Summary from the Diversity & Inclusion Team Meetup – Fedora Community Blog


Fedora’s Diversity & Inclusion Team held a virtual meetup on Sunday March 21st, 2021. We had more than 20 attendees, with three main planning sessions and a Storytelling Workshop. The team had a successful event connecting, processing, and looking towards the future. The Storytelling Workshop was a fun way to unwind after a day of meetings and do something different as a team.

The team decided that Justin Flory will step down as D&I Advisor to Council at the end of this release cycle and Vipul Siddharth will step into the position. We discussed the vision we have for the team moving forward. One of the main sentiments was that we would like to involve the the “techy” or coding teams of the Fedora Project more into our efforts and events. In an endeavor to forward that involvement we are discussing moving from Fedora Women’s Day (FWD) to Fedora Week of Diversity (also, FWD), that would still include the former Fedora Women’s Day. Moving to a Fedora Week of Diversity would provide more opportunities to highlight all aspects of diversity, as well as provide the team more creativity with the event.

The Diversity & Inclusion Team is always looking for new contributors. We are in a planning and formulations phase, so feel free to join us on #fedora-diversity on IRC if you are interested in becoming involved!

Meetup Readout

Session: D&I Team Debrief

General Notes

  • D&I: This is still really new work in the scope of history, especially in the software & tech setting
    • draining work
    • resources may not be there, or not known how to use
    • self care is important
  • It would be great to have check ins
    • Main goal would be to stay connected and provide support
    • Casual D&I meetups, maybe monthly?
  • People have personal ties to Fedora and why it is important to them. Why do you Fedora?
    • Brings confidence
    • It is always there, through good times and bad
    • Friendship, fellowship

D&I Team History

  • Starting with a D&I rep to the council and grew from there
  • Diversity panel
    • talked about experiences
    • some adversity at the panel
  • FWD was one of the first things to be worked on
    • FWD is exciting because it happens all over the world, fosters inclusion, and is a decentralized way to empower communities
    • FWD 2020 virtual was a success, but it was mostly on Marie to organize
  • This team was always volunteer driven (no full time Fedorans)
    • When curve balls hit, things fell off the track
    • Council D&I rep was more work than is visible
  • Looking for support from the Council/external sources
    • Help to prioritize things
    • Help with strategy/direction

What did we learn?

  • Burnout
    • Sustainability = onboarding new folks was lacking
  • Being connected is important. We are a community, not just busy bees!
    • It is hard to pick up doing things quickly if we are not feeling connected.
    • We would like to start monthly informal meet-ups where we get together and hang out, not just work on Fedora.
  • Newcomers/onboarding
    • Need easyfix tickets for newcomers to get involved easily, right now it is hard to discern what to do when interested in the D&I team.
    • Too many tasks to choose from, hard to decipher where to start
      • People experience choice paralysis because fedora is huge
      • Created a limited number of tasks for newcomers to choose from

What did we do well?

  • Mentoring interns (mostly as individuals, but there is a lot of overlap)
  • Fedora Women’s Day
    • 6 six years running
    • Participation across four continents
  • Outreachy
    • Sponsoring Outreachy internships from D&I budget allocation
    • Coordinating and supporting
  • Happiness Packets
  • Fedora Appreciation Week
  • Friendship & support to each other
  • Representation
    • We’ve seen an increase in participation of women at Flock
  • Unconscious bias & imposter syndrome sessions

Session: D&I team: Goals, focus, future

General notes

  • Marie is here to help run meetings and support with project management
  • Justin is stepping down as D&I rep, to be replaced by Vipul

What would we like to see

  • Exposure to a broader swath of Fedora
    • How can we involved the rest of the community?
    • We need to promote events better
    • Reach out more through various platforms, to let folks know that we are here
  • The mentorship role in our team could be better aligned with Join SIG/ambassador mentor role
    • Something could be included in the new Join tickets
  • Hybrid events moving forward
    • Team focuses mostly on virtual events, folks can also do local events
  • Matrix/Element will also be improved
    • How can we capitalize on the new chat system?
      • Events, socials, video/audio, integration into other platforms
  • Articles/events/content that address mental health/marginalized folks/empowering & encouraging folks & underrepresented people
  • More docs (D&I) on how to continue contributing to (D&I and Fedora in general)

Conclusion

  • It is important for us to stay focused as a team.
    • We need to prioritize. Tackle limited things at a time to achieve progress.
  • Use our current infrastructure as best we can
  • Categories of improvement/work
    • Docs (D&I doc) (1)
      • Think more strategically, what do we want to put up here?
      • What do we do?
      • How to start (“fedora-join links ?”)
      • How to help?
        • How to continue to help? (Pointing to “fedora-join ?”)
    • Promotion/Marketing/Content (2)
    • Events (3)
    • Outreach/Support/Resource Library (4)

Session: Future of FWD

General Notes

  • “Fedora Women’s Day” -> “Fedora Week of Diversity”
  • Should include FWD local/virtually
    • 2 Time zone event (EU/US) if it is become too bigger so we an comfort everyone as well.
  • In person events could happen that week, and at the end their could be a virtual event
    • do local events, and then come back and connect with the community
  • Think about how to get techy people involved in the event
  • Let’s think about intersectionality, how can we feature that, how can we engage in a technical/creative community
    • Can this be a longer term process? Involving folks in activities before and after
  • We can include Women’s Days and other “days”, if we have the proper representation

Outcomes (vision)

  • Networking
  • Involving the broader Fedora community in the event
  • Inspiration

Brainstorm Session

  • Week of creation
  • Diversity hackathon
  • Week with a session a day with a guest facilitating conversations related to D&I
  • Fedora Stories: Building on contributor stories? We never found a permanent home for that.
  • FWD/D&I in podcast and make talks (non-tech stuff)
  • Fedora Zine takeover or make a bunch of pages for the zine
  • Mixing the idea of building diversity themed tech/craft projects
    • Featured during the virtual component. This could be a great way to get people to network and engage with one another.
    • Can help with education & incorporating & storytelling.



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