Oct 18 2019
Oct 18

“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”

–bell hooks

One of the questions that we hear regularly at the Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) is how we handle people who have been banned from various spaces in the Drupal community for violations of our community Code of Conduct.

As our conflict resolution policy and process states, one of the potential actions that the CWG can take is to impose permanent or temporary bans from some or all Drupal community spaces, which may be both physical (DrupalCamps and other meetups) and virtual (community Slack channels, Drupal.org, etc.).

While we work to avoid bans whenever possible, sometimes they are unavoidable as an individual's behavior can have impacts that go far beyond just those individuals who may be directly involved. While the CWG’s original charter focused on interpersonal conflicts, the updated version we adopted at the end of last year makes it clear that the group’s primary responsibility is for the overall health of the community, which means that we need to consider the impact of a person’s ongoing participation on others in the community, not just on those who may have raised concerns.

In those cases where an individual is banned, we keep records in case they need to be reviewed in the future or additional action is required. However, we do not maintain a comprehensive “master list” of banned individuals.

If and when the CWG needs to issue an indefinite ban (or when an individual chooses to leave the community on their own, rather than working with us), we always let the individual involved know that they can reach out to us at any time. We generally try to avoid using the term “permanent ban”, as we recognize that people can transform and change over time; however, we are clear that indefinite bans remain in effect until such time as we agree to lift them, and that any attempts to circumvent bans may result in additional action.

On those occasions when a banned individual reaches out to us expressing interest in rejoining the community, we begin an established process where we start by examining the situation very carefully before agreeing to proceed. This involves reviewing the individual’s past history and the interactions they have had with other community members since their ban, as well as reaching out to those who have filed past reports and/or others who we are aware may have been impacted by this person’s past words and actions to get their feedback. If we are aware that the individual has already taken action in both public and private settings to address their past behavior before coming to us, that is a very positive sign.

To be clear, however, what we are looking for is for the individual to not just show remorse or regret for their actions, but also demonstrate a commitment to address and repair the damage their past behavior has caused. They need to be willing to take responsibility for their words and actions and the impact they have on others. In addition to demonstrating the ability to hold themselves accountable, they must also agree to allow others in the community to hold them accountable. If the CWG is not confident that these conditions can be met, we will not proceed further, instead recommending that the individual engage in additional reflection before coming back to us.

If and when we agree that the individual is ready to move forward with reintegration into the community, the next step is to collaboratively develop an action plan with clear goals and milestones. This plan must not only satisfy the questions and concerns that have been raised by others, but also include safeguards to address any potential for relapses in negative behavior, such as regular check-ins with the CWG and/or others and limitations in access to various Drupal community spaces. As the individual continues to demonstrate consistently positive behavior and is able to re-establish trust with more members of the community, they may gain additional access and privileges over time. However, if they engage in behavior that violates the Code of Conduct at any point in the process, they remain subject to immediate reinstatement of previous bans and/or other actions.

This process is difficult and hard, and it’s not for everyone. We understand that, and we don’t blame anyone who chooses to walk away. For those who are willing to be open and vulnerable, face their mistakes head on, and learn from them, we’re there every step of the way. As our values and principles state, “The expectation of leaders is not that they are perfect or have years of experience. The expectation of leaders is that they learn from their mistakes, rise to the challenge, support others ahead of their own needs or ego, and continuously work to improve themselves.”

Aug 15 2019
Aug 15

The Drupal Community Working Group is happy to announce that we've teamed up with Otter Tech to offer live, monthly, online Code of Conduct enforcement training for Drupal Event organizers and volunteers through the end of 2019. 

The training is designed to provide "first responder" skills to Drupal community members who take reports of potential Code of Conduct issues at Drupal events, including meetups, camps, conventions, and other gatherings. The workshops will be attended by Code of Conduct enforcement teams from other open source events, which will allow cross-pollination of knowledge with the Drupal community.

Each monthly online workshop is the same; community members only have to attend one monthly workshop of their choice to complete the training.  We strongly encourage all Drupal event organizers to consider sponsoring one or two persons' attendance at this workshop.

The monthly online workshops will be presented by Sage Sharp, Otter Tech's CEO and a diversity and inclusion leader in the open source community. From the official description of the workshop, it will include:

  • Practice taking a report of a potential Code of Conduct violation (an incident report)
  • Practice following up with the reported person
  • Instructor modeling on how to take a report and follow up on a report
  • One practice scenario for a report given at an event
  • One practice scenario for a report given in an online community
  • Discussion on bias, microaggressions, personal conflicts, and false reporting
  • Frameworks for evaluating a response to a report
  • 40 minutes total of Q&A time

In addition, we have received a Drupal Community Cultivation Grant to help defray the cost of the workshop for those that need assistance. The standard cost of the workshop is $350, Otter Tech has worked with us to allow us to provide the workshop for $300. To register for the workshop, first let us know that you're interested by completing this sign-up form - everyone who completes the form will receive a coupon code for $50 off the regular price of the workshop.

For those that require additional assistance, we have a limited number of $100 subsidies available, bringing the workshop price down to $200. Subsidies will be provided based on reported need as well as our goal to make this training opportunity available to all corners of our community. To apply for the subsidy, complete the relevant section on the sign-up form. The deadline for applying for the subsidy is end-of-business on Friday, September 6, 2019 - those selected for the subsidy will be notified after this date (in time for the September 9, 2019 workshop).

The workshops will be held on:

  • September 9 (Monday) at 3 pm to 7 pm U.S. Pacific Time / 8 am to 12 pm Australia Eastern Time
  • October 23 (Wednesday) at 5 am to 9 am U.S. Pacific Time / 2 pm to 6 pm Central European Time
  • November 21 (Thursday) at 6 pm to 10 pm U.S. Pacific Time / 1 pm to 5 pm Australia Eastern Time
  • December 4 (Wednesday) at 9 am to 1 pm U.S. Pacific Time / 6 pm to 10 pm Central European Time

Those that successfully complete the training will be (at their discretion) listed on Drupal.org (in the Drupal Community Workgroup section) as a means to prove that they have completed the training. We feel that moving forward, the Drupal community now has the opportunity to have professionally trained Code of Conduct contacts at the vast majority of our events, once again, leading the way in the open source community.

We are fully aware that the fact that the workshops will be presented in English limit who will be able to attend. We are more than interested in finding additional professional Code of Conduct workshops in other languages. Please contact us if you can assist.

Apr 19 2019
Apr 19

Leslie Glynn - 2019 Aaron Winborn Award winnerDuring the opening plenary at DrupalCon Seattle, the members of the Drupal Community Working Group announced the winner of the 2019 Aaron Winborn Award, Leslie Glynn (leslieg).

The award is named after a long-time Drupal contributor who lost his battle with ALS in 2015. This award recognizes an individual who, like Aaron, demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and an above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal project and community. Previous winners of the award are Cathy Theys, Gabór Hojtsy, Nikki Stevens, and Kevin Thull. Current CWG members, along with previous winners, selected the winner based on nominations submitted by Drupal community members.

This year, there were 18 individuals nominated for the award. In the coming weeks, the CWG will be contacting all nominees to let them know of their nomination and thank them for their continued work in the community.

In addition to the physical award presented to Leslie during the announcement, Leslie was also provided with a free ticket to DrupalCon Seattle as well as travel expenses. 

Leslie has over 30 years experience in the software development field and has been working with Drupal since 2011. She has been involved in Drupal project management, site building, and client support. She has organized and mentored Drupal sprints, has offered trainings at Drupal camps and DrupalCons, and has volunteered at - as well as help organize - many camps across the United States especially in New England.

Multiple people nominated Leslie for this award. One of them wrote, “If you have ever attended a North American Drupalcon, BADCamp, NYCCamp, NEDCamp, Design4Drupal, or any other major North American Drupal event, then you have seen Leslie. She is a constant inspiration of how our community, and each one of us, should work and act."

Another one of her nominators wrote, “Leslie is a dependable, passionate, kind, and giving individual and the Drupal community is extremely fortunate to have her."

Nominations for the 2020 award will open in early 2020.

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