At Fedora, we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the community. With this in mind, the Fedora Diversity Team together with the Diversity Advisor work on planning and implementation of diversity and inclusion(D&I) efforts such as the enforcement of the code of conduct, highlighting the diverse community in Fedora and offering workshops and fostering communication between Fedora sub-projects. I am lucky to have been a part of this team since some time now. Big thanks to Amita Sharma who invited me to join the Diversity team.
At FLOCK 2016, we had a Fedora Diversity Panel Discussion where we discussed key issues affecting Diversity and Inclusion in Fedora with the Fedora community and heard their concerns. Post FLOCK, we have been working on devising a strategy to address some of the critical issues related to D&I in Fedora. From Jan 27- 29, we conducted our first FAD (like an in-person work meet) in Brno, CZ where Fedora Diversity Team got together in-person to fast-track some of the critical issues relevant to our goals. We also invited Fedora Community Action and Impact Co-ordinator, Brian Exelbird to join us in this FAD.
You can take a look at the logic model detailing our goals for the FAD here. While the agenda was a bit aggressive, having a detailed plan help us delegate our time effectively and look at critical issues.
Fedora Community Survey
The FAD had a massive impact on the progress of the survey. We looked at past community surveys in open source communities, identified and selected questions we wanted to ask, designed the survey and identified the platforms, sketched a timeline for it’s implementation and future tasks.
The biggest decision we probably made was to move away from a survey faced towards just Diversity and Inclusion and focus it more towards Fedora community and it’s composition. Since such a thing has never been done before, we do not have much data about Fedora community and this survey holds the key to achieving that. This also made us move away from any implicit exclusion that might have resulted from our pre-conceived notions of diversity and inclusion.
I feel that Brian did a great job in summarizing the key questions we are looking to answer :
- Are there pockets of people we can energize to help us further our progress on objectives and missions in ways we don’t realize?
- How do we compare to other communities?
- Are there changes we should consider to better serve our community, for example, providing information for localization efforts
Each question and it’s options were scrutinized intensively to assess which new information the question offered to answer and how relevant was it to our current goals, whether it’s language was positive and inclusive of our community and if the options offered were such that they would capture the maximum information possible. We also designed the options to ensure that we were not too penetrative while gathering information but at the same time the survey wouldn’t end up mostly blank. A ‘Prefer Not to Say’ option was hence included instead of making the question optional. Time is of utmost value and hence, we conducted a final voting to ensure that the survey length was ideal for participants. A final list of questions was drafted and is currently awaiting legal review before pushing to production.
Fedora Appreciation Week
Contributors are extremely valuable to open source projects and we at Fedora want to thank the community and appreciate their hard work and valuable contributions without which we wouldn’t be here today. Along these lines, we decided to have a “Fedora Appreciation Week” – a week long celebration of our contributors and their value to the project. We had some great discussions around these and sketched out a rough plan about how it would be implemented using Fedora Badges, Thank You messages and revolving these around the core values of Fedora – Friends. Freedom. Features. First. Stay tuned for more information about this.
Joining Forces with other Open Source communities
Creating diverse and inclusive communities is not a one-man task. It requires the involvement of entire community. We however feel that it shouldn’t be limited to single communities either. Open Source Communities can learn from each other and build from their research so that resources are utilized to their full potential. Our team is currently researching into findings and strategies of other open source communities and if you know any such community which you want us to look into and learn from, don’t hesitate to talk to us via our mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org
Get involved with Fedora Diveristy
Are you interested in the work we do? Do you want to get involved with Fedora Diversity ? Do you have suggestions for Diversity team about our methods or things we should look into? Do you want to know what Fedora Diversity Team is currently working on ?
Feel free to drop by our biweekly meetings on Freenode #fedora-meeting-1 on Wednesdays at 12:00 UTC.
A huge thanks to Fedora Project Leader, Matthew Miller and Fedora Council for making this possible. To Marina Z. and Tatica for joining us remotely and providing their valuable inputs even though the timings were sometimes less than suitable. To Brain for keeping us on track, questioning and re-questioning every small and large decision. To Justin, for the awesome logic model without which gave us a sense of purpose and reminded us of our goals. To Amita, for all the pre-planning before FAD and post FAD – which was definitely a lot- without you we wouldn’t have had a FAD. To Jona, for her inputs and learning on Albanian community and non-technical aspects of Fedora. To Rhea, for the awesome restaurant suggestions along with taking care of all logistics – without you we would have been dead or sick in Brno. To all of you, for making this FAD a huge success.