Values & Principles Committee Update - November 2018

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The Values & Principles Committee has formed and has started its work. It has started by looking at Principle 8.

Principle 8: Every person is welcome; every behavior is not

The Drupal community is a diverse group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion is important not just because it is the right thing to do but because it is essential to the health and success of the project. The people who work on the Drupal project should reflect the diversity of people who use and work with the software.  In order to do this, our community needs to build and support local communities and Drupal events in all corners of the world. Prioritizing accessibility and internationalization is an important part of this commitment.

The expectation of the entire Drupal community is to be present and to promote dignity and respect for all community members. People in our community should take responsibility for their words and actions and the impact they have on others.

Our community is, by default, accepting with one exception: we will not accept intolerance. Every person is welcome, but every behavior is not. Our community promotes behaviors and decisions that support diversity, equity, and inclusion and reduce hatred, oppression, and violence. We believe that safety is an important component of dignity and respect, and we encourage behaviors that keep our community members safe. Our Code of Conduct is designed to help communicate these expectations and to help people understand where they can turn for support when needed.

Why are we doing this?

As Dries said, when announcing the first iteration of the Drupal Values & Principles, the Drupal project has had a set of Values & Principles for a very long time. Historically, they were mostly communicated by word of mouth and this meant that some in our community were more aware of them than others.

Writing down the Values & Principles was a great first step. What we need to do now is continually refine the common understanding of these Values & Principles across our whole community and ensure that they are built-in to everything we do.

How will we work?

The Values & Principles are held very closely to the heart of the members of our community and we absolutely recognise that any work on them must be inclusive, clear, structured and accountable.

We are, therefore, going to be open about the work we are doing. While there are members of a committee that will focus on this task, it is not the committee’s job to make decisions “behind closed doors”. Instead, the committee is responsible for enabling the whole community to refine and communicate our common Values & Principles.

We will record actions and progress in the Drupal Governance Project so that all in our community will be able to have the necessary input.

How will we communicate?

We will continue to post updates on the Drupal Community Blog and, as already mentioned, you will always be able to see and, most importantly, participate in issues in the Governance Project. We even have a board on ContribKanban!

Who is on the committee?

Hussain Abbas (hussainweb) works as an Engineering Manager at Axelerant. He started writing programs in 1997 for school competitions and never stopped. His work focus is helping people architect solutions using Drupal and enforcing best practices. He also participates in the local developer community meetup for PHP in general and Drupal in particular. He often speaks at these events and camps in other cities.

Alex Burrows (aburrows), from UK, is the Technical Director of Digidrop and has over 10 years working in Drupal, as well as an avid contributor and a member of the Drupal Community Working Group. As well as this he is a DrupalCamp London Director and Organizer and the author of Drupal 8 Blueprints book.

Jordana Fung (jordana) is a freelance, full-stack Drupal developer from Suriname, a culturally diverse country where the main language is Dutch. She has been steadily increasing her participation in the Drupal community over the past few years and currently has a role on the Drupal Community Working Group. She loves to spend her time learning new things, meeting new people and sharing knowledge and ideas.

Suchi Garg (gargsuchi), living in Melbourne Australia is a Tech Lead at Salsa Digital. She has been a part of the Drupal community for more than 12 years as a site builder, developer, contributor, mentor, speaker and trainer. She had been a part of the Indian community before moving to Australia and is now an active Drupal community down under.

John Kennedy (johnkennedy), lives in Boston, works as a Product Manager for AWS. Over 10 years in Drupal as a site-builder, developer, speaker and on the business side. Co-organiser of Drupal Camp London 2012-2015. PM for Acquia Lightning and the Drupal 8 Module Acceleration Program.

Rachel Lawson (rachel_norfolk), UK and the Community Liaison at the Drupal Association will finally be providing logistical support to the committee and helping wherever she can. Having been in the Drupal community for 11 years as a site builder, a contributor and a mentor, she has had opportunity to experience how the community understands its collective Values & Principles.

In order to be as transparent and forthcoming as possible we wanted to address the fact that there are currently 2 CWG members on the committee. The initial call for people to join the Values & Principles committee happened at the same time as the Community Working Group was calling for new members and, as luck would have it, Alex Burrows applied for both.

In October 2018 a current member of the CWG, Jordana Fung joined the Values & Principles committee and at same time he was being vetted for potential membership to the CWG, Alex joined the Values & Principles committee as well. After the vetting process, Alex officially became a member of the CWG in November. So as it stands now, there are 2 CWG members on the V&P committee.

There are a few possible options going forward, some are:

  • Both CWG members continue for now (whilst the V&P committee is in the very early formation stages) and then possibly:
    • One member drops off
    • They act as a team and only one member (whichever is available) participates in meetings
  • The CWG decides which member is on the VP committee
    • We may need to add another member to the VP committee to take the place of the member that will no longer attend.

So, what’s next?

We have started by compiling a summary of feedback from the community so far that relates to the project’s Values & Principles from such places as the Whitney Hess Interviews, community-led conversations around governance and some anonymized feedback from the Governance Taskforce. We will be adding this summary to an issue in the project.

Call to action

We recognize, though, that what we really want to understand is how you understand what we already have written in Principle 8. THis is how we intend to do that…

The members of the committee have each written stories from their own memories of the Drupal community that demonstrate Principle 8 in action.

We invite you all to write your own stories, from your memories of the Drupal community, other tech communities or indeed any other aspect of life, that demonstrate Principle 8 to you. You should add your story to this issue we have created:

Add my story about Principle 8

One thing we do ask, though, is that you only add your own stories (as many as you like!) and NOT comment or question others’ stories. All stories are valid.

By the end of the year, we hope to have a rich set of stories that show how we, as a global community, interpret Principle 8 and we can then look to see if any changes need to be made to the words or, maybe, it is more a case of linking the Principle to the stories or providing other statements supporting Principle 8.

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