The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced the availability of a free LFC101 – Inclusive Speaker Orientation course to help prepare event presenters and public speakers with background knowledge and practical skills to promote inclusivity in their presentations, messaging, and other communications. Development of the course was first announced in November.
The course, offered in three 20-minute, self-paced modules, presents content in a simple and practical way applied to the specialised needs of presenters. Topics covered include crafting presentation messages, scripting discussions, presenting media and subconscious communications. The course is based on NCWIT’s “Unconscious Bias” messaging, which encompasses the ideas of “Realise, Recognise, and Respond.”
The Inclusive Speaker Orientation Course is available for free online. All Linux Foundation employees will now be required to take this course. Other speakers at Linux Foundation events are strongly encouraged to do so, and will be offered a special incentive for completion. It is offered openly, so other events may use it for their speakers, or individuals who are interested may enrol on their own. The Linux Foundation also continues to offer Ally Skills Workshops, which teach everyone simple, everyday ways to support women in their workplaces and communities, onsite at events.
NCWIT serves as a developer of and clearinghouse for evidence-based tools and resources for increasing the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing. NCWIT is a research and data-driven organisation that is structured as a “change leader network” of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists who work to narrow the gap by addressing barriers to participation.
“Increasing diversity in open source is important work that has widespread benefits for individuals, projects, organisations, the tech industry, and society as a whole,” said Terry Morreale, CTO and Associate Director at NCWIT. “We are excited to work with The Linux Foundation to make tools for change more accessible to everyone in the community.”
A primary goal of The Linux Foundation is to make the open source community more inclusive and welcoming to all individuals who wish to participate and contribute. LFC101 will support that goal by strengthening diversity and inclusiveness within the open source ecosystem. Other initiatives to increase diversity at Linux Foundation events include a strict code of conduct for speakers and attendees, onsite child care and nursing rooms, diversity scholarships, non-binary bathrooms, barring all-male panel discussions and partnering with community groups to encourage more women to apply to speak. The Linux Foundation has also partnered with Girls in Tech to host ‘Hacking for Humanity’ hackathons later this year at Open Networking Summit and Open Source Summit North America.
“Open source is for everyone, but everyone does not always feel completely welcome in the community,” said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. “Speakers have a major role to play in making events feel safe and welcoming, and while they almost always have the best of intentions, they need the tools to be successful. By leveraging the expertise of NCWIT for this course, we will help speakers ensure their presentations are more inclusive, which in turn will help event attendees of all backgrounds feel more accepted in the open source community.”
Anyone wishing to take LFC101 – Inclusive Speaker Orientation may enroll now at http://bit.ly/2kSRCVe.