Events

the Week of October 27, 2014
Curtains on a stage.

In this issue, we talk about creating accessible events, discuss the limitations of codes of conduct and critique tech’s alcohol culture. We feature lessons on building welcoming events from experienced organizers, and look at how microaggressions function at our meetups. We explore the status quo of today’s tech gatherings and cover the importance of centering marginalized voices. Plus: new Q&As, 10 tips on organizing diversity-focused events, and what “inclusion” and “safety” really mean for our conferences. Image CC-BY Angelina Lealuez.

A single penny in a jar.

We Don’t Work for Free: Centering Marginalized Community Members in Decision Making

Having cisgender white males and venture capitalists creating projects about diversity not only doesn’t make sense, it’s insulting.

Sign that reads 'This is a safe area'.

Making Tech Spaces Safe for Diverse Faces

We must examine the harmful outcomes that technology events foster: discrimination, aggression, and harassment. The only way to change these outcomes is to change behavior.

A figure drawing lines to connect diverse faces to each other.

Ten Lessons Learned from Organizing Diversity-Focused Events

Here are some methods I've learned over the past two years to create well-attended, diverse events.

Stairs leading up to a library full of stocked bookshelves.

Where Are You Really From: Microaggressions and Making Tech Meetups Safe

There are times when I don't want to be the only women of colour in the room that happens to also wear the hijab proudly. When I would rather not spend my evening being asked ignorant questions or being gawked at.

Close-up of a drink with a lemon slice.

Alcohol and Inclusivity: Planning Tech Events with Non-Alcoholic Options

Confronting the assumed use of alcohol forces admission of other issues long swept under the tech industry’s rug.

An origami unicorn.

The Invisible Minority of the Tech World

When we talk about diversity in the tech industry, Native Americans receive no attention.

by Kat Li
Photo of Chad Taylor.

Q&A: Making Tech Events Accessible to the Deaf Community

"Not many hearing people realize Deaf people have to fight for access on a daily basis."

Registration table for the conference, featuring badges, ribbons for 'okay to photograph me' or 'ask first', and assorted supplies.

A Code of Conduct Is Not Enough

Despite "doing everything right," we failed to create a safe space for our attendees. How did we screw up?

A prominent outdoor sign displaying accessibility information for a facility.

Unlocking the Invisible Elevator: Accessibility at Tech Conferences

Instead of complaining that disabled people just don't come to your conference, do something that would make them want to come to it!

Logos for the Black Weblog Awards, 2005-2011.

What Creating The Black Weblog Awards Taught Me

The Black Weblog Awards looked like a big success. But harassment, a lack of funding, “allies”, and lukewarm community support made it a constant struggle to keep going.