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Re: Diversity statement for the Debian Project

Le Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 02:28:58PM +0100, Francesca Ciceri a écrit :
> A diversity statement is a document expliciting something really
> important: that everyone (no matter of 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) is welcome to join
> our project.

Dear Francesca,

I think that it is a good idea to document and summarise in a short text what
the Debian Project is doing to be open.  In that sense, the DFSG number 6 and
the participation of Developers who do not maintain packages are, as already
underlined by others, key informations to give.

I have more mixed feelings with the long list of inclusions in your draft,
which remind me patents or the autmatic disclaimers we see in many licenses.
Just imagine how it would look like if the list of who we would consider being
"everyone" were written in all capitals.  In addition, the more precise we try
to be in listing who we welcome, the more it is a mistake to forget items the

Note that division of men in categories is controversial in some cultures.  For
instance, one of two most supported candidates for presidence of France is
actually proposing to modify the French constitution in a way opposite to the
spirit of your disclaimer, by removing the mention that French citizens of
different races are equal, to underline that the French republic does not
recognise the concept of race.

Another problematic item in your list is "neurotype", for which there is no
entry in the US national libray of medecine database (PubMed) that indexes more
than two million peer-reviewed articles in medecine and biology.  Put in the
same list as "genotype" and "phenotype", it vehiculates the feeling that
"neurotype" is an equally precise concept, which is not.

The absence of "sex" is also putting some cultural imprinting in your list,
which achieves the opposite of the initial goal: while the statement is there
to promote openness, it also reveals how culturally biased our project is.

In summary, I would much prefer a short statement, where writing "everyone" is
enough to mean "everyone".  I think that a variation of the following paragraph
proposed by Russ, perhaps complemented by a comment about the DFSG, is enough.

Le Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 10:19:19AM -0700, Russ Allbery a écrit :
>     We welcome contributions from everyone within their areas of
>     particular expertise.  While much of the work of the Project is
>     technical in nature, we will value and encourage contributions to the
>     Project from those with expertise in non-technical areas and welcome
>     such contributors as part of our community.

Have a nice week-end,

Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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