Sharing our experiences can help us shape where we want to go. Over the past months, I have been approached by many people wanting to talk about the 'community gaps' or the 'diversity' issues in OSM. On the Diversity-talk mailing list, we've touched on the topics and aim to support each other. How can we become more welcoming in OSM? What are the steps we can take to be more 'open' with each other, and to new people?
Experiences in OSM
Open Gender Monologues is a way to share our collective stories. We want to raise awareness on gender issues in OSM. We'd love to hear your story, your experiences. You can share anonymously or with your name. We also welcome anyone who would like to share in person at the SOTM Open Gender Monologues session. And, if you want to have your story read, we can help. Here is a 3 minute survey to contribute and details on the session:
There are amazing, generous people doing fantastic things in OSM. This is what I would love to hear people consistently say about OSM. And, often, they do. But, the other side of the feedback/experience, is sometimes less helpful for OSM's mission. There are issues with how OSM collectively manages diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. To what extent are we "open"? It is not simply about the license, the open data, or FOSS. It is a mentality and a culture of "openness". Only by fully understanding and talking about the problems, can we productively move beyond it.
It might seem that there is just one or two stories. That has not been my understanding. The under current statements follow a pattern: "oh, ignore the tone on OSM mailing lists", "it is not you, this is how the community has always talked with each other", "cold response", or "mailing lists are sometimes hard" or "it is just one or two people. Ignore them." Honestly, if people's experiences in OSM less than kind and welcoming, then we are not doing as well as we could.
Be an ally
Can you share the survey across the OSM community? It would be helpful for supporters and allies of OSM to also share their experiences with OSM.
OSM in the Open
What are the experiences in the wider 'open communities' around OSM? Last week I read this article OSM should be the priority of the open source community. Yes, and, on the flip side how can OSM learn from those communities?
About Open Gender Monologues @ SOTM
We'll host a session at the State of Map - Milan (July 28 - 30, 2018) This session will not be like any usual panel. We want to raise awareness of the struggles and successes of women and LGBTQ in the OpenStreetMap community - using their own words and experiences. Open Heroines is a global community supporting diversity in open communities. We share voices of women in open government, open data and civic tech.
The session is being co-hosted by Kate Chapman and Heather Leson.