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Re: Grant proposal around women in college and open source

Hi again Bart, all,

Barton C Massey wrote:
> In message <[🔎] 42A7C3B8.4020705@yahoo.co.uk> you wrote:

>>1) What would an "organization leader's signature on a
>>memorandum of understanding" imply in terms of the
>>commitment being made by Debian Women, if we were to do
>>this?  Would it imply a greater level of commitment to
>>activities than we are already making by running the
>>project as we are doing, and if so, can you describe what
>>sort of things you have in mind.
> Specifically, I'm thinking we would like Debian Women to
>   * Cross-link our portal sites a bit.
>   * Help us find qualified, caring folks to mentor
>     women on open source issues, to the extent that
>     they are willing to do so.
>   * Advise us and help us to guide our interactions with the
>     community of women in open source.  In particular, help
>     us to spend grant monies wisely.
>   * Anything else you can think of that we should have
>     thought of :-).  We want the proposal to be as useful
>     as possible, so ideas are highly welcome.

I think all of these are things that we can potentially do for you, since we are
doing most of them already, with the exception of anything to do with money :)

But I think that you are missing a really important thing, probably the most
important.  Maybe you are planning to provide this one anyway in your project,
but I reckon that we can help with the starting stages anyway.

What we can do for you is provide a (by now fairly well established) community
for suitably interested women to become a part of as they pursue their interest
in open-source software and Debian in particular.  With all that this entails
about support and information and having a safe and welcoming environment for
people to find their feet in.

Personally, I think that is the most important single thing that the Debian
Women project is doing at the moment.

>>2) Debian Women is not run in a particularly hierarchial
>>way and we don't have someone who can "officially" speak
>>for all of us, let alone commit all of us to any
>>particular thing, though there are a small group of
>>people, myself included, who have been involved in making
>>most of the major decisions and are thus defacto "leaders"
>>of the project, as far as we have them.  Would this be a
>>problem for your aims?  (I'm not trying to imply a general
>>lack of commitment among the Debian Women community -
>>collectively we are a dedicated and enthusiastic bunch -
>>but this is a pretty fundamental aspect of a volunteer
>>project being run as ours is.)
> I don't see this as a major problem. As long as a few
> representatives could step forward and indicate that they
> support the proposal, I think that's all NSF could
> reasonably ask for in any case.

I am inclined to think that we can do this.  Does anyone see any potential problems?

I am personally willing to sign your "memorandum of understanding", with the
qualification that I'll be out of touch travelling from Saturday morning,
Australia time.  I've spoken to Hanna Wallach on IRC about it and she is also
enthusiastic about your proposal and happy to be involved in working out a
statement and signing it.


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