Inclusivity Statement

Adapted from the Dreamwidth diversity statement, CC2.0 BY-SA licensed.

To all people,

We welcome you.

We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, neurotype, religion, elder status, family structure, culture, subculture, political opinion, identity, and self-identification. We welcome activists, artists, bloggers, crafters, dilettantes, musicians, photographers, readers, writers, ordinary people, extraordinary people, and everyone between. We welcome people who want to change the world, people who want to keep in touch with friends, people who want to learn new skills, and people who want to teach someone their skills. We welcome you no matter if the Internet was a household word by the time you started secondary school or whether you were already retired by the time the World Wide Web was invented.

We welcome you. You may wear a baby sling, hijab, a kippah, leather, piercings, a pentacle, a political badge, a rainbow, a rosary, tattoos, or something we can only dream of. You may carry a guitar or knitting needles or a sketchbook. Conservative or liberal, libertarian or socialist - we believe it's possible for people of all viewpoints and persuasions to come together and learn from each other. We believe in the broad spectrum of individual and collective experience and in the inherent dignity of all people. We believe that amazing things come when people from different worlds and world-views approach each other to create a conversation.

We get excited about software - from pro to amateur, from scripts to complex operating systems, from the storied engineer-architect who's been doing this for decades to the person who picked up a For Dummies book last week. We support maximum freedom of creative expression, within the few restrictions we need to keep our events welcoming for other attendees. Being a physical event, we're obliged to follow US, Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh laws, but we're serious about knowing and protecting your rights when it comes to free expression and privacy. We will never put a limit on your creativity because it makes someone uncomfortable - even if that someone is us.

We think accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority, not an afterthought. We think neurodiversity is a feature, not a bug. We believe in being inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of anyone who comes to us with good faith and the wish to build a community.

We have enough event organization experience to know that there are inevitably things that fall through the cracks. We guarantee that we have enough hope, energy, and idealism to never stop improving. We may not be able to please everyone, but we can certainly work to avoid offending anyone. We promise that if we get it wrong, we'll listen carefully and respectfully to you when you point it out to us, and we'll do our best to make good on our mistakes.

We think our technical and business experience is important, but we think our community experience is more important. We know what goes wrong when companies say one thing and do another, or when they refuse to say anything at all. We believe that keeping our operations transparent is as important as keeping our attendees, speakers, and sponsors happy.

We won't treat people as second-class undesireables because they're non-mainstream or might frighten sponsors. We care about our sponsors, but our attendees are who we do this for. To us, you're not eyeballs. You're not supportive tweets. You're not demographic groups. You're people.