Call for Participants: Diverse Speaker Workshop Online April 14-16

During this time of online events, the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) would like to facilitate more diverse voices sharing knowledge and stories in the virtual space. We are going to hold a 3-part workshop, one hour each day, to help people with:

  • Dispelling some myths about speakers/speaking (Overcoming the thought, “But I’m not an expert in anything”)
  • Coming up with topics and choosing one (Answering the question, “I wouldn’t know what to talk about!”)
  • Writing a 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. description or 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. pitch
  • Online stage presence (new!)

These will all be held at 6-7pm UTC / 2-3pm ET:

  • Tuesday, April 14: Who am I to be speaking? & Finding a topic that people would love to hear (No prerequisite)
  • Wednesday, April 15: Creating a great pitch (Prerequisite: Please come with an idea for a talk. If you don’t have one, then please make sure you attend Tuesday!)
  • Thursday, April 16: Online stage presence (No prerequisite)

You are encouraged to attend all sessions, but you are also welcome to attend only the sessions you wish.

Please note! This training is intended to train speakers who are members of a marginalized or underrepresented group in terms of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, etc.

If this is you, please sign up in the Registration form!

Everyone, please help us spread the word.

Register for the workshop session(s) now

P.S. Others who like to attend these sessions because you want to learn how to be good allies, please note that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion material is not covered in these workshops. If there is enough interest, we could hold a different workshop for you in the future.

Also, we have two documents for you: Building A Diverse Speaker Roster and Inclusive and Welcoming Events.

Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) Zoom call on March 25, 2020

Today we had a Zoom call for our meeting.

Agenda:

  1. How are you doing during the crisis?
  2. Where are you at with volunteering for the group? What do you need?
  3. Changing our project for the crisis

1. How are you doing during the crisis?

People shared the challenges that they are facing and how they are feeling.

2. Where are you at with volunteering for the group? What do you need?

I prefaced this with “Due to the crisis, I understand that how you’re feeling about it today can change tomorrow, and change each day, so this is not a commitment. This is just a check-in for today.”

Those who were able to attend today said they have the time and motivation to be volunteering for the group, but felt like it may not be the right project for the community right now. One mentioned that either our project needs to change or they will find another project to volunteer for.

3. Changing our project for the crisis

The observation I’ve made is 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. and 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. organizers are in no position to be learning a new workshop right now, nor to be thinking about diversifying their speaker lineups.

However, I believe that individual WordPress community members are looking for things to learn at home, and so they are more motivated.

These are the first ideas that Andrea and I came up with previously:

  • Individuals are craving connection, content, and personal growth. We can hold monthly workshops for individuals. There could be extra content for having stage presence online.
  • The monthly workshops could still be meetup region-specific, holding a workshop for individual meetups
  • We could hold “stage presence online”-specific workshops
  • We could offer more one-on-one speaker mentorship
  • We could hold group, open speaker mentorship sessions
  • We could offer our “Creating a welcoming and diverse space” workshop for WordPress event organizers
  • We could host open discussions about diversity issues that WordPress event organizers face

We didn’t have the time for brainstorming more ideas as we spent a lot of time on the first item of the agenda, which was the most important thing today.

I would love to hear more ideas in the comments or dm 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/. (@jillbinder), please!

A meetup organizer said that because she’s done the workshop before and had fantastic results, she feels comfortable to do it again this year, even online.

She also mentioned that meetup organizers probably only need a couple of months of figuring things out before they are ready for learning things like this again.

#wpdiversity

Special meeting for Diverse Speaker Training group (#wpdiversity) on Wednesday, March 25

It is a difficult time, and as such, I’d like to have a different meeting with the group.

Due to the crisis, some group members are likely feeling tapped out and some are itching to do extra. Also, our working group may need to change how we do things during this time.

Agenda for Wednesday @ 5pm UTC:

  1. How are you doing? How are you feeling? Let’s talk, let’s vent.
  2. Our team may need to pivot. Let’s brainstorm how we could serve the community now given the changed landscape.

Just a reminder that attending does not mean committing to doing anything! Even more so at this time when I fully understand that emotions are running high and for many, bandwidth can be low. Team members, please come regardless if you can so I know where you’re at and so that we can support each other. You’re also welcome to not talk but just listen.

This special meeting will be by Zoom rather than the usual 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/.. You can get the link from the reminder that @miriamgoldman will be sending out on the #community-team channel just before.

This meeting is intended for current members of the team only, but if you aren’t in our group yet, message @jillbinder on Slack to figure out together if it’s appropriate for you to attend this meeting or wait until our next one. We meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5-6pm UTC.

Diverse Speaker Training group (#wpdiversity) meeting
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
5-6pm UTC
Get the Zoom link just before the time on the #community-team channel
Current group members, please.

(All others, message @jillbinder to figure out together if you should attend this meeting or wait to join us on our next one on April 8.)

COVID-19 And The Diverse Speaker Training (#wpdiversity) Group

As you can imagine, the COVID-19 crisis affects the Diverse Speaker Training group (#wpdiversity) which is all about creating more speakers for in-person meetups and WordCamps. Many WordCamps are being canceled or are moving to being online. Folks are confused, tired, and sad, and developing a more diverse speaker lineup is not top of mind.

During this time, if organizers are looking for community-building projects to work on remotely while in-person gatherings are not recommended, it would be worth considering putting on a Diverse Speaker Workshop to develop your speakers from underrepresented groups. You can do all of this online.

You can be getting your speakers ready for when we are able to do in-person events again.

Also, if you’re holding your events online during this time, it is worth noting that speaking online removes some of the initial barriers that some folks from underrepresented groups have in public speaking. It might be an easier time for some of the new speakers to get started.

It would also be appealing for the attendance of your online events to have fresh voices and perspectives that haven’t been heard from before.

Just something to consider, if/when folks in your group feel up to doing something like this.

We can help you with holding your Diverse Speaker Workshop online. The lead of this group has run this workshop fully online many times before.

Get started here: https://tiny.cc/wpdiversity

Question for the community: Diverse Speaker Training Group (#wpdiversity) 2019 Year-End Report

2019 was quite a year!

First, we had goals in 2019 that we came close to meeting but did not quite hit. As the goal is 25 meetups/WordCamps run our workshop from May 1, 2019 – April 30, 2020, we are breaking that down to say 15 run it between June and November 2019.

We had 10 meetups run it in 7 countries. It should be noted that our number was quite close to Jan-Dec 2018, where we had 12 in 6 countries.

The places that ran it, as far as we know, are:

Canada
– Vancouver (ran it twice)

India
– Ahmedabad

Italy
– Torino
– Verona

Portugal
– Lisboa
– South Africa
– Cape Town (Ran workshop on diversity that was heavily inspired by ours)

Spain
– Sevilla

USA
– Houston
– Oakland
– Seattle

It is a challenge to know which places ran it. Most of these were self-reported to us and we followed up by confirming that they had 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. events. Some, however, were ones that we found ourselves by looking through all of the meetup events that were run in 2019.

It is quite possible that we are missing more. Particularly ones we may not have found who have events in other languages, so they would have been missed in our search through the meetup events.

We definitely want to count everybody. Who did we miss? Please comment on this post to tell us!

During this time, we accomplished more than our original goals.

There were other major items that went through months of thorough, detailed revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. from folks from different underrepresented groups:

  • Lead and created with a team a new, important workshop for the Community Team: Creating A Welcoming and Diverse Space (Created for WCUS)
  • Created 2 important handbook docs:
    1. Building a Diverse Speaker Roster
    2. Inclusive and Welcoming Events

We focused heavily on improving our processes that are necessary before doing the workshop on a larger scale and we achieved great results:

Improving the Attendance Rate of Our Train the Trainers Sessions:

  • 2018 – Very low attendance & didn’t let us know they weren’t attending
  • 2019 – A near-perfect attendance rate, telling us in advance if they were not attending!

Improving the rate of meetups/WordCamps who run the workshop after taking our training:

  • 2018: 28%
  • 2019: 83%!

Who did we miss? If you think other groups have run the Diverse Speaker Training workshop in 2019 that we missed, please comment on this post.

#wpdiversity

Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#wpdiversity) on March 11, 2020

Summary: We talked about what people are working on, the 2019 year end report results, what our team should do in the face of COVID-19, the call out for financial support for meetups running our work, and our new tracking sheet.

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#wpdiversity

Proposal: Financial support for venues for Meetups that run the Diverse Speaker Training Workshop

A common challenge that faces WordCamps around the world is the lack of diversity in speakers, specifically speakers who identify as women or from other underrepresented groups. To address this, the Diverse Speaker Training working group (#wpdiversity) has worked hard to refine and promote a series of hands-on, effective lesson plans, and to train 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. organziers to run the comprehensive workshop in their local WordPress meetup. These workshops are geared towards empowering women and underrepresented groups in tech to speak at WordCamps by:

  • Addressing impostor syndrome and common deterrents to speaking
  • Helping individuals find and refine a topic
  • Helping future speakers create their title, pitch, bio and talk outline
  • Discussing tips to becoming a better speaker
  • Offering participants a chance to practice public speaking
  • Helping to build confidence

The Diverse Speaker Training working group is happy to share that this workshop has made a difference in increasing the diversity in speakers at WordCamps. Since the program began, over 20 workshops have been run around the world in 9 countries. Their 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. speaker lineups typically go from 10% or fewer speakers from underrepresented groups to 50% or more!

For more information about the Diversity Speaker Training Workshop, please visit this link

One of the obstacles that meetups have shared with us in trying to run the workshop is the issue of finding a venue that they can afford. In order to make this Workshop even more accessible to all meetups, we propose that each meetup receives up to $250 USD to help support costs associated with running this workshop, which can be used for covering the cost of the venue as well as some light snacks and refreshments. Similar to the Meetup Venue Approval Request, the meetup group must also meet the following conditions: 

  • Your group is on the WordPress chapter account at meetup.com.
  • Your group is currently following the 5 good-faith rules.
  • You are unable to find a donated venue.
  • Your proposed new venue meets minimum requirements for safety, adequate seating, and accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility).

Similar to regular meetup venues, please also avoid venues with religious or political affiliations. Since one of our jobs as community organizers is to create a 100% welcoming space for everyone, we avoid holding events in venues where someone might feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. This is particularly important for the Diverse Speaker Training workshop.

In receiving this financial support, the meetup community would also need to do the following:

  • Complete the training for running the workshop with the Diverse Speaker Training group
  • Share a link to the scheduled workshop
  • Provide invoices or receipts showing the requested amount
  • Complete the post-workshop questionnaire
  • If a WordCamp is planned or held later on, report back on speaker diversity after the WordCamp. This can be done in the post-WordCamp questionnaire

Next Steps

We would like to hear your feedback on this proposal! Do you feel like helping WordPress groups increase the diversity of their meetup and WordCamp speaker lineups would be a good use of WPCS funds? Do you think the suggested amount is appropriate? Please share any thoughts you may have by Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#wpdiversity) on Feb 26, 2020

Summary: I shared where I’m at with creating the new Train the Trainers videos, and asked for help filling in some gaps in our 2019 year-end report.

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#wpdiversity

Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#wpdiversity) on Feb 12, 2020

Summary: We followed up on where team members are at in their individual projects. We talked about where we are at in collecting our stats for our 2019 Year End Report.

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#wpdiversity

Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#wpdiversity) on Jan. 22, 2020

Summary: We followed up on where team members are at in their individual projects. We started creating a plan for putting together our stats for our 2019 Year End Report. I asked for help with a summary paragraph for the top of our workshop script.

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#community-team, #training, #wpdiversity