Since we didn't get very many women, enbies, or people of color to submit talks, the folks choosing talks for the Decentralisation & Internet Privacy track at FOSSDEM 19 decided that we'd like to ask of you:

If you submitted a talk, go ask an underrepresented minority friend/acquaintance of yours if they'd like to give the talk with you/in your stead.

CC @fosdem, can we get a little boost 💜?

@egrasmed How about you hire actors to give all the talks? Or maybe use a suitably diverse text-to-speech program instead of the submissions' actual authors?


@dave @egrasmed The idea is not to fake diversity nor to promote machines instead of humans, but to demonstrate that free software projects do comprise minorized people in their ranks, and are ready to decolonize their own space and communities.

@how @egrasmed I wish there were better ways to demonstrate that than discouraging people from taking credit for their own original work based on the color of their skin, or how they present their gender.

@dave @egrasmed This is not the case. You must understand what is white male privilege, because apparently you are a white male and ignorant of it.

But honestly, I'm not interested in holding your hand on this topic. You're in the privileged position, this is your move to step down and give others voice.

@dave @egrasmed And I must add, the best way to take credit of your own original work is when others praise you, not when your own voice praises yourself.

@how @dave

Also, I think the concept of "their own original work" is fallacious. We work *with others*, and *on the work of others*.

Real stories of success are not stories of a single person's efforts, but of a whole network of efforts.

This assumption is baked into what I looked for while selecting conference talks.

@egrasmed @how Maybe I misunderstood. I thought you were asking authors of submitted talks to find someone other than the author to present it. Are the replacement speakers being asked to come up with their own content?

@dave @egrasmed We're asking the people who proposed a talk to find, within their community, & if possible, someone who can do it who is not a white male. There are very few projects, like the Tor Project, that do not have any issue finding such speakers, because they already make an effort in hiring female developers. But if you've ever been to FOSDEM you know that 90+% of attendees & speakers are white males. Since the rest of the world is entirely different, we're questioning this situation.

@how @egrasmed I applaud & support your intentions, but as a potential audience member, I would feel deceived to learn that the talk wasn't being given by the person who wrote it. I say this without regard to the identity or appearance of the author or speaker.

@dave @egrasmed I hope there's a difference between proposing a talk and actually performing it.

I hope that free software projects are more than one person.

I hope that we can, as a community, address the question of diversity without looking like we're penalizing the dominant population.

I hope that software freedom is as well about collective freedoms, and addressing the lack of representation of minorized communities is going to help our community strengthen and grow.

@dave @how @egrasmed it’s not about discouraging people from taking credit for their own work, it’s that FOSS is all about collaboration, and this gesture is a bit about showing that FOSS isn’t just a bunch of sweaty white dudes on old IBM boxes getting yelled at by Linus Torvalds.

You don’t need actors or text-to-speech — just think about peers you have in an underrepresented group that are interested in your topic and see if they wanna tag team.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Une fois pour TOOT! A Mastodon in Brussels

Une fois pour TOOT !

This instance is provided by Petites Singularités ASBL for like-minded people in Brussels and elsewhere.

We speak English, French, Dutch.

P.S.: works with free software and grassroots activists across disciplines, ranging from agro-ecology to cartography, libre aesthetics & ethics, (self-)organization & policy.

Discuss this on

Support this instance

Donate using Liberapay

Send donations to IBAN BE16 3630 1548 4674 (Petites Singularités ASBL) with mention (and your name if and only if you want to be credited): we publish donations as we receive them, and expenses. Yearly service is expected to cost ~ 150 € (without sysadmin expenses.)

“We've got to fight the government, fight the oligarchy, fight capitalism, be internationalist and fight the empire because it's the best hope to enrich hundreds of millions of lives, and build towards a truly equitable future.”
— Abby Martin