Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) on January 13, 2021 & Input Requested

Attending: @jillbinder @angelasjin @cguntur @rahuldsarker @wpfangirl @tantienhime @oneal

Start: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1610557183412500

We talked about the [Input Requested] Re-imagining the work of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) post.

Pain points that I heard behind the suggestions on the post:

  1. We need to be training the event organizers on why this matters and how to be welcoming to diversity and diverse speakers
  2. Organizers don’t have the time to put into it or don’t feel confident to be running the workshop

Things we talked about today on these pain points:

  • People have even less time and energy in 2020 / start of 2021 to focus on learning how to run this workshop and find the time to actually run it. Most of us are volunteers, so our time and energy is very limited, so most of that goes into just running the meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. itself. 
  • Also, it takes some extra effort to run the workshop because there are some extra questions we might have to answer compared to normal meetup presentations.
  • It takes more conscious effort to ensure that the presenters are a better representation of the diversity within and outside it, and the time/energy is a factor here too
  • In the US, it’s the members of the underrepresented groups that are most exhausted and most overwhelmed.
  • We need to reach the local organizers and get them on-boarded. The right communication and marketing can help.
  • The situation in the Indian subcontinent is tricky. They need to develop and train more speakers there. Both in English & in the regional language. They have lots of talented people but they are shy or not confident enough to apply or speak.
  • People are still feeling hopeful & positive about this work.

Strategies we talked about:

  • Now that the workshop is up on Learn WordPress, organizers could gather the group together and press Play.
    • The value of watching in a group rather than just watching on our own time is a) actually doing it!, and b) doing the exercises together. There is a huge value to doing them in a group rather than solo.
    • Maybe explain to people what is contained in the 4 parts, so they can choose which part to Play, individually or, if there’s time, doing multiple or all.
    • If people have more questions that the organizer can’t answer, they can come to a Discussion group, that is being run pretty regularly through the Community Team’s initiative
  • Making it easier to help organizers run the workshop live themselves:
    • Get our Train the Trainers going again. (With the better training materials that are now online, thank you Training team!, and with the new Training videos that just need a bit more work and then they’re ready)
    • An FAQ on commonly asked questions
    • An FAQ “Be a good ally” or “Handling Tricky Situations in the workshop”
    • Having ways for organizers to take the workshop themselves so that they understand better what they are teaching… Either through watching the video on Learn WordPress or live workshops.
    • Now that people can travel anywhere, maybe having meetup organizers from different places co-facilitate. Like, for example, Toronto and Vancouver co-facilitate each others’ workshops.
  • Try to gather every group that we know of who are running events this year, and have us run a workshop for everyone…. removing all work for organizers (other than inviting their local communities).
  • Put the “Creating a Welcoming and Diverse Space” on Learn WordPress, and start up Discussion groups about it
  • Encourage people to read our diversity material in the handbook

Another issue outside of the scope of this group that was raised:

  • Have better structures for meetup organizers to talk to each other, in general (not specifically about this work). More structure than just the community office hours and the meetup organizer newsletter. Maybe something like a quarterly or even annual meeting for organizers to talk about stuff and check in. Could be a brainstorming + social event for WP meetup organizers

End: https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1610560900480400

We are interested in hearing more feedback and ideas on any of this. Please comment on this post or PM @jillbinder on SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/..

#wpdiversity