DDI Speaker Initiative

☕️ Espresso (short version)

Would you be interested in attending an online speaker training event, focused on helping people from underrepresented groups to overcome imposter syndrome, level up speaking skills, brainstorm and select a topic, develop a pitch and bio, and outline a talk?

The two-part workshop is being held on Saturday, September 21 and Saturday, September 28, 2019, from 1–3:30 p.m. ET.

Register today

Learn more about the Speaker Diversity Workshop.

The Challenge

One of the most visible ways that people can see diversity within the Drupal community is who steps in front of us at events to share what they’ve learned and help to explain new and challenging concepts. When people can see themselves reflected in the people they see at the podium, that can be empowering and help create a sense of belonging. Conversely, when speaker lineups portray a dominant group, then those outside that dominant group can feel left out and not feel sure that they will feel comfortable at those events. Having a diverse lineup of speakers sets the tone for the entire event that inclusion matters here.

Empowering more speakers from underrepresented and marginalized groups also has a deep and powerful effect on those speakers lives. Speaking gives opportunities to deepen and showcase a speaker’s knowledge, and that can lead to better career opportunities. Those career opportunities can lead to more opportunities to speak as well as more opportunities to contribute back to Drupal and to the Drupal community and to help empower other people from underrepresented and marginalized communities. This can be part of a virtuous circle that lifts people up.

The Plan

Some of you may remember Jill Binder’s talk at DrupalCon Nashville in 2018 on how her team helped more kinds of folks start speaking at events in WordPress. We are pleased to be bringing her in to do the workshop for us in Drupal!

Jill will be leading an online workshop this fall, September 21 and 28, 2019. We are hoping to get as many people as possible from marginalized and underrepresented groups to attend.

Later on, Jill will also be leading a train-the-trainers event. In this event, we will be leading community members who want to be able to hold additional speaker training workshops in their communities, either at local meetup events or at Drupal Camps. Ideally we want to find trainers who are also from marginalized and underrepresented groups, as that can make a big difference in helping to encourage people to get started or to level up in their speaking. People can probably partner together to lead workshops too. Event organizers who want to help diversify their events may want to start thinking about people from their community who could attend a train-the-trainers event in order to hold one of their workshops in their local area. This is one way the WordPress community greatly extended the reach of their speaker diversity efforts, and we are hoping we can do so in the Drupal community too.


The Speaker Diversity Initiative would not be possible without the help of all the people who donated to help raise funds for this effort.

A huge thanks to our partner in this workshop, Pantheon: without their matching fund, this workshop would not be possible.

We also want to pass on a special thanks to our corporate sponsors, Lullabot and Kanopi Studios, who helped to kick off this fundraising drive, and who believed in this effort from the very start. And another big thanks to individual sponsors Dries Buytaert and Drew Griffiths.

And finally we want to thank all the other organizations and individuals who stepped up to make this possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You can find a list of our contributors on the Speaker Diversity Initiative Open Collective page.

Our work is never done! We welcome one-time donations and ongoing sponsorships to help us do the work of diversity and inclusion in the Drupal community: donate today with Open Collective!


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