The NumFOCUS DISCOVER Cookbook (Diverse & Inclusive Spaces and Conferences: Overall Vision and Essential Resources). A guide for organizing more diverse and inclusive events and conferences, produced by the NumFOCUS Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Program, with support from the Moore Foundation.
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DISCOVER-Cookbook

The NumFOCUS DISCOVER Cookbook (Diverse & Inclusive Spaces and Conferences: Overall Vision and Essential Resources) is produced by the NumFOCUS Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Program, with support from the Moore Foundation.

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The NumFOCUS DISCOVER Cookbook (Diverse & Inclusive Spaces and Conferences: Overall Vision and Essential Resources)

Produced by the NumFOCUS Diversity & Inclusion in Scientific Computing (DISC) Program with support from the Moore Foundation.

Introduction

About this Cookbook:

This cookbook is intended as a resource for organizers of conferences and events — with a particular focus on the tech sector in the United States — to support and encourage diversity and inclusion at those events.

It focuses specifically on plans, decisions, and actions organizers can take to produce and manage a more diverse and inclusive event.

Funding to produce this cookbook was made possible by a generous grant from the Moore Foundation .

What this Cookbook is not:

This cookbook is not intended to provide general instructions on how to run a successful conference or event. We do not provide any specific advice about budgeting, scheduling, A/V capabilities, how to structure tracks, etc.

Some "basic" best practice is understood to be a prerequisite for many of our recommendations. For example, live-captioning support for the hearing-impaired is not possible without reliable internet and good A/V setup. In general, we have avoided explicitly calling out these implied dependencies in order to maintain focus and keep the cookbook to a more manageable length.

This cookbook also does not offer reasons or rationale for why inclusion and diversity are important. The cookbook presumes the organizing committee is already interested in improving diversity and inclusion at their conference or event, hence the suggestions herein are focused on the "how" rather than the "why".

How to use this cookbook:

You do not have to implement every suggestion in the cookbook in order to "qualify" as having a diverse and inclusive event!

The cookbook is intended to help you, as an event organizer, to understand the overall landscape of best practices for diversity and inclusion.

We encourage you to do as much as you can manage, on the understanding that implementing a few well-supported and fully realized suggestions is preferable to implementing many suggestions that are poorly-supported or incomplete.

To facilitate ease of use, we have highlighted suggestions that are relatively easy to implement and which have a strong positive impact. These are "low-hanging fruit" and marked with a red apple emoji: 🍎.

We also encourage you to do at least one thing in the "High Impact, High Effort" quadrant. These are marked with a green checkmark: .

                                 |

         🍎                      |                ✅

    High Impact,                 |           High Impact,

    Low Effort                   |           High Effort

                                 |

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

                                |

                                |

     Low Impact,                |           Low Impact,

     Low Effort                 |           High Effort

                                |

Acknowledgements:

We sincerely appreciate the efforts and input of the many individuals who contributed to the creation of this cookbook. We also thank the numerous individuals and organizations whose work we have drawn from in order to compile this cookbook. Resources we consulted are collected at the end of each section under the heading "Further Reading".

  • In particular, we thank:

    • The NumFOCUS DISC Committee members who compiled the initial skeleton of this cookbook: Jennifer Klay, Reshama Shaikh, and Gina Helfrich.

    • Participants in the 2017 DISC Unconference who expanded and elaborated upon the initial skeleton: Kasia Rachuta, Ashley Otero, Dave Clements, Sarah Supp, Raniere Silva, and Tania Allard.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Organizing Committee

Venue Selection & On-Site Services

Catering

Childcare

Code of Conduct (CoC)

Grants/Scholarships

Participant Selection

Event Registration

Inclusive Practices During Check-In

Other Considerations

Further reading:

Special Considerations Depending on Geographic Context

  • Most of the material contained herein is written from the U.S. perspective (e.g. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections).
  • Something to be aware of: some U.S. states may have discriminatory laws in place which could affect whether or not you should choose to host an event or conference there.
  • We welcome input on considerations for events and conferences in other countries.
  • Additional considerations made need to be made for very remote event locations with no public transit, e.g. for folks who are mobility impaired.

REQUEST FOR INPUT

NumFOCUS invites the community to make suggestions for improvements to the DISCOVER Cookbook via pull request (PR). PRs will be evaluated by the NumFOCUS DISC Committee and/or its volunteers. PRs should be written so as to conform to the NumFOCUS Contributor Code of Conduct.

For a full statement of the NumFOCUS DISC Program mission and the NumFOCUS position on diversity and inclusion, please see https://www.numfocus.org/programs/diversity-and-inclusion/.