[Osmf-talk] Reaching out and diversity (Was: Re: AGM and board elections)

Randy Meech randy.meech at gmail.com
Sun Sep 28 21:34:21 UTC 2014

On Sep 28, 2014 2:35 PM, "Frederik Ramm" <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> Frankly, I found this thread, and indeed *anything* said on this mailing
> list in the last couple of months that I recall, to be far from "toxic".

Kathleen joined the group, gave a number of examples of what sexism in OSM
looks like as requested by others on the list (despite Kate's sound
explanations of why that's risky), and made some suggestions. The *board
chair* replies, immediately criticizes her use of mailing list etiquette,
makes an ad hominem argument because she's from the US, is combative and
basically ignores her suggestions.

We can debate the definition of "toxic," but this is at the very least poor
and destructive leadership. Coming from the top, it has a big impact. If I
were Kathleen, I wouldn't stick around. And that's what happens: no one
calls it out (even I have a hard time writing this), people leave, and then
people wonder why there's a diversity problem. The people who remain and
see no problems elect boards like this and it goes on and on.

> It is difficult for me to understand how people can make a case for
> including more and different people in the project and at the very same
> time be so inconsiderate to those that are already here it almost sounds
> they'd like them gone.
> Or did I misread your comment?

Yes and no: I absolutely think there should be leadership changes and some
people in boards seats should lose them as the leadership here is honestly
poor for such an important project.

But no, people shouldn't leave OSM or the OSMF, those should be bigger and
include many more people and things will take care of themselves. Let's
start with engaging current OSM users. Part of the problem here is the
protected smallness and isolated nature of the foundation, which I
sometimes suspect to be intentional.

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