Organizing for inclusivity & diversity

WordCamp Toronto 2018 is taking place on Saturday, December 1st.

We published a planning survey early this week and we just released the call for sponsors last night.

Our call for volunteers and speakers will go up in the next week or so.


I haven’t co-organized a WordCamp since going on hiatus in 2016. I did six WordCamps back-to-back from 2011 through 2015.

By 2016 I felt completely burnt out.

Fast forward a year and I felt the itch to start hosting meetups again. So I did, in the east end, as a monthly roundtable user discussion.

Why the itch to return?

WordPress is central to what I do for work, and I feel like co-organizing meetups and WordCamps is a great way to volunteer in the community.

So when I attend other WordCamps around North America, I can’t help but think about what’s happening in Toronto, and what we could be doing differently.

And on that note…

We need more inclusivity and diversity.

The organizing team has been a boys club since 2011.

I know I’m part of perpetuating that.

I didn’t think much of it in the past, because it felt like we were just a small group of buddies putting on a good event.

But, in hindsight, I realize that we may have been obliviously exclusionary.

Just take a look around the city: HackerYou, Canada Learning Code, Camp Tech, and LearnWP are all local, WordPress-related organizations with talented, whip-smart women at the helm.

Can we really say that we’re home to Toronto’s WordPress community when such a big chunk of the people who are using WordPress aren’t represented?

Let alone Toronto itself, one of the most diverse and multi-cultural cities in the world?

That’s my $0.02, at least.

I’d like to keep hitting on this topic in the coming months, especially with the rebooted speaker series. (More on that next week.)

Read This

This week’s roundup is heavy on code & development:

1. Extraordinary Routines documents the (surprise!) regular routines of talented creatives. I’m a glutton for trying new processes and stealing concepts from others.

2. CSS Grid is a free video course from my buddy Wes Bos. You may know him from previous hits React for Beginners and ES6 for Everyone. I haven’t done much dev work this year but Wes’s courses are at the top of my dev to-do list.

3. Speaking of CSS: Instagram.css recreates Instagram photo filters with pure CSS. Enqueue it up and slap those helper classes on your images for some quick magic.

4. On a roll here… Purgecss is a tool for removing unused CSS.

5. Emmet Re:view is a Chrome extension for testing responsive designs.

6. These small tweaks can improve your site’s accessibility. I’m trying to think of accessibility, usability, and performance as a big bucket of non-negotiable priorities.

7. VuePress is a static site generator built on Vue.js.

8. Principles of effective digital navigation. Details matter.

9. Popmotion is a collection of lean, open source Javascript animation libraries.

10. Share Link Generator generates clean links for social sharing. Super useful when you want (or need) to avoid Javascript or iFrames or other sorts of cruft.

11. A curated collection of web typography resources. Typography makes or breaks a design. I appreciate it, and wish I was better at it.

12. Common webpage design mistakes. This goes hand-in-hand with typography (above). These two resources are great if you’re using WordPress or a site builder and they don’t require coding.

As always, follow me on Twitter or Pocket for more curated goodies.

* Featured image by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

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