As the OpenWest Conferences evolves into a regional event, we’ve tried to pay close attention to the speakers, the attendees and all involved that they feel welcome and appreciated.
Our goal is to create an inclusive, respectful conference environment that invites participation from people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientation.
We’re actively seeking to increase the diversity of our attendees, speakers, and sponsors through our calls for proposals, other open submission processes, and through dialogue with the larger communities we serve.
This is an ongoing process. We are talking to our program chairs, program committees, and various innovators, experts, and organizations about this goal and about ways they can help us achieve it.
Here are some ways you can help us build a more diverse conference experience:
- Recommend appropriate speakers and/or program committee members to the conference chairs
- Forward our call for proposals to relevant affinity groups with the message that we are looking for a diverse speaker roster
- Suggest to potential speakers that they submit a proposal during our Call for Participation conference phase
- Organize community-based public speaking trainings and practice events ( Ignite is one popular format)
- Suggest ways that the onsite conference experience can be more welcoming and supportive, free from intimidation and marginalization
- Share your ideas and best practices for how we can realize our vision
We value diversity in the communities we bring together, and we welcome your contributions to bringing balanced representation of the richness of our collective human experience.