I'd be happy to join this effort, and would like to suggest a friendly
amendment. We need, as a community, to have an anti-harassment policy that
governs ALL of our collective interactions (e.g., the chatroom, for
example), not just for the conference.

On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 2:16 PM, Bess Sadler <bess.sad...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Fellow Code4libbers,
> I hope I am not about to get flamed. Please take as context that I have
> been a member of this community for almost a decade. I have contributed
> software, support, and volunteer labor to this community's events. I have
> also attended the majority of code4lib conferences, which have been amazing
> and life-changing, and have helped me do my job a lot better. But, and I've
> never really known how to talk about this, those conferences have also been
> problematic for me a couple of times. Nothing like what happened to Noirin
> Shirley at ApacheCon (see
> http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Noirin_Shirley_ApacheCon_incident if
> you're unfamiliar with the incident I mean) but enough to concern me that
> even in a wonderful community where we mostly share the same values, not
> everyone has the same definitions of acceptable behavior.
> I am watching the toxic fallout from the BritRuby conference cancellation
> with a heavy heart (go search for "britruby conference cancelled" if you
> want to catch up and/or get depressed). It has me wondering what more we
> could be doing to promote diversity and inclusiveness within code4lib. We
> have already had a couple of harassment incidents over the years, which I
> won't rehash here, which have driven away members of our community. We have
> also had other incidents that don't get talked about because sometimes one
> can feel that membership in a community is more important than one's
> personal boundaries or even safety. We should not be a community where
> people have to make that choice.
> I would like for us to consider adopting an anti-harassment policy for
> code4lib conferences. This is emerging as a best practice in the larger
> open source software community, and we would be joining the ranks of many
> other conferences:
> http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Adoption.
> The Ada Initiative has a great discussion of why adopting an
> Anti-Harrassment policy is a good choice for a conference to make, as well
> as some example policy statements, here:
> http://adainitiative.org/what-we-do/conference-policies/ Here is a
> summary:
> > Why have an official anti-harassment policy for your conference? First,
> it is necessary (unfortunately). Harassment at conferences is incredibly
> common - for example, see this timeline (
> http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/index.php?title=Timeline_of_incidents) of
> sexist incidents in geek communities. Second, it sets expectations for
> behavior at the conference. Simply having an anti-harassment policy can
> prevent harassment all by itself. Third, it encourages people to attend who
> have had bad experiences at other conferences. Finally, it gives conference
> staff instructions on how to handle harassment quickly, with the minimum
> amount of disruption or bad press for your conference.
> If the conference already has something like this in place, and I'm just
> uninformed, please educate me and let's do a better job publicizing it.
> Thanks for considering this suggestion. If the answer is the usual
> code4lib answer (some variation on "Great idea! How are you going to make
> that happen?") then I hereby nominate myself as a member of the
> Anti-Harrassment Policy Adoption committee for the code4lib conference.
> Would anyone else like to join me?
> Bess Sadler
> b...@stanford.edu
> Manager, Application Development
> Digital Library Systems & Services
> Stanford University Library

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