[Noisebridge-discuss] Who do we want to exclude? [Drama]

Ronald Cotoni setient at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 19:18:41 UTC 2013

We should take a look at the meeting notes that we have since the beginning
of noisebridge and see if there are common issues that we can easily solve.

On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM, Jeffrey Carl Faden <jeffreyatw at gmail.com>wrote:

> We *should* strive to be a welcoming place, but how do we *do* it?
> Jeffrey
> On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 11:44 AM, Tom Lowenthal <me at tomlowenthal.com>wrote:
>> It is a myth that leaving our doors open to any makes us welcome for all.
>> When we admit those who think of women as anything less than
>> autonomous people, we make Noisebridge unwelcome for women. When there
>> are those among us who take what is not theirs, those who would
>> construct projects with valuable components cannot do so here. When
>> our library is used as a bedroom, it us unavailable and unpleasant for
>> those who seek knowledge. When our tools are broken or lost, it is not
>> possible to build. When people won't come to classes because they do
>> not feel safe at Noisebridge, we need to address this.
>> When some people walk though our gate, Noisebridge becomes unpleasant
>> and unusable for others. When we are open to all, we exclude many of
>> those we love most.
>> Too many times have I heard "Let's meet at the Sycamore instead,
>> people always hit on me when I'm at Noisebridge."  or "I know it costs
>> more, but let's build it at Tech shop, 'cause it'd suck if this went
>> missing.". If you are a cisgendered man who works mostly at your
>> computer, you may not notice these things. These issues may not affect
>> you directly, but they affect those around you: your community. This
>> weakens our social fabric, and excludes many of the most valued,
>> thoughtful folks who should be the mainstay of our hackerspace.
>> Without these people, we are so much less.
>> We need to take a look in the mirror and decide what we want to be,
>> because we cannot be everything to everyone. If we want to be the
>> place that people go to build their next giant robot, livestreaming
>> quadcoptor, community project, or enlightening class, we must be a
>> place which invites, nurtures, and encourages this. We should strive
>> to be the place that provides for that which we value most, and that
>> means removing those things which are barriers to these goals.
>> We have excluded so many who have come before and tried to make great
>> things. Let us not exclude any more.
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Ronald Cotoni
Systems Engineer
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