Working Toward a Safer, Inclusive Event: Node.js Interactive North America

We’re really excited to be in the home stretch with only two weeks left before we meet in Austin at Node.js Interactive North America. Hopefully you’ve heard, read or seen something about what we have in store for you. There’ll be plenty to learn, along with a healthy dose of community collaboration and fun.

On a more serious note though several individuals have reached out to express concern about our community as we head into an event taking place in Texas. It’s unfortunate that our current environment is such that so many people feel their safety and well-being threatened.

As someone who is championing inclusivity and diversity for the Foundation, I share these concerns. I also want to call out what the Foundation is doing to make our upcoming event as safe, open and inclusive as possible. We’ve listed a number of services, resources and programs on our event web site that you’ll find at Node.js Interactive North America. We hope the following will help encourage a positive, respectful, collaborative and educational experience for every single attendee in Austin:

  • List of emergency resources for the Austin area, from first response to local hospitals and victim services contact information.
  • On-site First Aid/medical assistance.
  • Exclusively reserved spaces for nighttime party — this means the Linux Foundation Code of Conduct and the Node.js Code of Conduct will be enforced — security is under our watch.
  • Complimentary on-site child care, scooter/wheelchair accessibility and rentals, separate quiet and nursing rooms, communication stickers and non-binary restrooms.
  • Node.js Foundation, IBM and Intel will discuss with other diversity champions ways to promote inclusivity within the community. This event, open to all attendees, will take place from 8–9 a.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in the East Foyer Lounge on the 4th floor over coffee and pastries.

We’ve purposefully put in place programs and policies because we take these issues very seriously. Since holding our first Node.js Interactive in Portland nearly a year ago, we’ve been working hard to create programs, policies and forums that encourage and increase the participation of a diverse community.

The Foundation offered diversity funding with the generous support of IBM and Intel so that 27 excited individuals will be joining us in Austin. More than 25 people also took advantage of the travel assistance the Foundation provided to individuals typically underrepresented at our events.

Earlier this year, the Node.js Foundation also created an Inclusivity Working Group, which we acknowledge has much more work to do. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Inclusivity Working Group, can submit your application here.

The Inclusivity Working Group seeks to increase inclusivity and diversity for the Node.js project:

  • Increasing inclusivity means making the Node.js project a safe and friendly place for people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Increasing diversity means actively onboarding people from diverse backgrounds to the Node.js project and maintaining their participation.

Every single person is essential to the success of the project and our events. We really appreciate people like Bryan Hughes, an active member of the TSC and Inclusivity WG, who is heavily committed to making the community as safe as possible. Bryan has offered to coordinate safe rides during our time in Austin. We’re fortunate to count Bryan part of our community. Bryan and many others are ready to show up and support every single person involved in Node.js. I’m really encouraged to belong to a community in which people want to help and are actively looking for ways to support each other. That’s something I can get behind. Hope to see you in Austin!

Thank You,

Tracy Hinds, education community manager of the Node.js Foundation