It’s Pride month. People around the world are fighting for equality and celebrate diversity. The Funkwhale community is fully in support of diversity. We believe it is the greatest strength any community can have. Because of this, we have always tried to make our spaces welcoming to everyone and have strived to be inclusive to people from all backgrounds. However, we have not always been as successful as we would have liked to have been.
It is easy to pay lip service to the subject of diversity. Words and platitudes are cheap, and many in the technology world like to wax philosophical about how much they are in support of under-represented communities. Putting these sentiments into practice, however, is much more challenging. For all of our best efforts, we need to acknowledge we are far from perfect. Most of the people who hold positions in the Funkwhale community are male, based in Europe, and white. That’s not an equal representation of the people around the world or the users of Funkwhale, and is something we are keen to address.
Lets elaborate why this is so important to us. Humans are quite different, they have different use cases for and different access to our software. There are different devices, different languages, different abilities and many more differences than we can even think about. On the one hand its simply discriminatory to exclude some people from using or developing our software or take part in shaping the community. On the other hand this exclusion is a huge loss for the community, since we loose perspectives, opinions and contributors. And this is exclusion is not only happening explicitly. We also exclude people by not making our places welcoming or making it not easy enough for people to join us.
We have had some discussions about this topic. We know we cannot remedy every factor that has led us to where we are currently. But we typify these issues at Funkwhale, too, and this is something we think we can change. We want to be more inclusive and welcoming, and we want to make sure that people can not only enjoy our software, but feel positive about contributing to the project and community as well.
This is where you come in. Besides having our own thoughts about the topic and doing some research, we want to open the discussion and get your feedback, so that we are not just acting on our own myopic points of view. So, if you want to give us some input, have some ideas, or want to point out places where we have messed up, let us know! Tell us everything you think about this topic, especially if you don’t feel represented in the community already.