allies for inclusion

Diversity Empowerment Summit provides insights, ideas, and examples to help open source projects and professionals adopt inclusive practices.

Diversity and inclusion are hot topics as projects compete to attract more talent to power development efforts now as well as build their ranks to carry the projects into the future. The Diversity Empowerment Summit co-located with Open Source Summit coming up in Vancouver August 29-31, will offer key insights to help your project succeed in these endeavors.

Although adoption of diversity and inclusion policies is generally seen as simply the right thing to do, finding good paths to building and implementing such policies within existing community cultures continues to be challenging. The Diversity Empowerment Summit, however, provides hard insights, new ideas, and proven examples to help open source professionals navigate this journey.

Nithya Ruff, Senior Director, Open Source Practice at Comcast

Nithya Ruff,  Senior Director, Open Source Practice at Comcast, and member of the Board of Directors for The Linux Foundation, says “the mission of open source communities to attract and retain diverse contributors with unique talent and perspectives has gathered momentum, but we cannot tackle these issues without the support of allies and advocates.” Ruff will be moderating a panel discussion at the conference examining the role of allies in diversity and inclusion and exploring solid strategies for success.

Along with Erik Riedel of Dell EMC, Ruff will also present “Everyday Opportunities for Inclusion & Collaboration.” In this talk, the speakers will share specific examples and stories illustrating some less obvious opportunities for communication, networking, mentoring, and collaboration encountered in  on-the-job activities as well as at events and forums.

We talked with Ruff about the importance of the Diversity Empowerment Summit as well as some of the upcoming  highlights.

The Linux Foundation: Why is the Diversity Empowerment Summit important?

Nithya Ruff: A big part of open source is the developers who feel included and valued as human beings. And the Diversity Empowerment Summit helps us celebrate and discuss how we can continue to create inviting, inclusive and healthy communities. This conference welcomes talks on growing our community to practices for inclusion to being allies to people who are under-represented in our communities.  It is great to see The Linux Foundation make valuable space and time for this track every year.

The Linux Foundation: Who should attend?

Ruff: Everyone who cares about the health of the community should attend.  Projects are successful because of the people behind it and if you are interested in creating a sustainable project, you should attend these sessions.

The Linux Foundation: What are you looking forward to at the Summit?

Ruff: This year, I am excited about the panel on building allies as it brings some great speakers in one session to the audience. I’m looking forward to truly great speakers like our keynote speaker, Jennifer Cloer, and others like Tameika Reed, Deb Nicholson, Chloe Condon, Lucy Wyman, and Guy Martin.

There are also many terrific talks about welcoming and helping new contributors to open source, which is critical considering women comprise less than 10 percent of open source community members and many underrepresented communities account for less than 5 percent of open source community members.

Check out the complete schedule and register now to attend the Diversity Empowerment Summit at Open Source Summit in Vancouver.

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Check out the session highlights for the new Diversity Empowerment Summit (DES), which will take place Sept. 14, 2017, in Los Angeles as part of Open Source Summit North America.

Featured sessions and speakers for DES include:

  • Chaos Theory + Civil Liberties = 21st Century Corporate Practices – Kate Ertmann, GO

  • Open Your Arms to Open Source – Solutions to Bring in Social Innovation to All Walks of Life All Over the World – Arpana Durgaprasad, IBM

  • You’re Not a *Real* Software Engineer – Amy Chen, Rancher Labs

  • CO.LAB: A Collaborative, Mobile Learning Experience – John Adams, Red Hat

Other diversity and inclusion activities at Open Source Summit North America include:

Note that registration for DES is included in Open Source Summit registration fees at no additional cost.  Anyone in open source who wants to learn more about furthering diversity and inclusion in the community, as well as the broader technology industry, is encouraged to attend.

Onsite resources to increase accessibility to the event include:

  • Nursing room

  • Complimentary child care

  • Wheelchair & medical equipment rental from One Stop Mobility

  • Quiet room where conversation and interaction are not allowed

  • Communication stickers to indicate an attendee’s requested level of interaction

  • Non-binary restrooms

  • Strictly enforced Code of Conduct

The full lineup of all Open Source Summit North America sessions, including those at the DES, features more than 200 sessions covering everything from Cloud and Containers, to Security and Networking, to Linux and Kernel Development. Register now & Save $150!

This week in open source and Linux news, a talk on diversity in tech sparked a pithy article for The New Stack via Darryl Taft, The Linux Foundation consolidates two projects to form ONAP, and more. Keep reading for a curated look at the top OSS headlines of this past week. 

1) “Diversity in Open Source” talk at Open Source Leadership Summit tackled the challenges women and minorities still face in the tech industry. Darryl Taft comments. 

Amidst Bias, Women Work to Find a Place in Open Source Communities– The New Stack

2) The Linux Foundation seeks to consolidate two of its open source orchestration and management efforts.

Linux Foundation Creates New Platform for Network Automation– WSJ

3) “Google fuzzer helps find 11-year-old memory-corruption flaw in the Linux kernel.” Linux’s Decade-Old Flaw: Major Distros Move to Patch Serious Kernel Bug– ZDNet

4) “Xen Project helps to advance the state of MirageOS unikernel operating system with a new release that now supports the KVM hypervisor.”

MirageOS Unikernel Effort Moves Forward– eWeek

5) Valve releases SteamVR for Linux, letting developers “create Linux content for the HTC Vive VR headset, trackers and other hardware.”

Valve Launches SteamVR Support for Linux– Engadget

One of the great strengths of open source is that it provides opportunities for everyone. Regardless of background, age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or religion, everyone can benefit from and contribute to some of the most important technologies ever developed.

Yet we know that many groups remain underrepresented in the open source community, which is why The Linux Foundation engages in efforts such as providing diversity scholarships for our training and events and sponsoring organizations such as Women Who Code,, Blacks in Technology, All Star Code and more.

As part of this ongoing effort, The Linux Foundation is proud to announce we have entered into a partnership with Girls in Tech, a global non-profit focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of girls and women who are passionate about technology.

This partnership will provide Girls in Tech with free and discounted tickets to a range of Linux Foundation events, free space to exhibit at those events and/or to host hackathons and bootcamps, and more. Our goal is to help more girls and women to become involved in, and contribute back to, the open source community.

The 15 events covered in this partnership include:

• MesosCon Europe 2016
• Cloud Foundry Summit Europe 2016
• OpenDaylight Summit 2016
• ContainerCon/LinuxCon Europe 2016
• Embedded Linux Conference/OpenIoT Summit Europe 2016
• CloudNativeCon/KubeCon 2016
• Apache: Big Data and ApacheCon Europe 2016
• MesosCon China 2016
• Node Interactive North America 2016
• Embedded Linux Conference/OpenIoT Summit North America 2017
• Open Networking Summit 2017
• Apache: Big Data and ApacheCon North America 2017
• Cloud Foundry Summit North America 2017
• OpenDaylight Summit 2017
• Open Source Summit North America 2017
• MesosCon North America 2017

Those interested in participating should follow Girls in Tech on social media for more information and offers.

There’s always more we can do to improve diversity in the open source and technology communities in general. Partnerships such as this one are just one element of that effort, and we encourage everyone in the community to contribute their time, energy and resources to making open source accessible to everyone. Learn more about The Linux Foundation’s community giving initiatives.