TL;DR The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) is launching 3 new programs:
- Diverse Speaker Workshops
- New: Diverse Speaker Support
- New: Allyship program
We have great opportunities for volunteers to get involved with all three programs.
Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) in the WordPress Community Team is growing once again!
This group has been helping WordPress meetups 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 WordCamps attract and develop more diverse speakers since late 2017. In 2020 alone, we quintupled our impact by reaching 71 cities in 17 countries, and participants reported a 20% increase in public speaking confidence! (Check out our impact in our monthly reports.)
With your help, we will expand #WPDiversity to three programs to continue to work towards meeting the shared vision of diversity, equity and inclusion at WordPress events around the world.
We formed these three programs based on the community’s input on “Re-imagining the work of the Diverse Speaker Training group” for 2021.
1. Diverse Speakers Workshops:
Often the speaker lineups of our meetups and WordCamps look alike and come from a similar background. There are many other voices that aren’t being heard as much: women, LGBTQIA+ individuals (which include non-binary, trans and genderqueer folk), people of color, people of different physical abilities, neurodivergent people, people who are older, etc.
Since the events of 2020, many meetups also haven’t had the bandwidth or confidence to run our workshops for themselves in their local communities any more. How can the WordPress Community Team support more diverse contributors, organizers, and leaders in WordPress?
The “Diverse Speaker workshops” from the Diversity Speaker Training working group (#WPDiversity) is a “stealthy,” highly effective way. We don’t ask people to be leaders. We bust through their impostor syndrome and help them find topics that people want to hear. Once they take that first step, many go on to do more.
Solution: Program 1 – Diverse Speaker Workshops
The Diverse Speaker Training working group will continue to run the workshop for the global community directly, which we started doing in response to the pandemic in 2020. Now that the workshops are up on Learn WordPress, it is easier for more people to join our team and run our workshops for the global community.
We also support and encourage meetup 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 WordCamp 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. organizers to run a live or watch party workshop for your local communities yourselves. We are happy to help you get set up.
“Before taking the workshops, I didn’t have the confidence for public speaking. Thanks to these sessions, I can relax, gather my thoughts, and proceed with my presentation. I would recommend this workshop to people of color in the WordPress ecosystem. You belong here; it’s a no-judgment zone where you can find your authentic voice.”– TC, Learner Advocate, @codebrother1, USA
“LOVED the #WPDiversity Workshop! It really inspired me to bring this type of content to the WordPress Mexico community and bring more diverse groups into speaking at our Meetups and WordCamps. ¡Muchas gracias!”– Maryl Gonzalez – Co-Founder / Lead UX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it./UI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. Designer | Scrum/Agile PM – The App Chefs
2. New Diverse Speaker Support program:
With the loss of in-person events, the road between Diverse Speaker workshop and public speaking was challenged, as the number of local groups running the workshop to encourage speaking at their own events dwindled. As mindset-shifting and confidence-boosting as our speaker workshops are, the most change happens when someone gets up to speak and has a good experience. We want to help people get on stage as soon as possible.
Solution: Program 2 – Diverse Speaker Support
Our working group is starting up a new Slack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel, #diverse-speaker-support, to provide continued support for our workshop participants. There will be mentorship, networking, and most importantly, support to apply for speaker spots in meetup and WordCamps!
3. New Allyship program:
There were events in 2020 that raised awareness and discussions about global inequality issues and social justice. As a result, our event organizers are more aware of diversity issues, but at the same time, feel nervous about being good allies and creating inclusive events.
Solution: Program 3 – Allyship
Our working group is launching a new Allyship program. We will train our WordPress meetup and WordCamp organizers with the Learn WordPress workshop “Creating A Welcoming and Diverse Space.”
This program will be in quarterly cohorts:
- Month 1: A private, supportive, hands-on, interactive workshop over Zoom. You will walk away with an action list to start making changes right away.
- Month 2: Public Slack coaching on #community-events
- Month 3: Public Slack accountability on #community-events
Once people have gone through one cohort, the WP Community would love it if they continue participating in the Slack coaching and accountability sessions in future quarters. People are also welcome to re-take the workshop at any time as well.
“As an organizer of a large event, we’re overwhelmed with many challenges and often overlook diversity. But building a diverse and inclusive event is at the core Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. of what makes an event extraordinary. This workshop helped me understand these benefits while also providing simple concepts that are easy to comprehend and implement step by step.”—Eric H., New York
“Before I took this workshop, I thought to have done a good job organizing inclusive and welcoming events. Thanks to this session, I realized how far I am from that. This workshop gave me a lot of inspiring ideas to put in place! I would recommend this workshop to anyone looking to achieve more diversity in their events or communities.”—Alessandro R., Italy
Call for Volunteers
In order to accomplish these ambitious goals this year, the Diverse Speaker Training working group would like to invite you to participate!
Why volunteer with our team?
- Our work is inspiring and feels good.
- We make a difference in the community — with tangible results to show it.
- We are a highly driven group with high impact. We get the right things done.
- You will learn a lot! You get great experience and training that you can use. Past volunteers have gone on to lead other groups or get job promotions. 🙂
- We value your ideas and input.
What: Our working group has all kinds of roles, from helping us develop the new programs to maintaining our current program. Workshop trainers, mentors Event Supporter (formerly Mentor) is someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues., translations, marketing, behind-the-scenes admin, and more. We also welcome people to just hang out in our meetings to participate in discussions and be available for small one-time contributions. Specific roles come up organically as we move forward, and you are also welcome to suggest creating a new role that inspires you and will assist the team in our mission.
When: You can participate as much or as little as you would like. We’d love it if you could attend meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 5-6pm UTC. Not required, but very valued.
You’re a good fit if: You have a strong desire to bring more diverse voices into WordPress events, and you want to help shape how that happens. You do not need to have any prior experience, but a willingness to share ideas, collaborate, and help define and tackle tasks would be amazing.
Our working group needs volunteers to help move this important initiative forward. If you have signed up for something, we are relying on you! We understand that things do come up, so if you commit to a task and are unable to complete it or fulfill your role, please tell us as early as possible. The sooner you tell us, the easier it is to make sure your task is covered.
Estimated time commitment:
- Group meetings: 60 minutes every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 5pm UTC.
- Attend our Diverse Speaker workshop at least once (est 2 hours).
- Attend our Allyship workshop at least once (est 2 hours).
- The rest is up to how much time you would like to give.
If you’d like to take part in this working group, please comment on this post or come and attend our next meeting (2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 5-6pm UTC on the #community-team Slack channel). I will then reach out to interested folks. If you have questions, please also feel free to comment on the post. I look forward to working with you and together creating something wonderful!
Thanks to @angelasjin and @evarlese for their feedback on this post!