DEI in the Drupal Community Is Collective: Von Eaton | NEDCamp
The New England Drupal Camp 2022 is in this weekend. We asked between 5 to 8 questions to every speaker at the camp via email/slack. Some questions were common to all, and some were specific. We also gave them a choice not to answer any particular question. The Drop Times got written responses from most of the speakers. We are publishing those short conversations as a series. Here is the eighth interview.
Von Eaton is the Director of Programs at the Drupal Association. He is a New Jersey-based activist, community engagement professional, and change-maker. Known by his handle vonreyes, Von will be talking about 'How to create and maintain healthy communities: The importance of psychological safety,' at Room: Maine (Gaige 203) from 9:00 am to 9:45 am on this Saturday, November 19, 2022, as part of the New England Drupal Camp 2022 happening at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. Here is what, Von shared with us:
TDT:  A brief introduction about yourself and your work in Drupal
Von Eaton: My name is Von (he/him), and I am the Director, Programs at the Drupal Association. I am the organization's strategic leader for our programmatic initiatives, which include DrupalCon, Drupal Talent + Education, Community Engagement, Contribution Enablement, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I have a background in grassroots political organizing, social justice education, community engagement strategy, and adult learning. You can read more about my experience on my drupal.org profile.
TDT:  The community parlance is that 'you come for the code but stay for the community.' How did you first get introduced to the community?
Von Eaton: I joined the Drupal community in September of 2021 as the Events + Engagement Manager for DrupalCon North America. I facilitated all of the volunteer committees for DrupalCon Portland and also helped reshape the structure and vision for the event to better meet community needs in a COVID-conscious world. I now act as the internal advocate for the community at the Drupal Association and work collaboratively with community members routinely to bring their needs into the programs we facilitate.
TDT:  Tell us about what you present in the New England DrupalCamp 2022 and who should attend your session.
Von Eaton: I'm excited to facilitate a workshop on cultivating Psychological Safety in online communities! This session is so fulfilling to give, and it's always different depending on who is in the room. This session is for everyone in the community, but I think it is especially beneficial for leaders who have the power to shape and manage the cultures they operate within, whether that's at work or volunteering.
TDT:  Talk a bit about the key initiatives you are driving as the director of programs at the Drupal association
Von Eaton: In collaboration with Joi Garrett, Community Contribution Coordinator, my role is to support, implement, and continuously improve community support programs. I'm the project lead for DrupalCon North America and for Discover Drupal. I also drive the organization's strategy around community engagement and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) best practices.
TDT:  Could you shed some light on how the DA drives A11y, Diversity, and Inclusivity inside the Drupal Community?
Von Eaton: It is my position that DEI in the Drupal community is collective, and the DA (Drupal Association) is one part of a holistic picture in driving these areas of equity. Some steps that the DA has taken in the last year since I've been on board are
- Hiring specific full-time professionals with Accessibility, Justice, and DEI backgrounds to inform every pillar that the organization is involved within;
- Advocating for and allocating resources to communities most at risk in our community and
- Developing programs that target specific outcomes that remove systemic barriers for marginalized people to be successful in technology.
Join Von Eaton at NEDCamp 2022 for the session, 'How to create and maintain healthy communities: The importance of psychological safety' at Room: Maine (Gaige 203), from 09:00 am to 09:45 am on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. Click here to Register.
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