Since we didn't get very many women, enbies, or people of color to submit talks, the folks choosing talks for the Decentralisation & Internet Privacy track at FOSSDEM 19 decided that we'd like to ask of you:
If you submitted a talk, go ask an underrepresented minority friend/acquaintance of yours if they'd like to give the talk with you/in your stead.
CC @fosdem, can we get a little boost 💜?
@egrasmed As far as I know, @fosdem doesn't have any travel sponsorship available, right? I know people who would be great speakers for that track but can't afford to travel to Brussels. I'm also not someone who submitted a talk, but I wouldn't be surprised if those who did will have the same challenge.
@mmu_man urgh, i bet y'all have an even harder time getting diversity in there
@egrasmed yeah, that's kind of the original sin of girl exclusion from CS…
@egrasmed How about you hire actors to give all the talks? Or maybe use a suitably diverse text-to-speech program instead of the submissions' actual authors?
@dave ha ha, such a good comparison. /s
But in reality, I'm sure most people working on a project know someone equally qualified on the subject but less confident/experienced at giving conference talks. If you don't want to take the opportunity to help uplift deserving people, don't.
But honestly, I'm not interested in holding your hand on this topic. You're in the privileged position, this is your move to step down and give others voice.
Also, I think the concept of "their own original work" is fallacious. We work *with others*, and *on the work of others*.
Real stories of success are not stories of a single person's efforts, but of a whole network of efforts.
This assumption is baked into what I looked for while selecting conference talks.
@dave @egrasmed We're asking the people who proposed a talk to find, within their community, & if possible, someone who can do it who is not a white male. There are very few projects, like the Tor Project, that do not have any issue finding such speakers, because they already make an effort in hiring female developers. But if you've ever been to FOSDEM you know that 90+% of attendees & speakers are white males. Since the rest of the world is entirely different, we're questioning this situation.
I hope that free software projects are more than one person.
I hope that we can, as a community, address the question of diversity without looking like we're penalizing the dominant population.
I hope that software freedom is as well about collective freedoms, and addressing the lack of representation of minorized communities is going to help our community strengthen and grow.
@dave @how @egrasmed it’s not about discouraging people from taking credit for their own work, it’s that FOSS is all about collaboration, and this gesture is a bit about showing that FOSS isn’t just a bunch of sweaty white dudes on old IBM boxes getting yelled at by Linus Torvalds.
You don’t need actors or text-to-speech — just think about peers you have in an underrepresented group that are interested in your topic and see if they wanna tag team.