I was mostly raised by a single mother who ensured from the time I was born that I was surrounded by books and stories. Specifically (whenever she could afford to) Mum bought me fairytales. She gave…
Ideas for local community organizers inspired by Ela Conf.
Here are just a few of the ways Ela Conf goes above and beyond to organize inclusive community events:
1. Speaker selection
Speaker selection is a huge part of any large conference. The speaker lineup at Ela Conf was extremely diverse and there was a focus on leveling up first-time speakers. This started with the CFP which you can read about here. Speakers were offered lodging, travel and childcare stipends. Also, speaker mentors were available for new (or experienced) speakers.
The first in-person contact attendees have with your event is usually the registration table. The registration table can set the tone for your whole event when attendees first walk in. I was greeted by smiling faces, candy and emoji stickers at the Ela Conf registration table. My favorite part was providing pronoun stickers for people to add to their nametags.
They also included different color lanyards if you didn’t want to be included in pictures or videos during the event. This made it very easy for the photographer and videographer to respect attendee’s privacy.
3. Conference Environment
Having dedicated a gender-neutral bathroom on site is an easy way to make sure your trans men and women attendees can feel comfortable.
Another thoughtful detail was having the bathrooms stocked with basic toiletries.
4. Code of Conduct
If you are an organizer for a local meet up or run larger events in the tech community, I challenge you to prioritize diversity and inclusivity as you are planning your next event. Being “too risky” is never an excuse for not doing the right thing. Let’s keep this conversation open, what are other suggestions for creating more inclusive community events?
Is it race? Gender? The family you were born into? The culture or country you live in? The opportunities presented to you? Your health? Have society and the establishment conditioned you from a young…