This post originally appeared on the Geek Feminism blog, prior to the Ada Initiative's announcement, and has been copied here for our supporters' reference.
It's official: The example conference anti-harassment policy is out of beta and ready for prime time.
This is a example anti-harassment policy suitable for most open source, computing, or technology-related conferences. It may be adopted unchanged or tweaked to suit your conference.
Why have an official anti-harassment policy for your conference? First, it is necessary (unfortunately). Harassment at conferences is incredibly common – for example, see this timeline of sexist incidents in geek communities. Second, it sets expectations for behavior at the conference. Simply having an anti-harassment policy can prevent harassment all by itself. Third, it encourages people to attend who have had bad experiences at other conferences. Finally, it gives conference staff instructions on how to handle harassment quickly, with the minimum amount of disruption or bad press for your conference.
Which conference will be next? Email the organizers of your favorite conference and ask about their policy for dealing with harassment:
- LCA 2011: firstname.lastname@example.org
- OSCON: email@example.com
- LinuxCon, Linux Plumbers Conf, Linux End User Summit, Kernel Summit: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DebConf : email@example.com
- ApacheCon: firstname.lastname@example.org
- USENIX conferences: email@example.com
- LinuxTag: firstname.lastname@example.org
- FOSDEM: email@example.com
- CodeMash: firstname.lastname@example.org
- YAPC: email@example.com
- Desktop Summit: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Central Pennsylvania Open Source Conference: email@example.com
- LibrePlanet Conference: firstname.lastname@example.org (in progress)
If your favorite conference isn't listed above, leave a comment with its web site and contact email address, and we will move it into the list above.
If you or someone you know has been affected by harassment at a conference, please blog about it and link back to this post. Thanks!