Audre Lorde's seminal piece about using patriarchy to upset patriarchy (read it below) is stirring in me as I think about how we as educators need to think about diversity of attendees/presenters at educational innovation conferences like TEDxNYED. On Saturday I found myself reconnected to a familiar conference past time...where are all the people of color?
So I called for a lunch meeting to fire up a new idea of addressing the issue. I thought, let's create a diversity scorecard. In my mind the scorecard is a little widget that conferences would put on their site that would show their "diversity grade." This initself is a somewhat preposterous idea. As an informed person, I know that you can't give diversity a grade on an A-F scale. It's too complicated. But, knowing who is present is a start to dialog. And in fact, it forces you to face the reality of who has access to the space. So, over 20 minutes after a wonderful lunch dialog with some smart folks, we banged out a survey dealing with identity of those at TEDxNYED, and here are the results thus far (or see images below). @bkolani, one of the TEDxNYED curators said that he would include the survey in the post-conference e-mail, that so that will help get more data. There is much work to do on this, and if you're interested (and capable) of helping me build the diversity scorecard widget, do let me know! My programming skills just aren't up for this one right now.