our diversity, we understand that setting the intention does nothing unless you get that message out.  We want to reach beyond the group that is already tuned into DrupalCon.  We want to reach out to underserved groups that might not know about DrupalCon or who have never been invited to speak at DrupalCon.  We want to share our message with organizations that serve underrepresented groups so that they can share the opportunity with their communities.

For our conference purposes, we are actively seeking submissions from individuals who identify with one or more communities that is under-represented in the following categories: Ability - Mental and/or physical, Age, Ethnicity, Gender, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Socio-Economic Status/Class.

We have chosen these categories based on the Big 8, which is a list of cultural identifiers.  If you feel that we have missed something or would like to give feedback on this process, please contact our Program Manager.)

Providing resources (both monetary and supportive) to those from underrepresented groups that are looking to submit

We also are aware that even if a person from a underrepresented group is invited to speak at a conference, there are possible barriers that make it impossible for them to attend and share their session. To lower these barriers, we are doing our best to communicate what we offer speakers.  We are also opening up a need-based inclusion fund that is available to selected speakers who  identify with a underrepresented group.  We are committed to offering up to $350 to each of these individuals.  When submitting your session, we would ask that you please identify which underrepresented group you identify with and if you would like the inclusion fund assistance to speak at our conference.

Continuing support and communication with selected speakers

Offering support aside from financial support is also important to us, and we will be providing speaker mentoring, session coaching, and an open line of communication with speakers who would like to participate.  We want to ensure that you have the resources and support needed to make your session a success.

Ways you can help increase diversity of speakers at DrupalCon:

  • If you’re a person from a underrepresented group, submit a session!
    • Please identify which groups you identify with during your session submission so we have an accurate idea of how many people are submitted from different groups so that we can provide more resources in the future.
  • Recommend appropriate speakers and/or program committee members to the conference chairs. You may also send an email to our Program Manager.
  • Forward our call for proposals to relevant affinity groups with the message that we are looking for a diverse speaker roster.
  • Suggest to potential speakers that they submit a proposal during our Call for Proposals conference phase.
  • If you’re from a underserved group, please identify as so, but if you don’t need the inclusion funds, please don’t request it so that we can spread the fund further and include more speakers.
  • Provide feedback!  If you have thoughts about this initiative you can email our Program Manager, comment below, or submit your feedback through an anonymous webform.

 

This is the first time that we have made this dedicated effort to increasing diversity and we know that we won’t get it 100% right the first time around.  We would love to hear your feedback on how we are doing, and how we can improve.  Send our Program Manager an email with your suggestions or feedback on how we can do it better next time.