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Happy Pride Month!

By Blog, Working Group

Edit, June 1: In just the few days that elapsed between when this was penned and when it was posted so much has happened.

Today in discussing everything that is transpiring, someone pointed out that the roots of Pride Month are not just in the historic riot at Stonewall, but also riots at Cooper Do-nuts, Compton’s Cafeteria, and others.

As we think about what we do to build a diverse, civil, and inclusive community, we look for ways to show that everyone is welcome here and that their lives matter, that black lives matter.

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Happy Pride Month from the Hyperledger open source community! We are proud to have an inclusive community here at Hyperledger. This year has some new challenges for all of us. While the pandemic impacts each of us differently, many of us involved in Hyperledger are fortunate to have jobs that we can do virtually. In fact, one of the reasons it is natural to be inclusive in open source is that it just takes an internet connection to get involved. Of course, it takes an active effort to be a contributor and an active effort from the community to make sure that everyone feels included.

We have a couple new initiatives to announce in Pride Month. First off, we are starting a new guest speaker series. Hyperledger is supported by large and small companies alike, and we are inviting leaders from these companies to come and talk about what Diversity, Civility, and Inclusion mean within their companies and how participating in open source helps. Our first speaker is Jim Gordon from Intel on June 10th: https://wiki.hyperledger.org/x/kw7cAQ

We were also looking forward to joining  our member companies at Pride Month events. The plan was to show our support at festivals and other activities and encourage their participation in this open source project. It is perhaps bittersweet that we were able to run Hyperledger Global Forum replete with our “All Are Welcome Here” message, but that might have been the last in-person event for many of us this year. As we looked towards Pride Month events, our nascent on-site plans have had to be curtailed. Fortunately, we are discovering that more and more events are finding a way to continue through virtual means. And as a do-ocracy YOU are welcome to help us be present and connect at those events.

Out and Equal is hosting a couple of virtual events including a June 1st kickoff for pride month and a June 15th virtual brunch: https://outandequal.org/virtual-offerings/

You are welcome to show up and represent the Hyperledger community at these events. 

More broadly, there’s a host of LGBTQ+ Tech organizations you can check for other events: https://www.pride.com/technology/2018/5/03/7-lgbt-tech-groups-you-should-know-about

Lesbians Who Tech, for example, is hosting what they are billing as, “… the largest LGBTQ tech gathering in history.” https://lesbianswhotech.org/virtualpridesummit/

If you make it to an event, let the rest of the community know by dropping in chat (https://chat.hyperledger.org/channel/dci-wg) or sending a note to the mail list (https://lists.hyperledger.org/g/dci-wg/).

Regardless of how you celebrate this month, have a healthy and proud month!

Introducing the Hyperledger Diversity, Civility and Inclusion (DCI) Working Group

By Blog, Working Group

At Hyperledger, “All are welcome here!” That is a message that we want all current and prospective open source contributors to hear. As open source software (OSS) becomes more prominent, the communities that surround it become more important. Having a community that has a culture of encouraging people to voice their diverse opinions is crucial for the long term success of the project. With the motivation of creating an ecosystem that enables many diverse views, the Hyperledger community with the support of the Hyperledger staff has started the Diversity, Civility and Inclusion (DCI) Working Group (WG).

The journey to creating this WG started at the Hyperledger Member Summit in 2018 in Montreal. Hyperledger is the fastest growing project in the Linux Foundation’s history. Despite that, discussions at the Montreal event raised issues about obstacles to participation. Current processes could make it difficult for newcomers to integrate and participate, and some of the processes do not always promote inclusiveness. Newcomers do not always know where to go to find information or ask questions, and conversely active members have difficulty monitoring all the avenues people can participate (e.g., mailing lists, channels on rocket chat, wiki). Geography sometimes also presents a barrier as meetings and correspondence are optimized for certain time zones over others.

Motivated by the observations at the summit, community members along with Hyperledger staff began discussing how to improve the inclusiveness and in turn increase diversity. They wanted DCI initiatives to be community driven and tracked openly. The DCI WG was created to give interested community members an open forum to investigate, collaborate on solutions, and provide visibility to the DCI issues found in the community. The charter for the DCI WG includes collecting data on various metrics, suggesting possible improvements based on those metrics to the TSC or projects, and, if actions are taken, measuring the impact of them.

Diversity, Civility and Inclusiveness can cover many different community health issues. In order to be the most impactful, the DCI WG decided to focus our efforts and tackle a subset of issues first. One of our first goals will be to collect metrics across as much of that breadth as we reasonably can. We are launching a survey to help baseline the current community. Without that data, it is difficult to know where we need to place our emphasis. One of the small pieces of data we do have today suggests a gap in gender representation. After much discussion, the working group has chosen to make that an initial focus and use what we learn through that process and the survey to expand into other aspects of DCI. 

Within the Hyperledger ecosystem, the DCI WG is looking to collaborate with other working groups, SIGs, and projects to analyze and measure diversity. We are also looking to work with groups such as CHAOSS. We encourage everyone to participate, give their feedback, and voice their opinions!  One of the ways to participate right now is taking our survey. Regardless of your background, the projects or WGs you work on, we want to hear your ideas and feedback. The DCI WG meets bi-weekly and can be found on Hyperledger Community Meeting Calendar. We also have a mailing list and a chat forum. We welcome all contributors!