[AstroPy] Call for proposals: Inclusion, Diversity, and Empowerment

Moritz Günther moritz.guenther at gmx.de
Fri Aug 7 10:32:17 EDT 2020

We recognize that contributing to open source projects is a privilege
not available to everyone and that the Astropy Project community is
highly white, predominantly male, and is homogeneous in several other
ways, too. In our code of conduct
(https://www.astropy.org/code_of_conduct.html), we committed to being an
inclusive and welcoming community, but clearly it’s not enough to write
down a commitment, there needs to be action too. Hence, we urge all
Astropy community members to take action to broaden participation in the
Project at all levels and we want to empower those actions.

Often, such actions require resources and thus the Project asks for
proposals from members of the community for up to $15,000 for any action
that helps with inclusion, support, and empowerment of underrepresented
or marginalized groups in the Astropy community. We are looking for
proposals that lead to concrete actions soon, preferably in the next six

We envision an open and collaborative process for proposals and the
proposal review, where ideas are opened as pull requests in
https://github.com/astropy/project (see template below), similar to the
way APEs are suggested, discussed and improved. That way any community
member can comment on, flesh out, add details to, and improve proposals.
Similar to hack day pitches, proposers do not need to have the needed
team already assembled and we envision the proposal process as an
opportunity for teams to be recruited and formed.

We hope that an open discussion will encourage people with similar ideas
to join forces and that the community will converge on one or two
proposals to be supported. This relies on community members to provide
honest and constructive feedback and input to see which proposals can be
realistically executed with the resources we have and have the most
positive impact.

If there is no consensus by end of August, the following process will be
used to decide: The CoCo will select 4-5 proposals that are (i) fundable
through the Moore grant, (ii) fleshed out in enough detail that work and
funding can happen on a six-month time scale, and (iii) have the most
community buy-in (counting number of contributors and positive comments
in the PR from distinct people).  We will then invite the community to
comment on those proposals specifically and, should a tie-break be
necessary, the CoCo will make a decision on September 15th.

This initiative was inspired by recent events in the US, but we stress
that proposals may target any underrepresented or marginalized groups
worldwide and Project-specific challenges. We also want to emphasize
that proposals can be outward facing (e.g., focusing on recruitment) or
inward facing (e.g., working on existing practices in our community
which may be exclusionary).

Funding for this comes from the Moore grant to the Astropy Project,
which includes $15,000 for “mentoring” in the budget year Nov 2019 to
Oct 2020, thus one or more proposals with a total cost of $15,000 can be
funded. For proposals that do not fit under the “mentoring” proposed in
the Moore grant, the finance committee will try to find alternative
funds. Likely, that will require to shift other spending between budget
items and thus the total cap of $15,000 still applies.

Moritz Guenther
(for the Astropy Interim Finance Committee)

Think of this like a hack day pitch or a github issue for discussion,
not like a funding  proposal to a government agency. Short and informal
is encouraged.
Post proposals as PRs in https://github.com/astropy/project

# Title

## Summary
(2-3 sentences)

## Team
(people responsible for execution or places where more hands are needed,
not necessarily everybody who contributed to the proposal)

## Plan
(1-2 paragraphs)
What actions are proposed? What needs to be done?

## Impact
(1 paragraph)
How does this help with diversity, inclusion, and empowerment of people
from underrepresented groups in the Astropy Project? Be as brief and
specific as possible.

## Budget
(a few lines of text)
What’s the total cost and how will the money be spent?

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