This article really makes me wonder why we aren’t doing more to support the diversity of leaders in EdTech. Choosing keynotes should not be a choice between only a set of “vetted white men”. Choosing for diverse genders, races, and backgrounds within an event should not be an afterthought, but rather at the forefront of our mind. If the kinds of change we are trying to create only work for the the people currently in charge (mostly white, mostly male), we are not engaged in the right work.
Diversity is not a “nice to have.” It is essential because it is the only way that we will actually impact all teachers and students. It is also the only way that we get ALL of the voices in the room. Please go and read this article and commit to these two things:
Commit to a diversity policy. Start with the O’Reilly Media boilerplate language; you can adapt it freely under a Creative Commons license. We revisit it fairly regularly and consider how to make it a prominent part of our Web and social presence for each event.
Out the disparity. So things are tough, put it out there. The lack of diversity in tech is now the topic du jour at the Times and Fast Company. But change starts at home; keep the conversation going (beyond Tweeting links), or start one in your own organization and among your friends. If you have a diversity policy, state it in your program, from the dais, and challenge others in joining you in trying to do better.