[Lab] Strategies for inclusion?

Dave Hunt dave at huntgang.com
Fri Apr 15 09:39:16 EDT 2016

Well said Jason!

On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 1:03 AM, Jason Cobill <jason.cobill at gmail.com>

>    I'm really excited to share that the maker gang I work with
> inadvertently hit gender parity without ever explicitly setting out to. (5
> women, 5 men)
>    Certainly gender disparities exist in the Maker Movement here, but I
> think Ottawa (maybe more than other places), has tremendous women role
> models and leadership in the tech community and consequently the local
> maker movement benefits from their efforts. I could spend all day sending
> shoutouts, but people like Ladies Learning Code, GirlForce, Carleton WiCS,
> Algonquin WEET, etc, etc are organizations that should be celebrated and
> supported. Not forgetting the awesome gang of women instructors at the
> uOttawa Makerspace and the volunteers at RHoK, Pens and Pixels, IGDA, Game
> Jam, WordCamp, DrupalCamp and other local hackathon events.
>    The issue of race in the Maker community is really complex, and I think
> inseparable from issues of class, income and privilege. "Making" is a hobby
> that requires a considerable investment of time and money that's out of
> reach for most. Again, we have some excellent organizations in Ottawa that
> deserve a shoutout, in particular Brittania Woods Community Center, who
> packed up a busload of people from Ottawa's poorest neighbourhood to
> shuttle them to last year's Maker Faire.
>    https://www.facebook.com/erica.bregman/videos/10201113737722576/
>    Brittania Woods is also running a code mentorship program called Kids
> Can Code, and have invested heavily in maker toys (Lego Mindstorms,
> arduinos, robot kits, etc) to get into the hands of kids who don't have
> them at home. They're doing really amazing work - the kind of work more
> people should be hearing about.
>    I think it's really important to reach out and support these
> organizations, many of which need volunteers and mentors more than they
> need money (but they need that too). It's easy to drop a 3D Printer on a
> poor neighbourhood (which seems really trendy right now), but it's an
> enormous investment of time and effort to actually run workshops and
> facilitate exploration.
>   ---
>    Playing Devil's Advocate a little: I was disappointed when O'Reilly
> started producing "Craft" magazines and events separated from the Make
> brand - I felt like they were being intentionally divisive. The Crafting
> (as defined by O'Reilly) community is very heavily female-dominated but the
> distinction is entirely arbitrary. I feel like we could reach gender parity
> overnight if we just broadened the (already hazy) definition of "Maker" to
> include textile artists, culinary explorers, horticulturalists, etc, etc. I
> mean ultimately the thing that defines a "Maker" is a passion for creating
> things, right?
>    Consider that there are *4 million* Ravelry users. What is knitting if
> not a kind of manual 3d Printing process? And have you seen some of the
> machines they're using? There are some crazy innovative quilters out there
> (seriously).
>    There's another *47 million* users on Pinterest. You'd better believe
> these people are making things.* I think it's petty* to try to separate
> them from the Maker community because of some arbitrary corporate
> manipulation to isolate a demographic to sell soldering irons.
>    PS: I'm always a little scared to wade into these kinds of discussions
> publicly because I'm a perfect example of a person with multiple levels of
> privilege and these kinds of discussions so often turn explosive online. I
> don't mean to trivialize the ongoing diversity problems in STEM, but I feel
> like we rarely celebrate the great progress that we're making and the
> enormous efforts people have invested to get us here. *highfive* To all of
> the awesome ladies, LGBT, and people of colour making super cool stuff in
> Ottawa.
>    -Jason Cobill
> On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 11:49 PM, Ryan Stec <ryanstec at artengine.ca> wrote:
>> Came across this fascinating read about race, gender and class as it
>> relates to the Maker Movement. I wondered about the work we all do together
>> as a community and what kind of strategies we will embrace to make our own
>> community and city more inclusive?
>> http://tascha.uw.edu/2015/03/power-access-status-the-discourse-of-race-gender-and-class-in-the-maker-movement/
>> Thoughts anyone?
>> ___________________________
>> Ryan Stec
>> Artistic Director
>> [image: Image result for artengine]
>> artengine.ca <http://www.artengine.ca/>
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