Community Leadership Summit Wiki

Welcome to the etherpad notes for the Intersectional Feminist Hacker/Makerspace Alliance! Session 8, 2pm. In 2013 Seattle Attic, Portland's Flux, and San Francisco's Double Union (and people from other cities) have been creating feminist and/or women-centric hackerspaces. Let's talk about community practices that will help build new and diverse kinds of hackerspaces! Liz briefly describes the budding movement of feminist hackerspaces and how we are in a phase of planning and the creation of process. and asks of the circle, what has been your experience or impression of hackerspaces as they are now? What is missing? What would you like a makerspace or community workshop to be, if it were for *you*? answers going round the circle:

  • somewhere that i feel welcome as a gay man.
  • somewhere that is is ok to talk about mental health issues
  • emotional and physical space to work on projects.
  • a space to have the freedom to tinker and create, which is a huge privilege, and can be hard to build into life
  • a space to do good. for advocacy.
  • welcoming to new people. welcome to all levels of ability/technical knowledge.
  • No Scoffing!!! (like, no saying in disbelief "omg how can you not know about WHATEVER-IT-IS!"
  • civility, a code of conduct. (Story of high school robotics programs, engineering programs at university level, refusals to behave respectfully or teach people who don't already have the knowledge. another story of being told that her education was "ok if you want to 'mother' the students" (disparagingly)
  • lack of jargon that is exclusionary
  • question about what is in maker spaces. it should be ok to be a wannabe maker/hacker.
  • scared to go to hackerspaces as they are described, want to go somewhere where girly stuff is okay.
  • if i want to do candle making and get really into it that should "count".
  • Not sure what makerspaces are really like but published "make" magazine so am curious
  • i want good tools and tech. accountability.
  • horrible story about hackerspace dude holding up a kitten saying he would kill it unless this woman took off her shirt
  • So many good things could come from this movement, free and open tech!
  • knowledge about learning styles and structured teaching about art
  • Older women. where are the women older than me (she is 42) in my field??
  • Codes of conduct. freedom is good but there need to be some rules on how to behave which are actually enforced.
  • excluding people isn't good. but it is ok to have a feminist focus
  • Tired of hacker elitism and people who make an "in" group
  • Mandate of diversity. (rephrased to be, make diversity a core value)
  • banff guy talked about indigenous /first nations hackathons and women's maker spaces.
  • other guy says candlemaking isn't important or part of a "big idea" or about social justice (...)
  • a place where people don't make assumptions
  • celebrate tech and my love of making things, not being marginalized
  • There is a recommendation for She's Geeky conferences...
  • Then another for Really Big Road Trip which was a project in Australia and sounds very cool:

Liz read out some things from the Seattle Attic site from the 1st page and code of conduct. "We're building something new and cool in downtown Seattle - a feminist, woman-centered, and trans- and queer-inclusive space where tinkerers, makers, crafters, and hackers of all genders encourage each other to work, teach, learn, and collaborate." "Guidelines for respectful interaction

  • Treat other people as they would like to be treated. If you do not know how, ask them.
  • Yes means yes, no means no, and maybe means no. Accept “no”s without arguing, and say “yes” when you mean yes.
  • Respect others’ personal space and possessions. Check in before you touch someone or their belongings.
  • Respect chosen names/pronouns/genders.
  • Act from an assumption of mutual respect and good will. Clarify misunderstandings, apologize for harm caused, and assume ignorance and not malice.
  • Watch out for each other. Maintaining a respectful and safe community is everybody’s responsibility."

We talked then about hackathons and how they are not realistic for anyone who can't just find 36 hours continuously free. The Everyone Hacks project in Chicago tells everyone to go home! Assumes they have a life. Welcomes everyone and explains you don't have to start with any particular knowledge. They had 80 people come to the hackathon and 15 of them were black women developers. They did not focus on any one demographic but outlined a welcoming structure.

There was then some discussion of the practical things to do to set up a hackerspace. Forming a group of people you can work with and trust. Renting a space. Starting small is ok. Getting a bank account. apply for non profit/tax exempt status in various states or at the federal level and/or getting fiscal sponsorship. Sharing information with a group or with everyone in google docs or github. Having mailing lists.