The organizers of PyData Carolinas are facing an unusual challenge: North Carolina House Bill 2.
We are disappointed in the governor’s decision to sign this deeply discriminatory legislation into law. And so are over100 major North Carolina business leaders. We are sincerely hoping for a fast repeal of this unconstitutional law. The law was passed after the venue for PyData Carolinas was already in place. We are having intense discussions between the organizers and the NumFOCUS Foundation about a plan of action to address concerns about PyData Carolinas raised by HB2.
We fully respect others’ decisions to cancel events in North Carolina and make their voices heard their way. Our stand against harassment and prejudice is to publicly display our inclusivity and diversity, a long-time focus of the PyData conference series and the NumFOCUS Foundation. PyData Carolinas is a celebration of diversity that will provide a safe and welcoming atmosphere for all.
The organizers are making inclusivity their first priority for the conference. It is more important than ever, especially in the technology sector, to speak up. Leading by example, our venue host, IBM, was one of the first to publicly denounce the bill and pledge a discrimination-free workplace. Cities and businesses small and large around the state are voicing their disapproval and are providing a growing directory of harassment-free bathrooms for everyone.
We encourage and support those businesses by choosing to partner specifically with them. We are reaching out to grassroots organizations to be part of our event and are consulting affected groups on how to navigate the issue. PyData Carolinas will go beyond the PyData Code of Conduct to ensure the safety and comfort of our attendees. As we refine our plan of action, including diversity education and events within the conference, we will share more details. Please rest assured that providing you a safe place to share knowledge, learn, and socialize during PyData Carolinas, both on and off the conference premises, is our foremost concern. Please join us in raising a light in the darkness.
To help with making PyData Carolinas an example of inclusivity, send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to us on Twitter @pydatacarolinas.