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It’s time to play your part: Black Lives Matter

11 June 2020

Black. Lives. Matter.

Whether you are a small business owner, project manager or events planner, you must do your bit to create a more equitable future.

All of these roles are ones of privilege. You set the tone. You decide the priorities. You draw up the guest list.

If you organise for-profit events or attend such events on behalf of your business, you can insist on the following:

All speakers, panellists and hosts are paid for their contributions to the event, and for the time it takes to prepare for it. That takes time. The life and experience they draw upon also costs money. By not paying contributors fairly, amazing people that can’t afford to take the time out are excluded from the event.

Contributors’ travel expenses and tickets to the event are covered for the full duration of the event. It cannot be assumed that contributors have the funds to pay to attend the very same event.

The speaker, panellists and host line-up are not simply pale, male and stale. We must be hearing the stories of all genders and none, all ethnicities, all expressions, all orientations, all abilities, all ages and all experiences. They make events so much more valuable for everyone.

✊ There is a clear and communicated Code of Conduct for the event. Spaces - both physical and virtual - must be safe and inclusive for all attendees.

Accessibility of the event is considered. Whilst you may not currently have any physical or digital access requirements, most people have attended events that just aren’t prepared for attendees that do. It’s isolating, embarrassing and unnecessary in most cases.

✊ Wherever possible the venue has gender-neutral and accessible toilets.

Scholarships, bursaries and support are offered to marginalised folks that might not otherwise be able to attend the event. Whilst smaller organisations might not be able to immediately do this, they should be able to show it on their roadmap for future events.

Making projects and events accessible and inclusive to all is really important to me. But I'm honest enough to say it is a work in progress. This is all taken from my speaker rider. I wrote this in early 2020, and to be perfectly honest, felt kinda apprehensive about whether it was overkill (I'm not directing blockbuster movies) or I'd lose value speaking gigs over it (which I appreciate now is a uber-privileged worry to have).

If you have any other suggestions or ideas about how I can make what I do even more accessible please do share them with me. I want to learn and do better.