[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Draft] GR: diversity statement for the Debian Project

Dear Debian Developers,

A recent discussion [1] on Debian Women mailing list made me realize that
the Debian Project, the community behind the *Universal* Operating
System, doesn't have a diversity statement.
The *technical* part of the project is already commited to diversity: we
don't accept (in our main repository) licenses which discriminate for
persons, groups or fields of endeavor (DFSG, points 5. and 6.).
IMO is time for a similar statement also for the *community* part of the

Below (between "----" lines) you'll find the draft of
the text to be voted. I'm not looking for seconds yet, but rather issues
in the proposed text. I'll call for seconds soon.

At the end of the mail, a couple of FAQ about the diversity statement, 
raised during the debate on -project, which hopefully will be useful 
for peole who didn't follow the (one-month long) thread.

Thank you for your attention,


The Debian Project welcomes and encourages participation by everyone.

It doesn't matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you:
we welcome you. We welcome contributions from everyone as long as they
interact constructively with our community.

While much of the work for our project is technical in nature, we
value and encourage contributions from those with expertise
in other areas, and welcome them into our community.


== FAQ ==

Q: What is a diversity statement?
A: A diversity statement is a document expliciting something really
important: that everyone (regardless of whatever thing people may usually
be discriminated for) is welcome to join our project.

Q: Why we need a GR for it?
A: During the last two months, various people helped me in drafting one
for the Debian Project [2]. We reach a wide consensus on the text, but 
as for Constitution §4.1.5 for "[position] statement" a GR is necessary
(see [3]).
So, here we are. :)

Q: Which will be the consequences of adopting it?
A: A diversity statement is *not* a Code of Conduct. We are not adding
new rules. As Russ Allbery said [4]: 
"It's a statement of ideals.  Statements of ideals don't generally change
things in the way that, oh, code or even enforced policies change things.
The influence is at best subtle. But I think statements of ideals are
useful things to have because they help people think about ideals, and
remember that the ideals are important, and that we can all do something
to live up to those ideals.  And that that can be as significant of an
action as fixing a technical bug."

Q: What about hateful ideologies? Do we welcome them as well?
A: Here the relevant bit is: "We welcome contributions from everyone as
long as they interact constructively with our community". 
In addition, let me borrow again some words from Russ [5]: "The point of
a diversity statement is not to accept all behavior of any
kind.  It's to make a positive statement about what sort of behavior
we're actively seeking out and want to align".

Q: What will be the procedure for maintaining/updating the statement, 
once voted?
A: The gist of the statement will be fixed by the GR. But in order to
avoid needing a vote for every minor tweak, language improvements can be
applied by the -www team as for other parts of www.d.o and more
substantial changes, that do not change the spirit, can be discussed on

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-women/2012/03/msg00006.html (and
following messages)
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/03/msg00048.html (and
following messages)
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/04/msg00088.html
[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/03/msg00060.html
[5] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/03/msg00061.html

"Nostra patria è il mondo intero
e nostra legge è la libertà
ed un pensiero
ribelle in cor ci sta."		P.Gori

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: