Mutual Respect in the Evergreen Community

This week’s Evergreen International Conference marks the first event in our community where attendees were asked during registration to adhere to an Event Code of Conduct and a Photography Policy.

The Executive Oversight Board approved the Code of Conduct (CoC) during the last Evergreen conference in Cambridge and approved the photography policy shortly thereafter. Since that time, several of us in the community have been working on the procedures for addressing CoC complaints if they arise. Our hope is that we will never need to use these procedures, but we want to make sure that we respond appropriately if we do need to use them.

2015 Conference Lanyards

Attendees will be able to convey their photography preferences through their lanyard color.
Photo by Grace Dunbar

I want to use this blog post to talk about why I contributed my time over the past year to work on the photography policy and to help put the CoC procedures in place.

As a community, I think it’s important that we ensure the CoC isn’t just a statement we put on our web site and then assume we have done our job to establish a safe environment at our events. Instead, it’s the first step towards setting a tone for the behavior we expect of our community members, not just when attending Evergreen events, but also in their day-to-day interactions on the list, in the #evergreen IRC channel, or in other project communication channels.

The Evergreen community is one in which we treat everyone as a professional, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion. We might not always agree with other people and may even dislike others in the community. However, we should always treat them with the respect that every professional deserves.

We are a community of mutual respect, where people don’t need to worry that they will be harassed or joked about because of perceived differences; where people know that they will be treated as a colleague, not as a potential date; and where people know they will be judged on the merit of their contributions.

Why is this important? By establishing this kind of environment, people will see the Evergreen community as a welcoming one, not one that should be avoided. They’ll be more likely to contribute. However, the most compelling reason is that it’s the right thing to do.

As everyone gets ready to attend the conference, I encourage to read over the Code of Conduct as a reminder of what kind of behavior may be considered a violation of the code. If you are uncertain if something you might say or incorporate in a presentation is inappropriate, err on the side of caution. If you see or experience something that is out of line, report it to an incident responder.

Also, please remember to abide by the new photography policy. The lanyards are a great way for people to let you know what their photography preferences are. We expect you to respect their wishes. If you want to record somebody, you always must ask first.

Most of all, enjoy the conference. If everyone follows these guidelines, it should be an informative and enjoyable event for all.