Inclusivity Statement

Adapted from the Dreamwidth diversity statement, CC3.0 BY-SA licensed.

We welcome you.

We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, neurotype, religion, elder status, family structure, culture, subculture, political opinion, identity, and self-identification. We welcome activists, artists, bloggers, crafters, dilettantes, musicians, photographers, readers, writers, ordinary people, extraordinary people, and everyone in between. We welcome people who want to change the world, people who want to keep in touch with friends, people who want to do great work, and people who just need a break after work. We welcome you no matter if the Internet was a household word by the time you were born or whether you were already retired by the time the World Wide Web was invented.

We welcome designers, developers, sysadmins, project managers, product managers, scrum masters, and waterfall wizards. We welcome everyone from in-house employees to sub-contractors. We welcome entrepreneurs with a company of one and employee number 10,000 and beyond.

We welcome you. You may wear a baby sling, hijab, a kippah, leather, piercings, a pentacle, a political badge, a rainbow, a rosary, tattoos, or something we can only dream of. You may carry a guitar or knitting needles or a sketchbook. Conservative or liberal, libertarian or socialist — we believe it’s possible for people of all viewpoints and persuasions to come together and learn from each other. We believe in the broad spectrum of individual and collective experience and in the inherent dignity of all people. We believe that amazing things come when people from different worlds and world-views approach each other to create a conversation.

We get excited about technology — from enterprise software to video games, from the developer who’s been writing assembly code for decades to the newbie who just wrote their first line of HTML last week. We support maximum freedom of expression, within the few restrictions we need to keep the our events viable for other users. With events in Ohio, we’re obliged to follow Ohio laws, but we’re serious about knowing and protecting your rights when it comes to free expression and privacy.

We think accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority, not an afterthought. We think neurodiversity is a feature, not a bug. We believe in being inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of anyone who comes to us with good faith and the desire to build a community.

We have enough event management experience to know that we won’t get any of this perfect on the first try. But we have enough hope, energy, and idealism to want to learn things we don’t know now. We may not be able to satisfy everyone, but we can certainly work to avoid offending anyone, be they an attendee, sponsor, or volunteer. We promise that if we get it wrong, we’ll listen carefully and respectfully to you when you point it out to us, and we’ll do our best to make good on our mistakes.

We think our technical and business experience is important, but we think our community experience is more important. We know what goes wrong when organizations say one thing and do another, or when they refuse to say anything at all. We believe that keeping our operations transparent is just as important as keeping our servers stable.