I am proud to share Episode 1 of the rebooted Genesis Community Livecast!
It was a great far-ranging discussion, featuring WordPress leaders, Mike Little, Anita Carter and Sandee Jackson, talking about the contributions, and challenges, of the Black Community within WordPress and Genesis.
David Vogelpohl: Hello everyone and welcome to the episode one of the genesis community live cast.
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David Vogelpohl: For those that don’t know me, my name is David Vogel pole. I’ve been a proud member of the genesis community for over eight years. I lead Genesis at WP Engine
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David Vogelpohl: And I love bringing the best of the genesis community to you here live on the Genesis community live cast
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David Vogelpohl: Today we’re going to be talking about the epic contributions from the black community to WordPress in Genesis, but also the significant challenges the black community continues to experience within WordPress in Genesis
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David Vogelpohl: Joining me and moderating today’s discussion is a leader in WP Engine is learning and development or which helps new WP Engine employees, learn more about WordPress and the skills necessary to do their job is Mr Brian Kenny, Brian, welcome.
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David Vogelpohl: Ryan, you might be on mute. Okay, there you are.
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David Vogelpohl: Yeah so glad to have you here for this discussion. Brian also serves on the leadership team of WP engines represents employee resource group focusing on issues facing people of color, as well as the black community specifically
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David Vogelpohl: And of course also joining us our guest for this panel really really proud to introduce this group. First off, like to welcome WordPress co creator. Mr. Mike little Mike. Welcome to the live cast
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Mike Little: All right. Thank you for having me.
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David Vogelpohl: Awesome so excited to have you here. I’d also like to welcome Genesis shaper and longtime community member and Nita Carter and neato. Welcome to the live cast
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Anita: Thank you for having me.
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David Vogelpohl: So happy to have you here. I get to talk to you all the time and the shapers and then also joining us is a long time community member and leaders sandy Jackson Sandy, welcome.
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Hi. Happy to be here. Thank you.
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David Vogelpohl: Awesome. Well, without further ado, kind of want to kick it off and get into the topics at hand. I think it would also be helpful, though, for the audience, in particular, to get to know a little bit more about you all
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David Vogelpohl: So kind of start things off by asking you a little bit about yourself and the business or the company that you work for your business or the company you work for kick it off with a Nita and needed, could you help us understand a little bit more about yourself and your company.
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Anita: I have my businesses creative diva.com I’m mom WordPress developer. Still, I consider myself to be intermediate. I’m not advanced but you know we’re all still learning
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Anita: And I’ve been a part of the genesis community since Genesis was first developed. I started using revolution. Two things before studio press
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Anita: Before the rebrand to studio press. So I’ve been in ball since inception.
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Anita: I’m part of the genesis slack group I provide theme support for a feminine theme designer, and I also do you know custom work in my business as well.
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David Vogelpohl: That’s awesome. I didn’t realize you in all the way back to revolution and Nita
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Anita: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
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David Vogelpohl: Yes, yes, yes, that’s a topic for another day.
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David Vogelpohl: Right, introduce our next guest, though, because we can get into the meat of the topics here. See Andy Jackson Sandy. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I own a small studio 2911 creative where I work primarily with nonprofits and with churches with historically black congregations. I consider myself a communication strategist first and I actually, you know, consider a web design is sort of one of the channels or medium in which I work
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know, my, my heart is around the message and using the website to kind of create that message. I’ve been working with Genesis
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I don’t have the greatest memory. I’m sure it’s been at least five years, if not longer
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: And my introduction to the community was
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: In a Facebook group, I believe, kind of to the community, not to the product and I consider kind of missing needed to be my personal my personal ashore, I should kind of in the community. She’s the person I counted on to kind of keep me posted on what’s going on and tell me learn so
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David Vogelpohl: I love that. I love that. I like how I need a kind of pointed out, we’re all we’re also all getting better. That’s one of the kind of pillars of the genesis community to see hands up for me is this nation initiative getting better together.
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David Vogelpohl: And I think the topics we’re addressing today are key part of that.
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David Vogelpohl: All right, Mike, we saved you for last. What help us understand a little bit about yourself. We’re going to talk about your origin story and stuff here in a minute, but help everyone understand kind of what you’re up to today, and the company they work for
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Mike Little: Okay, so yeah. My Michael and I currently work both have my own company that I work for I’m doing development, training, a little bit of hosting. I also work for human made
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Mike Little: Who are work with basically enterprise scale WordPress. So that’s very interesting what we do.
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Mike Little: So myself I yeah I’ve been using Genesis probably
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Mike Little: Five or six years I think.
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Mike Little: And yeah, I’m just, I just consider myself a general WordPress specialist
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David Vogelpohl: Yes, little bit Mike
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David Vogelpohl: I think Anita wins the origin story on the Genesis side going all the way back to revolution theme.
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David Vogelpohl: So, but thank you all for helping us understand a little bit more about what you have going on so
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David Vogelpohl: For those familiar when you create a wordpress.org account. One of the questions. It asks you, when you create the account is what is your WordPress origin story. So I was led to ask that.
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David Vogelpohl: And interviews, like this. So, it needed. We’ll go ahead and start with you. You told us your Genesis origin story. What was your WordPress origin story.
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Anita: Well, back in 2005 when I separate it from my second marriage. I was taking care of my mom staying home and I was already doing web development work but HTML.
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Anita: And I wanted to pick up something else and WordPress was one of those. So I started working with WordPress back in 2005
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Anita: And so it just took off from there and I happened to meet online. I can’t
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Anita: I can’t think of his name right off the bat, but he’s since passed away. It’s like on the tip of my tongue and I can’t remember his name. But I met him through his plugin.
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Anita: He was like one of the first people that I reached out to about how to use plugins and he passed away a couple years ago.
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Anita: And so from that point having that one connection led me to another connection with them WordPress and I decided
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Anita: To totally get away from Juma and just stick with WordPress and so I did that the whole time. And then I’ve kind of stumbled across revolution to with the themes there.
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Anita: And as soon as I started working with those then Brian, you know, they introduced Genesis. So that’s kind of like how that happened there.
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David Vogelpohl: You go, you go pretty far back on both sides there 2005 just two years after version one of WordPress. Yeah. Sandy. How about you, what was your WordPress origin story.
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I don’t remember the year, but I do remember that I started out kind of the same way doing old school HTML and realizing that I needed something that was a little easier to use, especially since, like I said, you know,
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Web design is not my first kind of zone of excellence communications is so I wanted to be able to do something that would allow me to
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Kind of optimize the way that I work with web websites and I found WordPress and immediately I liked the community because I felt like it was I like learning and I liked the sort of collaborative spirit of the community so
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David Vogelpohl: That’s awesome to hear it’s especially interesting to hear your story, thinking about WordPress this mission of democratizing the web. And, you know, providing an avenue for people with specialties, you know, not centered to
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David Vogelpohl: Web design to have that ability to have that voice. That’s awesome.
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David Vogelpohl: All right, Mike. Mr. Mike little your next. So I think you have a somewhat unique WordPress origin story. I don’t know. I’ve heard some things maybe
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David Vogelpohl: Yeah, what’s this help us understand a little bit about your WordPress origin story here.
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Mike Little: Um, yeah. So, way, way back in well 2002 I was using blogging software called V2.
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Mike Little: And
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Mike Little: The software stops being developed for the developer behind it. Michelle Val really kind of disappeared off the web.
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Mike Little: And jump in the States, called because I’m based in the UK chapter the United States called Matt normal week
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Mike Little: Put out a blog post called the blogging software developer dilemma talked about the fact that the blogging software used was seems to be an abandoned.
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Mike Little: And I responded with a blog comment on that and said, if you can, if you’re serious about talking be to count me in. And from that comment a blog comment on a blog post. What became WordPress started
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Mike Little: And the two of us work together.
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Mike Little: fixing bugs.
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Mike Little: Coming up with some new features a friend of mine suggested the name WordPress and the following base. So just four months later, we launched the first release of WordPress, which is actually not point seven, following on from the V2 numbering
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Mike Little: And it kind of grew from there.
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Mike Little: Into the the phenomenon that it is now my own direct involvement in the, the core of WordPress kind of ended after a couple of years, to be honest, my own real life intruded and I couldn’t dedicate as much time to the what was still then a hobby.
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Mike Little: But yeah, I’ve never stopped using it and 2008 I decided to quit my day job and take a WordPress full time.
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David Vogelpohl: That’s awesome to hear you know i every month. I actually working with Brian Kenny here, my co moderator.
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David Vogelpohl: Essentially train new WP Engine employees and give them some insights into WordPress in the community. If they don’t already have it. I do talk about this origin story a little bit with you, Mike.
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David Vogelpohl: You know, you, you’re not there, but I get some parts of it wrong. Apparently hearing your part of it. I’m saying, Michael about your he instead of Michelle.
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David Vogelpohl: So that was one and I did not do actually about the blog posts of the comment. It’s kind of funny. What happens when you raise your hand like you end up on these grand adventures.
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Mike Little: Yes. Yeah, I would never have imagined.
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David Vogelpohl: Awesome, awesome, awesome. And I think, you know, the other fact that I really love sharing is the, you know, essentially WordPress was co created by a member of the black community. And I think that’s
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David Vogelpohl: You know, an important representation that’s often not seen in people just don’t necessarily recognize and so that was why I was for me, particularly after conversations with Anita, and then
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David Vogelpohl: Other Katrina and the genesis community started talking about the
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David Vogelpohl: The representation from the black community that’s there, how it’s often not recognized, but also, of course, the challenges that the black community basis.
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David Vogelpohl: And so really, that was I think even need it for the inspiration for doing this. And certainly thank you and Mike. Mike and Sandy, for joining us for this. So getting to the topic at hand.
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David Vogelpohl: I’m kind of going to ask this question and Brian Kenny is going to kind of lead us through the rest here. But how would you generally describe I’m sorry I’m can each of you share
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David Vogelpohl: Who your favorite black leaders are in WordPress and George Genesis and why. And then I guess the other side of that question is, is that a hard question to answer because of lack of representation I guess need, I’ll start with you.
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Anita: Okay, so for me it’s not so much that
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Anita: I have any particular leaders, because I never really saw any leaders. I looked at people who inspired me when I first got started.
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Anita: So the first person who inspired me was, I’ve known for a very long time that Mike was a co creator of WordPress. So when I saw him. I’m like, oh, he’s like me.
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Anita: You know, I’m thinking, okay, I could I could probably do well with this to, you know, so he was really the first person I saw, and then later one wants Genesis
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Anita: Was developed and they started to include third party theme developers, I saw Wes from app app themes
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Anita: And I saw the he was he was black. And I’m like, Wow, he’s a third party developer and he’s he’s in here and he’s doing this great work too. So
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Anita: There’s, there’s a chance for me to be successful at this too. So, but they weren’t necessarily like leaders out front, but they were people who inspired me that I could do well myself in this business.
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David Vogelpohl: So you weren’t seeing a lot of people and say thought leadership positions at that time. I’m guessing speaking at conferences, although I knew that.
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David Vogelpohl: You perhaps improved a little bit with word camps and things like that. It was you were looking at the basically the leaders, you saw were those that were, you know, as you said, out front.
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David Vogelpohl: But where people that you’re able to look up to and also people that I’m guessing helped you along a little bit along the way.
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Anita: Uh huh. Yep, exactly.
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David Vogelpohl: Okay, Mike, how about you what I do, obviously, when you co created WordPress with
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David Vogelpohl: Matt, it was just kind of the two of you, but as WordPress has evolved to your favorite black leaders. And again, is that a hard question to answer.
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Mike Little: For me, it’s, it’s definitely a hard question to answer, and I don’t believe it or not, I don’t actually consider myself one of the leaders in the WordPress community, certainly not these days.
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Mike Little: But yeah, it’s I I found it quite hard to, to think about this because
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Mike Little: I find that that like people in the in the WordPress community aren’t really hugely visible and certainly
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Mike Little: It really does seem to be a small number that are that are visible. I know that there are you know there’s there’s quite a large black community in the WordPress world, and particularly once you get outside of
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Mike Little: The US and the UK but yeah i I’ve struggled really trying to pinpoint anybody who I would consider as a as a leader.
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Mike Little: And so I yeah I don’t really have somebody that I can I can I can point to which is which. Now you’ve asked it feels disappointing, to be honest.
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David Vogelpohl: Yeah, and I think that’s, you know, again, for me, what are the key reasons even have this discussion is to acknowledge some of these facts, I think, as I go to work camps and meetups and I think y’all kind of alluded to this a little earlier.
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David Vogelpohl: That you know as we engage in the community. There’s this you know sense of love and acceptance, but it doesn’t always play out in material ways
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David Vogelpohl: And I think, you know, this is one of those ways. I mean, if you can’t name someone readily, then that’s a representation of, you know how things have evolved and
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David Vogelpohl: Shortcomings if you will and representation, particularly from the black community Sandy. How about you, who is your, who are your favorite black leaders in WordPress and again hard question to answer. You know, yes or no.
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Yeah, I mean I would probably say the same. I can’t think of any. I can think of lots and lots of WordPress thought leaders, but not many that are
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I mean, that are that are black. I mean, I certainly am excited and flattered to be in company and have Mike little and I certainly would have would count him among them. And personally, as I said,
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I’ve gotten a lot of help personally from Miss Anita, as I call her. She’s my own personal
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Leader within WordPress and within the genesis community. She’s the person that I feel like I can call on and not have
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know, sometimes in sort of mixed gender tech environments. There’s a little bit of you don’t know that I’d never get that from her, it’s just always an openness and willingness to help me.
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: No matter how long it takes literally she’s like, I want to make you a video and 20 minutes later, there’s like a video demonstration and a code snippet.
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: And I can’t get that I haven’t gotten that kind of support and leadership elsewhere. So I’m kind of in the company of the people who love to for later. So
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David Vogelpohl: I can, I can back you up on need is selflessness and helping others, she does so much for the justice community and people that are much lower on their technical abilities, I’m sure. Then you Sandy and Nita you’re definitely a leader, we definitely appreciate on many, many levels.
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David Vogelpohl: Thank you all for for answering that question, I think, as I think about that question. I mean, Mike certainly had come to mind as we kind of put this on the agenda for me personally I think Naomi bush.
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David Vogelpohl: Is another great example. I think Joe Howard is another leader that I look up to and really respect.
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David Vogelpohl: But, you know, and I have to, you know, ECHO y’all statements there and say that this can, you know, be a hard question to answer. And, and I personally believe that’s, you know, an issue that the WordPress in Genesis community should address
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David Vogelpohl: Real quick, before we kick it off to Brian help folks that might not be familiar understand why does it matter to see a black face when you’re at an event or
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David Vogelpohl: When you when you’re in the community. Help us understand like how how that affects people entering the community when they don’t see others, they might identify more closely with
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David Vogelpohl: Like, go ahead. Sorry. Yeah.
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Mike Little: No, I was just gonna say, yeah, it, it can be a huge thing actually seeing someone who looks like you in in a position that you might consider for a career choice or a community to join or a place to go, seeing somebody who looks like you
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Mike Little: Is is a huge step, particularly, you know, for someone from the black community.
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Mike Little: When most of the faces might not be black just suddenly see someone whether that is just part of the community or somebody on stage and you’re given a talk.
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Mike Little: Suddenly presenting online or something. It really makes a difference. And I think especially for the younger generation. It gives them that that
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Mike Little: Permission to say, oh, I could be in that position. I could be part of that community.
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Mike Little: Where so many things that they encounter day to day ordinary life things that they might not even consciously think about don’t have that representation. And so it’s I think it’s vital that the representation is there.
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David Vogelpohl: Sandy, how are you
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I absolutely agree. I think in many ways, we cannot be what we cannot see. So we, we have to be able to see people who look like us doing the things that we
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Doing all the things right. Even the things that we don’t even know that we might want to be one day right so you know there are people who
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Want to get into technology, you know, younger people who are people of color and they might not even know this is an option until they hear that
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know the amazing co founder of WordPress is a black man. So I think that representation absolutely matters. It’s a hashtag. I use all the time and it helps to
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Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Talk offer encouragement and inspiration to people what they see others who look like them.
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David Vogelpohl: That makes total sense. How about you, any day.
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Anita: I just have to agree with what Sandy and Mike said, I just agree with everything. It’s, you know, you feel more comfortable, you know, if you’re, if you walk into a room and you’re the only one that’s there.
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Anita: That’s what pretty much you’re going to think about the whole time that you’re there, you know, you may be there for a particular reason. But it’s always going to be on your mind while you’re sitting there. Wow. I’m the only one in this room that looks like me.
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Anita: And you know you’ll walk away with that you know that I was at this event and there was no one like me there, and I will wonder, well why
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David Vogelpohl: Yeah, I think for me it really hit home thinking about this is, again, as they think about attending word camps in participating in the community, how there’s this you know sense of belonging, a sense of welcoming
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David Vogelpohl: And people would perhaps you know have blinders on that some of the activities and particularly inclusion is unwelcome even though you don’t recognize it, or acting on it.
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David Vogelpohl: And so I think being open to this notion of what feeling unwelcome means is very healthy exercise for the WordPress in Genesis communities.
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David Vogelpohl: Brian. Mr. Kenny, this is an area you spend a lot of time on. I know both personally and professionally to be a represents, and I know you have your own series of questions. So I would like to turn it over to you to kind of lead us to the rest of webcasting Cassie.
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Brian Kenney: Sure. So, but before I get to my questions actually. One popped up after hearing so you guys responses. It’s more of a curiosity. But Mike, you had mentioned I’m you use the word permission.
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Brian Kenney: I found, I found that interesting, and I need to use the word you you were inspired
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Brian Kenney: By seeing that face. And I wonder, prior to that point, did you, Mike, did you feel like you needed permission on some subconscious level or or needed. Did you. Was it the inspiration that made you believe that that was something you could do and why didn’t you before.
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Mike Little: Um,
01:02:06.060 –> 01:02:15.270
Mike Little: I don’t, I think for me I didn’t particularly think that I needed permission but I’ve definitely encountered that since, in talking to people.
01:02:16.830 –> 01:02:24.330
Mike Little: And I think perhaps maybe not in the technical world because I just kind of drifted into technical world from quite a young age, but
01:02:26.310 –> 01:02:34.080
Mike Little: Certainly in other areas I’ve definitely felt that with the under-representation that
01:02:35.160 –> 01:02:44.790
Mike Little: Yeah, it almost feels like, you know, should you, if you, you know, walk into a conference and you’re the only place that should you be there I you in the wrong place almost
01:02:45.390 –> 01:02:57.630
Mike Little: And it’s an it’s an it’s an automatic reaction when you genuinely can’t see anybody else. It looks like itself and i and i think that that absolutely is is part of the issue and why representation is important.
01:02:59.070 –> 01:03:01.440
Mike Little: And yeah, it’s, it’s
01:03:02.460 –> 01:03:16.860
Mike Little: It’s not a direct permission, it’s, it’s an almost giving yourself permission by just by seeing by seeing that representation, it certainly feels more normal, it’s you don’t get that contrast, you don’t get that abrupt difference
01:03:18.990 –> 01:03:21.540
Mike Little: So yeah, that’s, yeah, if that makes sense.
01:03:22.440 –> 01:03:27.930
Brian Kenney: Obviously it was specifically what I was driving that was a conscious kind of permission.
01:03:29.490 –> 01:03:33.300
Brian Kenney: Consciously good I need. I mean for you, was it was it similar. I mean, did you feel
01:03:35.040 –> 01:03:45.960
Anita: Well, to kind of explain why I said inspire me. So I’m biracial, and my mom was white. My dad was black.
01:03:46.530 –> 01:03:55.890
Anita: My mom was a nurse here locally at Kaiser went from Kaiser first came to Cleveland and she worked with the first black doctor that worked at Kaiser
01:03:56.430 –> 01:04:10.050
Anita: And she worked with him for 30 years. But the one thing that always I have in my mind when I think inspire is that when the kids would come into the doctor’s office and my mom would tell me this, the kids would go
01:04:10.620 –> 01:04:22.560
Anita: Wow, he’s a doctor, you know, he was the one taking care of them no matter what their skin color was they were just in awe of Dr. Reid and he wore cowboy hat and he had cowboy boots, and he was black.
01:04:22.920 –> 01:04:32.430
Anita: And everybody loved Dr. Reid and so the kids would feel like, oh wow I could be a doctor when I grew up, you know if if if they were black. I could be a doctor.
01:04:32.820 –> 01:04:51.090
Anita: So when again when I saw Mike after working in the community for a little bit, you know, working on websites and I saw Mike, I’m thinking, wow, I could do this, you know, I have a place out there, he, he has a place there. So I can have a place there too. So that’s where that comes from.
01:04:52.170 –> 01:04:56.730
Brian Kenney: It. So this just popped into my head. It sounds like visibility creates possibility right maybe
01:04:57.480 –> 01:05:10.110
Brian Kenney: Sandy’s point if you can see it, then certainly it’s something that you might be able to be you know that that visibility. Okay, thank you. Those are great answers that just popped up in the conversation and let, let me get behind that moment and figure out what was going on before that.
01:05:11.190 –> 01:05:12.930
Brian Kenney: So, in keeping with the visibility.
01:05:14.130 –> 01:05:15.450
Brian Kenney: My question deals around
01:05:16.500 –> 01:05:30.780
Brian Kenney: Black or Latino people of color and especially the leaders in the community, providing shoulders for other people of color to stand on. Right. I mean, and metaphorically. This standing on their on your shoulders that will help them get that visibility.
01:05:31.890 –> 01:05:38.070
Brian Kenney: Are there any programs or networks that exist to promote that to do increase visibility and should there be
01:05:42.030 –> 01:06:02.850
Anita: I personally don’t know of any that’s out there, other than, you know, there are groups for you know black girls code, things like that, in general, for all coders, but I’ve never seen anything that’s out there specifically for hiring engaging and inviting in
01:06:04.560 –> 01:06:08.730
Anita: Black men and women into WordPress itself. I haven’t seen that part.
01:06:12.300 –> 01:06:13.980
Brian Kenney: Mike, did you want to chime in, or just unmuted.
01:06:14.640 –> 01:06:18.720
Mike Little: No dogs. Yeah, I agree. I, you know, some aware of
01:06:19.890 –> 01:06:31.410
Mike Little: Of organizations like black girls code which which is a great thing as are all kind of youth organizations getting kids into coding but yet not not seeing anything specifically
01:06:32.790 –> 01:06:42.000
Mike Little: For encouraging black people in in the WordPress community. And again, I’m probably going to say a qualify that by saying, you know, in the general US and UK
01:06:42.750 –> 01:06:51.900
Mike Little: In other places, you know, I mean, I know there’s been numerous work camps in various countries in Africa, for example, where there are, you know, obviously.
01:06:53.190 –> 01:06:55.620
Mike Little: Most of the WordPress communities. There are black.
01:06:56.940 –> 01:07:08.910
Mike Little: And it almost seems like well you know that’s an obvious thing. But yeah, it’s just there’s just this lack of visibility in the UK. And I know
01:07:09.930 –> 01:07:18.390
Mike Little: In other areas there are definitely organizations that encourage people into entrepreneurship black people into entrepreneurship and things like that.
01:07:19.860 –> 01:07:20.910
Mike Little: You know, there’s a, there’s the
01:07:21.930 –> 01:07:32.760
Mike Little: People of color in tech, we can, which is the general tech organization, but I’m not really seen anything specifically encouraging people into the into the WordPress community.
01:07:33.630 –> 01:07:33.930
01:07:35.190 –> 01:07:35.520
Brian Kenney: Okay.
01:07:35.820 –> 01:07:43.200
David Vogelpohl: Brad. I was just going to add there are diversity efforts within the organization volunteer efforts within WordPress Foundation, there’s
01:07:43.830 –> 01:07:52.710
David Vogelpohl: Their general, they are not specific to one particular underrepresented group there had been some headways there but I personally have not seen
01:07:53.190 –> 01:08:01.980
David Vogelpohl: Organization efforts, specifically targeted or, you know, to support the black community myself, but it sounds like Mike Sandy and need to have an either
01:08:02.850 –> 01:08:11.310
Brian Kenney: So let me ask something about potentially challenging questions. Is that mean okay if if there are not ones that are dedicated specifically the black community.
01:08:11.880 –> 01:08:22.170
Brian Kenney: Why not. And what do we do that about that as, as a community, is it should we wait for them, or should we start down a path and hope they follow or emergent
01:08:25.560 –> 01:08:27.780
Brian Kenney: Probably more of a rhetorical question. I think the answer.
01:08:30.780 –> 01:08:49.350
Mike Little: I guess. Yeah, I guess the, the answer is yeah that we need to we, as a general community WordPress and Genesis community need to make some effort, I think. And I think one of the things that David mentioned about diversity efforts is that
01:08:51.240 –> 01:08:56.400
Mike Little: There are lots. I think there are lots of steps to addressing diversity issues.
01:08:57.780 –> 01:09:04.320
Mike Little: And, you know, one of them is acknowledging that there there’s a lack of diversity in your company community, whatever it might be.
01:09:06.240 –> 01:09:13.080
Mike Little: Looking at things that you can do to address that to make sure you’ve not got, you know, systemic
01:09:14.430 –> 01:09:18.210
Mike Little: Rejection of people who don’t match the current cohort, as it were.
01:09:19.320 –> 01:09:41.490
Mike Little: But I think the the step that most shy away from is then actively encouraging those people who are missing from your range of diversity and i and i think that’s people shy away from it because it’s a hard thing. It’s, it’s, you know, you eat smacks of quarters or of
01:09:43.350 –> 01:09:46.950
Mike Little: Putting people in place just because they match a certain criteria.
01:09:48.000 –> 01:10:04.320
Mike Little: And that’s a hard thing and nobody wants to kind of edge into that boards without that representation without those first steps without those people outside the organization, seeing or some kind of representation within the
01:10:05.340 –> 01:10:14.850
Mike Little: Nation, you’re still not going to get people and i think that’s that’s the hard bit it’s it there’s no easy answers to addressing diversity issues, but I think
01:10:16.650 –> 01:10:26.340
Mike Little: We people, organizations companies needs to think about that next step of actively encouraging and making sure that they
01:10:26.880 –> 01:10:42.000
Mike Little: Reach out to the right communities that they highlights places where they are perhaps meeting those diverse tickles without burnings those representations of themselves. You definitely don’t want to hold people up as a mascot.
01:10:43.110 –> 01:10:47.820
Mike Little: And their answer the easy answers. It’s a difficult thing to even think about sometimes
01:10:48.450 –> 01:11:00.330
Brian Kenney: Yeah, and I think you I think you touched on kind of the real difficulty case always as part of the struggle. I mean, I can reference affirmative action where it’s well intention, but if it generates enough whiplash to undermine it.
01:11:00.630 –> 01:11:06.390
Brian Kenney: Are you actually helping yourself. But to your point, if we don’t do it, nothing happens.
01:11:06.870 –> 01:11:14.610
Brian Kenney: And then the last thing I heard you say was, it’s easy to endorse bit harder to engage. But yes, I support that program. What are you going to do
01:11:14.940 –> 01:11:23.670
Brian Kenney: Support that program. Right. But what are you going to do. I think that’s the part, it’s, it’s the discomfort that he rightly called out. I think that whole keeps a lot of people on the sidelines.
01:11:24.450 –> 01:11:34.290
Brian Kenney: To which we’ve just in our groups. If you’re on the sidelines and not in the game and, in this context, you’re part of the problem, right. So we’re driving so that
01:11:34.980 –> 01:11:42.300
Brian Kenney: That leads me to my next point. These are people in the community that we should that we can be helping and referencing in Britain, creating visibility. But how do we expand
01:11:43.380 –> 01:11:46.110
Brian Kenney: Right. We’ve mentioned black girls code that’s, that’s right.
01:11:47.280 –> 01:11:57.390
Brian Kenney: Because we want to include that we want to expand the talent pool right have more black candidates, because when there are more black candidates this problem basically solves itself.
01:11:57.870 –> 01:12:03.660
Brian Kenney: Over time when more people you know when more people believe they have that permission or inspiration to move into this field.
01:12:04.110 –> 01:12:13.500
Brian Kenney: I think the problem. Again, we’re not going to abandon it because we have more candidates, but I think it goes away. What can we do to attract the youth. What can we show them.
01:12:18.510 –> 01:12:19.470
Brian Kenney: That’s a tough one right
01:12:21.540 –> 01:12:23.010
Anita: For me I think
01:12:24.270 –> 01:12:25.230
Anita: Can I answer that.
01:12:25.710 –> 01:12:26.430
Anita: For me,
01:12:26.640 –> 01:12:36.120
Anita: Because I’ve because I’ve only gone to one work camp, which was for camp Grand Rapids last year and I actually spoke there. I had a part in that.
01:12:37.380 –> 01:12:43.530
Anita: I think if you’re looking at the young people, I think when work camps are
01:12:44.820 –> 01:12:48.270
Anita: When we’re able to do that again and come together as a group.
01:12:49.290 –> 01:12:50.910
Anita: That there be more
01:12:53.130 –> 01:13:07.710
Anita: Types of training and presentations at the word camps and in those with the speakers, maybe finding younger WordPress developers who might be black to be
01:13:08.580 –> 01:13:14.730
Anita: One of those panels where they’re seen, you know, and maybe get some more people to come
01:13:15.450 –> 01:13:28.830
Anita: Younger people to come when they see them on, you know, the speaker list that this is going to be the speaker for this particular topic and you know they can actually visually see that that person is like them and it will make them want to go.
01:13:29.550 –> 01:13:31.110
Brian Kenney: And it comes right back the visibility again.
01:13:32.280 –> 01:13:33.000
Brian Kenney: Exactly.
01:13:33.300 –> 01:13:35.340
Brian Kenney: Having that non white speaker and then
01:13:36.450 –> 01:13:39.210
Brian Kenney: Extending invitations to that the next generation of
01:13:40.350 –> 01:13:44.970
Brian Kenney: White coders is a way to kind of increase that visibility and create that possibility in their minds.
01:13:45.390 –> 01:13:48.600
Anita: You have to. Yeah, they have to see them there. Right, right.
01:13:50.010 –> 01:13:51.510
Brian Kenney: Those are, those are my questions.
01:13:53.160 –> 01:13:57.870
Brian Kenney: I’m going to turn it back over to you, David. But be prepared for me to jump at the end if you’ve touched on, so
01:13:58.890 –> 01:14:00.420
David Vogelpohl: Sure, absolutely.
01:14:01.770 –> 01:14:02.430
David Vogelpohl: So,
01:14:02.640 –> 01:14:12.720
David Vogelpohl: Nina, you were talking about, you know, your idea around, you know, essentially, how do we get more young people into the community or we can increase the representation of black
01:14:13.410 –> 01:14:31.590
David Vogelpohl: Black people within the community in general, I know that it word camps. One of the most popular parts of the word camp and in many word camps is actually kids camp where you know instructors actually do come in will show kids how to make a WordPress site for the first time.
01:14:32.880 –> 01:14:41.130
David Vogelpohl: I know there’s other courses that will sometimes focus on educating just children in general around learning WordPress.
01:14:42.000 –> 01:14:55.380
David Vogelpohl: I’m just curious how often have you experienced young people in the genesis community or WordPress community and need it, that were, you know, just starting out, maybe getting help from their parents. And I don’t know if you have ever observed that at all, or have any observations on it.
01:14:56.880 –> 01:15:12.990
Anita: No, I haven’t actually seen it, like with younger children, but I’ve seen it more so with say middle school to junior high school, you know, more like teenagers, because they’re learning in a tech environment so
01:15:15.060 –> 01:15:26.190
Anita: For example, like people that friends that I have that their kids are inquisitive about what I do. Well, how do you do that, what do you do, how did you build that. And then I tell them, and
01:15:26.700 –> 01:15:38.310
Anita: They want to learn how to do it, but we’re in that environment now where I can’t say well come over. We’ll sit in the room over here and I’ll show you how to do this, we have to do everything virtually now, but I think I’m
01:15:39.420 –> 01:15:45.000
Anita: The first thing with the training piece like the work camps is
01:15:46.620 –> 01:15:48.330
Anita: I don’t know if I’m going to explain this. Right.
01:15:50.400 –> 01:15:55.860
Anita: Having someone that might be their age who already has developed that skill.
01:15:56.820 –> 01:16:04.110
Anita: To kind of show them well, this person is around my age that can do this. You can’t really do that with smaller children.
01:16:04.410 –> 01:16:13.620
Anita: But maybe someone else who’s in the community who might be African American, they may have well I’m 58 so there may be someone out there in their 20s, that could
01:16:14.070 –> 01:16:24.900
Anita: You know actually do something like that where another say 18 or 17 year old would see that person to say wow she she or he they’re pretty young, and they know WordPress and
01:16:25.200 –> 01:16:28.710
Anita: They’re going to do this presentation, I’m going to log on and watch that or
01:16:29.400 –> 01:16:35.190
Anita: I want to see if my parents will send me to the next word camp in order to participate in that or something like that.
01:16:35.520 –> 01:16:48.000
Anita: But it again, it keeps going back to, they have to see it if they don’t see it, they, they won’t know that they’re welcome to even go there. They actually have to have a face to face has to be associated with it.
01:16:49.050 –> 01:16:57.090
David Vogelpohl: Yeah, I like how you pointed out, both representation from the leadership perspective, meaning his speaking on stage, but also from the instructor perspective.
01:16:57.450 –> 01:17:03.600
David Vogelpohl: To have that kind of, you know, closer in age or closer and skill set mentor to kind of get you to the next level.
01:17:03.930 –> 01:17:10.560
David Vogelpohl: As you start to learn. I think there’s some interesting ideas for kid camps. If you’re a work camp organizer out there listening.
01:17:11.490 –> 01:17:23.250
David Vogelpohl: Mike My next question is for you earlier, you talked a little bit about how sometimes these topics of inclusion can be uncomfortable and you kind of alluded to the notion of like token ization and so on and so forth.
01:17:23.850 –> 01:17:35.460
David Vogelpohl: I know what am I, why somebody I admire really really lot in the WordPress community is a person named Jill binder and she runs a company called diverse in tack.
01:17:36.030 –> 01:17:44.880
David Vogelpohl: And also has been leading diversity and inclusion efforts across word camps and WordPress meetups around the world. It’s actually been quite successful and
01:17:45.210 –> 01:17:55.200
David Vogelpohl: helping those organizations hit their diversity targets. I mean her job is certainly not done. But in the area. She’s focused. She’s had a lot of success there and her her method there is around
01:17:55.680 –> 01:18:04.260
David Vogelpohl: Finding people that are almost there that have the skill set, like an immediate need it did kind of with the Michigan meetup was Michigan, right, we need to
01:18:05.070 –> 01:18:13.080
David Vogelpohl: Get on the Michigan meetup where she’d had the skills and the knowledge, but maybe hadn’t you know taking that next step. And if that was your first speaking gig ever needed but I’m just saying in general.
01:18:14.130 –> 01:18:23.400
David Vogelpohl: How Jill to tend to approach it is to find those people almost there. Show them the path and provide them additional skills to get them over, you know, public speaking skills.
01:18:23.670 –> 01:18:31.080
David Vogelpohl: Certainly kind of getting over that imposter syndrome and so on and so forth. It’s like a whole training thing. How do you think about programs like that, like, um,
01:18:31.200 –> 01:18:47.430
Mike Little: I think I agree. I think there’s, there’s a lot of a lot to be said for them. And I think that’s, that’s absolutely a key part of the of the efforts and, in particular, you mentioned the imposter syndrome thing. Yeah, letting people know that they can do that.
01:18:48.510 –> 01:18:57.660
Mike Little: And actually on a smaller scale local meetups are really good way to do that. So, so I’ve run a local meetup for a long time now.
01:18:58.830 –> 01:19:11.160
Mike Little: And one of the things that that was very obvious to me was just the general lack of diversity in that in the early days, it was often six guys with their laptops outs that sat around the table.
01:19:12.240 –> 01:19:13.440
Mike Little: Co didn’t get each other.
01:19:14.490 –> 01:19:19.200
Mike Little: And I put a lot of effort into diversifying that that audience.
01:19:20.520 –> 01:19:27.930
Mike Little: And once it started again a little bit bigger. One of the things, one of the key things that I was aware of, was that most of the speakers would be male
01:19:29.370 –> 01:19:33.990
Mike Little: And so I put a lot of effort into just talking to the female
01:19:34.650 –> 01:19:43.920
Mike Little: Members who came and just encouraging them to think about talking and then as a general rule to everybody. I would just say, you know,
01:19:44.310 –> 01:19:54.570
Mike Little: Maybe you can come up and not give us prepared speech with slides and all the rest of it but spend five minutes telling us about your favorite theme or your favorite plugin and really giving them.
01:19:55.140 –> 01:20:04.830
Mike Little: Permission to stand up in front of people and and share that and doing that to everybody.
01:20:05.340 –> 01:20:20.100
Mike Little: really does help encourage people to launch that starts happening again you’ve got that representation on there so it worked, you know, particularly well in my Meetup group. And so, yeah, I have a very diverse set of speakers. When we can get them.
01:20:21.870 –> 01:20:35.100
Mike Little: But yeah, I think it can make a real difference that that encouragement that helping people over those steps and I know that generally within word camp or community or the word camp organization.
01:20:35.880 –> 01:20:48.240
Mike Little: There is that ability to mentor people on their on going to give talks and so on, which is great and it’s part of the picture. But even before that you’ve got to get people to actually put themselves forward.
01:20:49.260 –> 01:20:50.970
Mike Little: So I need to get to the point where they
01:20:51.060 –> 01:20:52.140
Mike Little: Where they need mentorship.
01:20:52.650 –> 01:21:00.210
David Vogelpohl: Yeah, like hearing how you were kind of keeping an eye out for it and then acting right kind of notion of sidelines versus in the game.
01:21:00.930 –> 01:21:08.670
David Vogelpohl: Sandy. I’m curious, from your perspective for folks that are seeking to act or seeking to understand, like, what would be
01:21:09.090 –> 01:21:18.390
David Vogelpohl: Your advice or just what are these like micro moments, or even big moments where people could act to help make things better relative to representation within WordPress or Genesis
01:21:19.980 –> 01:21:28.080
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: One of the ideas that I keep going back to in my head is the idea of kind of relationship building and really understanding that in order to
01:21:28.680 –> 01:21:33.630
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Get people to feel comfortable enough to come out to these events and engage regularly.
01:21:34.530 –> 01:21:48.180
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You have to kind of build a relationship with them and let them get to trust you on an individual basis so that they know it’ll be you’re doing your part to help me get a safe environment for them. I live in
01:21:49.680 –> 01:21:54.810
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Not a small town and there hasn’t been an active word WordPress meetup here.
01:21:56.220 –> 01:22:06.420
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: In several years. And of course, I’m not going to do it because it’s kind of not like not my primary thing. And also, I think there’s a lot of territorialism
01:22:06.900 –> 01:22:15.540
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Within WordPress. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who’s noticed that. But there was a lot of it. And so I’m not going to step on someone’s toes by taking over.
01:22:16.500 –> 01:22:32.760
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: A WordPress meetup that they’ve dropped and I also live in a place where there has been one word camp. It was many years ago, I thought it went well and I was happy to be able to attend. But again, you know, the idea of just picking up and saying,
01:22:34.290 –> 01:22:40.410
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Let’s do this again and I’ll lead it. I mean, we all know that it’s like, I love the last one, and I don’t
01:22:41.130 –> 01:22:50.700
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know, I don’t have a dog in that fight like that. So I’m not even going to take that on, but I think, you know, the idea of building relationships with the people who are coming and, you know,
01:22:51.570 –> 01:22:56.970
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Letting them know that you know you’re having maybe you know i know they use whatever the
01:22:57.600 –> 01:23:08.130
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: meetup platform, I think, is what it’s called. I can’t remember. I don’t remember. But anyway, whatever platform they use to communicate the meetings to reach out to people beyond that.
01:23:08.730 –> 01:23:15.300
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: With kind of a personal message and say, I saw you there. You know, I know you work on this, you know,
01:23:16.200 –> 01:23:31.050
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know, it’s like networking. Right. It takes a little bit of extra work on our part. But if we really want to be able to engage people beyond just on a superficial level. It’s kind of one of the necessary pieces of doing that. And that’s building those relationships so
01:23:31.620 –> 01:23:42.600
David Vogelpohl: Yeah, that sounds respond on for for my experiences. I think, you know, having not not truly understanding what it feels like to walk into a room and not see one face like myself.
01:23:43.980 –> 01:23:49.110
David Vogelpohl: Is as Brian pointed out, and then, you know, longtime supporter of these nations.
01:23:49.680 –> 01:23:59.340
David Vogelpohl: But can’t really internalize it or truly understand it on any level unless I was having conversations with people to understand what it felt like to walk in that room.
01:23:59.790 –> 01:24:14.160
David Vogelpohl: And experience some of the stories that you and Mike had shared earlier and Nina. How about you any advice or observations on ways people can act to improve representation from the black community and WordPress in Genesis
01:24:16.020 –> 01:24:16.410
01:24:17.550 –> 01:24:41.550
Anita: I think in hiring hiring people and the other is through marketing, you know, since I work a lot with Genesis and studio press things and just with Genesis themes as a whole, I think the marketing material. I think there needs to be again more visual aids, you know that include us in them.
01:24:42.630 –> 01:24:51.720
Anita: More stock photography used in some of those marketing tools and the demos and things like that because, you know, again, if we see us.
01:24:52.320 –> 01:25:05.580
Anita: You know, will buy into that you know will think that were included in that. So most of mine is just a visual thing, you know, even with hiring practices, you know, hire more
01:25:07.080 –> 01:25:19.530
Anita: We tend to I’m, I’m the type of person that when I go to different plugin pages or theme pages when I’m getting ready to buy a product to use on one of my projects I look for someone like me on a
01:25:20.670 –> 01:25:27.750
Anita: Who we are tight page. And if I don’t see someone that’s there, especially in the larger organizations where
01:25:28.170 –> 01:25:43.260
Anita: They’re say 10 or more employees if I don’t see someone that looks like me. I have a tendency not to buy that product, you know, I’ll go and find another product, but, um, you know, again, it just goes back to Visual if we see it, we need to see it.
01:25:44.250 –> 01:25:54.840
David Vogelpohl: How do you think about, you know, I’ve heard this mentioned in other contexts. When brands will leverage pictures. And that’s the end of the story. And it seems an authentic to include those faces.
01:25:55.290 –> 01:26:06.780
David Vogelpohl: In the material, either by the actions of the organization or that’s the only place they address those types of issues. How do you think about the balance between representation versus just doing it just to do it.
01:26:08.640 –> 01:26:12.750
David Vogelpohl: Into in terms of putting black faces in your website, but not acting in other ways.
01:26:15.390 –> 01:26:23.400
Mike Little: I think it’s it’s it’s one small step that that people can do. I mean just the whole the whole question of stock photography and all those
01:26:25.170 –> 01:26:33.120
Mike Little: Images that we see everywhere, whether it’s whether it’s websites, whether it’s media, whether it’s advertisements on the TV, whatever it might be.
01:26:34.170 –> 01:26:45.810
Mike Little: Again, it’s about representation and so whilst I would hope that a company who did that would not think, Okay, I’m done. Now I’ve got my bit threats. I’ve done my bit of a diversity.
01:26:46.170 –> 01:26:58.440
Mike Little: And even if they do that and then have that thought actually still progress. It’s a tiny step, but it’s still a step and and it doesn’t make a difference and something I actually thought about when we’re talking about
01:26:59.640 –> 01:27:17.880
Mike Little: meetups before and the fact that actually at the moment we’re all doing meetups online. That’s this is probably an opportunity to diversify the people who attend our meetups because it’s a little bit easier. It’s a little bit less.
01:27:18.900 –> 01:27:24.870
Mike Little: That that that idea of walking into a room and and not seeing anybody who looks like you
01:27:26.040 –> 01:27:32.340
Mike Little: It’s a little bit easier to just, you know, open up zoom and hope that they’ll be somebody who just like you.
01:27:33.390 –> 01:27:40.770
Mike Little: It’s, it’s more of a barrier. And of course, if you don’t want to turn your camera on people can see you. And maybe that’s, that’s something that feels a little bit safer.
01:27:42.480 –> 01:28:02.460
Mike Little: But yeah, actually, that I think that is a is an opportunity we have at the moment as a way to diversify our meetups I attended a meetup last night that was much to base my local city and we had, I think, three people from America, we had someone from Germany and Spain.
01:28:03.630 –> 01:28:12.900
Mike Little: And just yet that can happen when when I mean puppets virtual and maybe that’s an opportunity that everybody runs a meetup can think about
01:28:13.500 –> 01:28:25.080
Mike Little: In, and again, you’ve still got to get visibility out there to to invite people in, but it’s perhaps a little bit easier for those people who might think, do I belong there. So come along.
01:28:25.980 –> 01:28:33.660
David Vogelpohl: Yeah, like you’re the notion of also inviting and taking that active participation Sandy. My next question is for you.
01:28:34.170 –> 01:28:38.280
David Vogelpohl: Earlier you kind of commented on how are kind of communication is your superpower, and
01:28:38.850 –> 01:28:45.540
David Vogelpohl: WordPress is your assisting power that helps you in that communication. So I’m guessing you probably straddle the line, if you will, between
01:28:45.900 –> 01:28:49.980
David Vogelpohl: Say the communication industry at large and say WordPress, as a community,
01:28:50.280 –> 01:28:58.470
David Vogelpohl: How do you think in the differences between the representation of the black community and kind of in kind of both sides of your professional life there like as the WordPress community, making
01:28:59.100 –> 01:29:12.540
David Vogelpohl: Fastest strides in these areas than, say, the other parts of your professional business or worse or helped me understand like I get that we’re not all the way there. But let me kind of frame it relative to your other professional experiences.
01:29:13.860 –> 01:29:15.360
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Well, I think I’m
01:29:15.960 –> 01:29:24.450
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know, I’m doing some prior conversations Mike had sort of indicated, some of the issues that are kind of
01:29:25.560 –> 01:29:30.420
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Particular to WordPress because it’s an open source community and I think
01:29:31.980 –> 01:29:41.970
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I think that’s kind of the difference that I see. I mean with within communications and marketing. I’m in several professional organizations and there’s a structure there that
01:29:45.900 –> 01:30:01.020
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Theoretically, supposedly promotes diversity doesn’t always, you know, succeed, but it certainly tries and at least there’s a there’s sort of a documented plan for including others and those organizations also tend to be larger and
01:30:03.210 –> 01:30:06.360
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Two people pay to be a part of them, which I think kind of
01:30:07.890 –> 01:30:14.640
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Allows you to get people with a different sort of commitment level, in some ways, so I think that
01:30:15.750 –> 01:30:18.480
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: That’s kind of what I’ve seen is that there’s more
01:30:19.740 –> 01:30:33.180
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: I’ve seen more progress in sort of organized professional organizations that that I’ve been a part of official professional organizations that I’ve been a part of. But again, I think Mike certainly has some ideas on that. But he shared with us. The last time.
01:30:34.140 –> 01:30:36.900
David Vogelpohl: Like you want to go provide us those thoughts again.
01:30:37.830 –> 01:30:44.310
Mike Little: Yeah. Um, so yeah. One of the things that yeah that I mentioned, when we spoke briefly last week was
01:30:45.750 –> 01:30:49.980
Mike Little: An effort that started recently in the UK, which was black pound
01:30:51.120 –> 01:30:58.290
Mike Little: Blank while they call it blank on Saturday, I think, or something like that black pound day which is yeah basically an effort to
01:30:58.890 –> 01:31:08.880
Mike Little: One of the things the first Saturday of every month to try to encourage people to purchase from black businesses and that just goes across all the whole range of black businesses.
01:31:10.110 –> 01:31:10.530
Mike Little: But
01:31:12.270 –> 01:31:17.340
Mike Little: There’s lots of good things that I think are already coming from that, even from just from my own perspective.
01:31:18.330 –> 01:31:31.140
Mike Little: I just now got a list of of Black owned businesses that I can consider whenever I need a you know a gift or an item of clothing or artwork or whatever the various different things that people are doing.
01:31:32.160 –> 01:31:40.020
Mike Little: And I think we kind of need more of that. Not so much some kind of organized day but but just that.
01:31:41.130 –> 01:31:43.050
Mike Little: Ability to be able to say
01:31:44.310 –> 01:31:52.530
Mike Little: I want to actively support a particular diverse group and then be able to say, okay, how can I do that. Where’s the list of
01:31:53.580 –> 01:32:04.530
Mike Little: Organizations run by owned by that diverse group. And then, yeah, that’s where I might direct my business, you still gonna do all the things that you you would normally do is to, you know,
01:32:06.210 –> 01:32:15.480
Mike Little: Consideration in terms of prices and quality and all the rest of it, but actually just being able to find those Black owned businesses or whatever the diversity group is
01:32:16.590 –> 01:32:18.240
Mike Little: I think is a huge step so
01:32:19.620 –> 01:32:37.950
Mike Little: More of that I think again it’s, it can be a hard thing it can be hard to get people to to stand up and raise their head above the parapet, but I think it as a very much positive effect and certainly the black pound day seems to have been very successful. I think it’s just run for the
01:32:38.970 –> 01:32:40.380
Mike Little: It’s about to run for the third time.
01:32:42.060 –> 01:32:47.070
Mike Little: And yes, seems to have had a positive effect. And I think it’s more of that more in the in the tech world as well.
01:32:47.850 –> 01:33:01.050
David Vogelpohl: Like it more actionable recommendations here for Mike. I love it Nita before we started broadcasting earlier today, you and I were talking a little bit about Jerry Lawson, the gentleman.
01:33:01.590 –> 01:33:08.760
David Vogelpohl: Jumping on my way back machine who invented the channel app game console. The first cartridge based gaming console.
01:33:09.210 –> 01:33:20.700
David Vogelpohl: So watching a documentary this weekend about gaming and they had mentioned Jerry and his story kind of how he was the, you know, last adventure, if you will, cartridge based gaming kind of reminded me
01:33:22.350 –> 01:33:27.000
David Vogelpohl: Of our conversation today and in that documentary. They had talked about how Jerry’s
01:33:28.020 –> 01:33:36.090
David Vogelpohl: The person. He looked up to as George Washington Carver, and I thought it was interesting to think that you know Jerry’s in the video game industries in the 70s.
01:33:36.540 –> 01:33:45.600
David Vogelpohl: And yet he has to go all the way back to George Washington Carver to find a technology inventor that he can look up to that there was no one in his peer group and video gaming that he could, you know,
01:33:46.320 –> 01:33:59.850
David Vogelpohl: Look up to in that same kind of way. I’m just curious and Nita and maybe the rest of the guests who are your black leaders, just in general that you look up to in technology or just in the, in the, you know, world at large.
01:34:01.020 –> 01:34:02.070
David Vogelpohl: Needed we’ll start with you.
01:34:04.740 –> 01:34:16.800
Anita: Well, then we’re back to the hard question because word we’re having to define say a black person of leadership in what I do, you know, in tech and
01:34:18.270 –> 01:34:39.870
Anita: In a leadership capacity. I have not seen one. So I don’t really have one other than, you know, still being inspired by Mike still being out there. And part of our, you know, our session today. And, um, but as far as leadership. I don’t. I haven’t seen any so I can’t say that I have one.
01:34:40.980 –> 01:34:41.340
01:34:41.610 –> 01:34:46.260
David Vogelpohl: I think that’s certainly telling for the topic at hand. How about you Sandy.
01:34:48.870 –> 01:35:01.440
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Yeah, I would say the same. I mean even even kind of straddling the world between like web design and like nonprofit communications all of the leaders and nonprofit communications.
01:35:02.700 –> 01:35:03.720
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Most are
01:35:06.090 –> 01:35:17.490
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Or not black. And there are a few sort of within the larger world of nonprofit consultant consultant who who are black, but that’s sort of a whole different
01:35:18.450 –> 01:35:36.150
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Place from from where I work in MP communications and marketing. So yeah, I mean, I think that that’s kind of a problem across the board. And I think the sad thing is, is it’s not that these leaders don’t exist. Right. It’s just that there’s less of a means there’s like no
01:35:38.220 –> 01:35:45.780
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know there’s there’s there’s less of a way for them to work in their accomplishments to be elevated
01:35:46.860 –> 01:36:05.040
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: You know, they often don’t have the personal networks in terms of the size and the profile. And so they’re out there doing the work, maybe on a smaller scale. But, you know, just don’t have the means and the resources to have their work kind of amplified in the same way. So,
01:36:06.090 –> 01:36:12.090
David Vogelpohl: Thank you, like you’re up here now. So it from your perspective.
01:36:13.200 –> 01:36:25.230
Mike Little: Um, yeah, I think I’ve you know i’ve same answer. It’s, it’s difficult to to highlight anybody I would consider as a as a leader in that, but actually just to touch on something that Sandy mentioned and and
01:36:26.220 –> 01:36:43.470
Mike Little: It’s about it comes back to the representation. If you were to take a different industry. If you were to take the music industry on the sports industry, you have no trouble finding people of color to represent to hear or worship to follow to be inspired by
01:36:45.030 –> 01:37:02.310
Mike Little: And yet what was industry that’s still predominantly whites in in, you know, in these countries in the US and UK what you’ve got no problem because the exposure is there and the number of people of color in those industries who are doing well, who are highly visible.
01:37:03.330 –> 01:37:15.750
Mike Little: It’s so much more. And therefore, one, you know, you don’t even consider asking those questions about people in those industries and. And again, that’s what that’s what that comes back to it comes back to the fact that
01:37:16.950 –> 01:37:34.080
Mike Little: black kids wouldn’t you know will absolutely think about having a career in sports, having a career in music because they see themselves all the time at the top in the middle, you know, in those areas. And that’s what we need in so many more areas.
01:37:37.560 –> 01:37:46.830
Mike Little: Are we get that I still don’t have an answer direct answer for that. But that’s where we need to be aiming that it’s just perfectly ordinary for everybody to be able to pull up
01:37:47.700 –> 01:38:00.810
Mike Little: A list of people that they admire in any particular industry a list of people that they might want to follow and even. There’s so many of them that we can just decide to, you know, have conversations arguments about who’s the best and who’s great at this. And who is it
01:38:02.190 –> 01:38:04.410
Mike Little: That we might do about sports about music.
01:38:05.730 –> 01:38:06.390
Mike Little: But we can’t do that.
01:38:08.700 –> 01:38:16.440
David Vogelpohl: Thank you so much, Mike, and thanks everyone here. I really, really appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspectives here.
01:38:17.430 –> 01:38:33.450
David Vogelpohl: I think for me it’s been insanely educational I have my little notepad here, things I learned and things I would like to act on certainly would like to encourage everyone listening to be brave to seek to understand and to find ways to act. Thanks, Mike. For joining us here.
01:38:34.410 –> 01:38:35.550
Mike Little: Welcome. Thank you enjoyed it.
01:38:35.970 –> 01:38:41.850
David Vogelpohl: I absolutely need it. Thank you so much for joining us here and for your contributions on the Genesis shapers
01:38:42.120 –> 01:38:43.380
Anita: Thank you for having me.
01:38:43.710 –> 01:38:51.270
David Vogelpohl: Of course, of course, Andy, thank you as well. I learned a lot from your insights today and I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation, but thank you.
01:38:52.230 –> 01:38:53.910
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.
01:38:54.420 –> 01:38:57.630
David Vogelpohl: And Brian. Thank you so much for helping us moderate the conversation.
01:38:59.130 –> 01:39:00.180
Brian Kenney: Right to be here, sir.
01:39:00.450 –> 01:39:08.250
David Vogelpohl: Awesome. If you’d like to support the black community today, please consider a donation of black girls code ACLU or black lives matter.
01:39:08.550 –> 01:39:19.530
David Vogelpohl: Or consider making a purchase or a blackout and technology business such as creative diva calm and it’s CR EA creatively spelled diva calm.
01:39:20.400 –> 01:39:33.000
David Vogelpohl: To nine that’s owned by Anita Carter 2911 creative by Miss sandy Jackson. If you’d like to learn more about what all the things Mike is up to you can check it out at Mike little.org
01:39:33.330 –> 01:39:42.120
David Vogelpohl: Thanks everyone for attending. Episode one of the rebooted Genesis community live cast. Stay tuned, we’ll be having more episodes on a monthly basis.
01:39:42.450 –> 01:39:56.730
David Vogelpohl: Again, I’m David Vogel poll. I’ve been a proud member of the genesis community for over eight years. I lead Genesis WP Engine and I love to bring the best of the genesis community to you here live on the Genesis community live cast
01:39:57.900 –> 01:39:58.530
Anita: Thank you.
01:39:59.430 –> 01:40:01.980
Sandee (she/her) Jackson: Thank you. Thank you. Bye bye.