Introducing MiR: A Community for Underrepresented Minority Users of R

Dorris Scott
3 min readFeb 28, 2020

❤ Why we started MiR

Dorris and Danielle at the 2020 RStudio Conference.
Danielle Smalls-Perkins (left) and Dorris Scott (right) at the 2020 rstudio::conf().

It is awesome to be a part of a community that is working hard to take actions to address issues of inclusion within the tech community at large, and we are grateful to be a part of those efforts.

While it is awesome to contribute to and benefit from such a community, we both expressed and heard from others that it is difficult to feel like “the only ones” in many R gathering spaces. This can mean different things for other minorities, but for us, being “the only ones” meant being the only or one of few African-American women. This idea of being “the only one” not only is something we felt within R conferences ourselves, but also being the case in other communities that we are a part of. We created MiR to support and increase the underrepresented minority users (Mi-useRs) in the R community. By doing so, this group can serve both as a bridge for Mi-useRs in various fields along with fostering a community of Mi-useRs within the R community itself.

Our mission

MiR’s official mission statement is a work in progress, but simply put, our current mission is to provide a space of belonging and support for people who identify as underrepresented minority R useRs. We also want to provide opportunities for underrepresented minority useRs to contribute to the R community in various aspects. Currently we identified these ways in which we can currently support this community, and will add more to this list based on the needs of our community:

  1. Conference Support: Reading and providing feedback for abstracts being submitted to R conferences.
  2. Mi-useR Slack: Providing a space for Mi-useRs and allies to network and to share various professional development opportunities.
  3. Mi-useR Highlights: Highlighting Mi-useRs and the work they do through social media channels and through blog posts.
  4. Mi-useR Member and Speaker Directory: Creating a directory of Mi-useRs along with those who identify as being interested in being a speaker for a conference or event.
  5. Mi-useR Member Directory for Certified Rstudio Trainers: Creating a directory of Mi-useRs who are certified Rstudio trainers.
  6. MiR Dev Days: Organizing a MiR developer day focused on making contributions to the R open source ecosystem.

🤝 Where to Find Us

MiR Online Presence
We will create a MiR Twitter account in the future which will be the official social media channel for keeping up with MiR news and events. We also plan to create a landing page for the organization. For the time being, the best place to keep updated with MiR events is through our Twitter accounts (Dorris: Dorris_Scott or Daneille: smallperks) and through the MiR Slack.

Presence at useR2020
We are proud to announce that we will have a Birds of a Feather group at the useR 2020 conference in St. Louis! We are still working on the logistics of this and will provide details once they are confirmed.

Interested or have any questions?
If you are interested in volunteering for MiR in any of these opportunities or would like to identify and/or spearhead a need for our community, please don’t hesitate to contact us on Twitter(Dorris: Dorris_Scott or Danielle: smallperks),on the MiR slack channel[].