Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on Jan 9, 2019

Attending: @jillbinder @miriamgoldman @simo70 @angelasjin @newyorkerlaura @michelebutcher-jones @jamieschmid @cguntur @webrite



  • Welcome new members and get them on board
  • Start talking about the new year goals a little bit – with more in depth discussions in the upcoming weekend Zoom call.
  • Cover some of the small details that are next for us to tackle
  • Talk about supporting you to run the diversity speakers workshop in your own city

New Members

I’m thrilled that with the new year, we have a number of folks joining or returning to the group. It’s a great way to start off the year. And with our new focuses for the year, it’s great to have more joining.

And we get that it’s volunteer. People come and go. Do what you need to do. We are glad for any help that we get, no matter how big or small.
To help you get oriented, we have a post explaining what we’ve done so far and where were at at the end of 2018:

In 2019 we have new goals, but this is still a great start, as the end goal in that doc is where I’d like you to start: considering running the workshop in your city. More in that in a bit.

Also! This is new: We have a new, quick questionnaire for new folks to fill out so I can get to know you and help me direct what you’re doing in the team so that it’s fulfilling for you. I’d also like to get all current members to fill it out too, please!

The first thing I would like all folks in the team to do, new and old, is to consider running our speaker training / diversity outreach workshop in your local city.

Before starting to ask people to do this last year, folks were feeling lost on what we are about. Doing the workshop helps you understand it intimately. After that, folks started being able to think through more, make decisions within the team, and jump in where needed.

And then some may be interested in going on to be Trainers in our team to help MeetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. around the world run theirs.

Any obstacles you may encounter to running it will likely be things you’ll be helping Meetups overcome, so it’s a great practice and training ground.

You’re welcome to either just pick up the material and run it:

Or join one of our trainings. In fact, @angelasjin is running one tomorrow that you could attend. This is our sign up form to let us know you’d like to run a workshop with or without training, and also let us know if you would like training:

It’s just suggested. You can of course participate in our team without having run it. Only a few have run it so far. Though most have attended a training, and even just that in itself helped them understand more of what we’re doing and helped them be able to participate more.

angelasjin: I don’t have anyone signed up for the session tomorrow yet, so I’d love for you to join!

@jamieschmid: How long do the trainings last?

@jillbinder: They are currently 2 hours, though one of our goals for this year is to shorten them. It’s a 1h and 20m recording, and then time before to connect with the participants and set them up, and time afterwards to answer questions and help them get the resources they need.

If you don’t have all that time, I can also just give you the script that includes the recordings and what we say before and after. That is also something that we offer to participants if they don’t have the time as well.
(Or can’t attend for any reason.)

@jamieschmid: So as a trainer, you play a recording during the meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. and do in person interaction before and after?

@jillbinder: Yes! In person being on a webcam call, as we are training folks all over the world. We also prompt them to participate in the recording in the Zoom text chat window. As in the recording there are exercises that the recorded people are following, and we like the participants to be doing them as well.

@jamieschmid: That’s sort of confusing. Perhaps we can come up with a better name for the train-the-trainers people and sessions. Or vice versa.

@jillbinder: I would like that! There are a number of things I’d like us to look at renaming this year. I’ll mention them later in the meeting.

Reports (what people have been working on)

I have a training on the 27th if people can’t make @angelasjin tomorrow. Also trying to prod my team here in Ottawa to kick off WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. planning, so I can actually plan to run the workshop here! Oh yes, I applied to WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event., WordCamp Calgary, and WC Nordic – and our team will be heavily mentioned if accepted.

This morning, I sent out a number of emails to see if anyone wants to join the training session tomorrow. I’ll keep an eye on the queue and will follow up if needed.

Not much except keeping an eye on HelpScout.

I submitted our workshop for WCEU.

@jillbinder: I applied to WCEU as well. It would be great if we both get in and talk about our work!

@newyorkerlaura: I also applied at EU, not on a diversity talk.

@newyorklaura: I don’t want to step on @simo70’s toes, but was wondering if there would be any need for practical help during the workshop whether is was handing things out or whatever.

@jillbinder: @newyorkerlaura Great! @simo70 if you get accepted, please let @newyorkerlaura know if she there is anything she can do to help

@jamieschmid: I’m doing a WP101 at WCPhoenix and I’ll mention our work.

@jillbinder: Thanks, @jamieschmid! We have a link to share with folks to learn about our workshop and sign up for the training:

This Coming Year

The most active team members and I met late last year to talk about how we did in 2018 and what we’d like to do in 2019.

I’d like to share with you in depth what we discussed on a web cam call so we can have more organic discussions about it. We are choosing a time for this official kick off meeting for a Zoom call in the next two weekends. Please choose as many times as you can most likely make it. Please fill it out by 11:59pm Pacific time this Thursday, January 10.

I’ll give a preview now, planting the seeds before our call.

  • Getting set up so that by the end of 2020, 100 meetups a year are running the workshop
  • Scaling up our promotions so that more meetups hear about us
  • Scaling up our ability to support and train so many
  • Improving the Train the Trainers recording (content and video quality!)
  • Helping meetups who have run the workshop before do it again. They may have new folks running it who didn’t do it last year, or are coasting off of the success of year 1 and thus are less successful in year 2.
  • Maintaining our current work
  • Incorporating previous feedback and collecting new feedback
  • Making our processes clear! Seems like right now I’m the most clear of anyone and I’d like everyone to know what is going on. smiles
  • Getting a project management system in place so we all know who is doing what

So year 1 was a lot of getting things started. I let go of perfect in order to get things done.

This year we know more of what we’re doing and so it’s time to start improving. This year I’d like to:

  • keep our great momentum going
  • improve that which is really important to improve
  • help even more meetups

A couple of the first things I’ll want us to be looking at soon:

  • New name for our group. The current name is long and hard to say, and it is becoming increasingly important as I seek funding for leading the team to have something short and clear.
  • New hashtag for the group. We started focusing on women. We quickly expanded to all diversity, and never did figure out how to reflect that. Our current hashtag is #wpwomenspeak

@cguntur: Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend a weekend meeting in Jan. But, I would still love to help. I might be able to help with getting a project management system in place.

@jillbinder: Ok, thanks @cguntur! We’ll do our best to write up a good recap. If people on the call are ok with it, I may also record it.

Of note: I am in a business school right now working on how to take this diversity work further and make a bigger impact — and one of my classmates specializes in project management. He’s started helping me think through the needs of the team.

One detail that was previously requested:

We have a Google folder now!

And inside that folder is a document with links to where everything lives, as not all are google docs.

@jamieschmid: Can we create a google doc for brainstorming names?

@jillbinder: That’s a great idea. Would you be willing to get that started, @jamieschmid? (I’m not quite clear what that would look like, and it sounds like you have a clear picture of it.)

@jamieschmid: Yes. I’ll be adding a brainstorm doc to the drive folder/doc list so we can decide on a hashtag for Diversity Outreach-related discussion!

Productivity Help

I don’t know about you, but I was finding I was getting overwhelmed easily doing work, life, and this kind of volunteer work.

(Ok, I do know that some volunteers sometimes took on too much as well.)

A few months ago I started a new, simpler productivity system. Those in the team might have noticed that I suddenly got on the ball again and got a lot more done.

I just started sharing it in a Facebook group yesterday, and I’d love to support this team in “doing more by doing less” as well… So that we all stay centered while still accomplishing what we want to do in all areas…. So if you’re on FB and are interested in what I’m calling the The Simplify Productivity 2019 challenge, it’s over here:

@jamieschmid: I LOVE the productivity idea! Joining.

Final Questions & Thoughts

@jamieschmid: Someone mentioned HelpScout. What is that and is it something we are using in this team?

@jillbinder: Good q, @jamieschmid! It’s the customer service emailing system that the Community Team (which we are a part of) uses. When meetups fill out the form on they go into our Helpscout queue and we communicate with them there. One of the reasons for it is so that anyone on the team who has access can jump in and communicate with them. It also lets us keep track of who is Active, Closed, Dormant, waiting for training, been trained, etc. I request access from the Community Team for it on an as needed basis. So only a handful in our team are on it right now.

@miriamgoldman: I’m excited for what 2019 brings us!

@jillbinder: @miriamgoldman It’s going to be a great year! I’m excited too.

Don’t forget to fill out the doodle poll, all. Before the meeting today, this Saturday was winning for our Zoom call, and now the Saturday after is winning. There is still time to sway it.

Thanks everyone for being in the meeting today. Great energy. See you soon!

Next Actions

  1. New members, read:
  2. All members and especially new members, fill out the Welcome Questionnaire:
  3. Fill out the doodle poll for deciding on the weekend’s meeting:
  4. @jamieschmid starts up a google doc for brainstorming the name for the group, our new hashtag, and how we refer to the workshop and trainings.