[Lab] Strategies for inclusion?
emily.daniels at gmail.com
Fri Apr 15 09:53:21 EDT 2016
Bravo Jason! I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you for sharing
such a thoughtful and detailed reply.
On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 9:39 AM, Dave Hunt <dave at huntgang.com> wrote:
> 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.
>> 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
>> 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
>> -Jason Cobill
>> On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 11:49 PM, Ryan Stec <ryanstec at artengine.ca>
>>> 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?
>>> Thoughts anyone?
>>> Ryan Stec
>>> Artistic Director
>>> [image: Image result for artengine]
>>> artengine.ca <http://www.artengine.ca/>
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