The Public Health Pledge Page
We are committing to safer and more inclusive events. You can too.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world forever, including event and community organizing, and the climate crisis brings with it the likelihood of more pandemics.
While public health authorities helped us navigate acute stages of the pandemic, COVID remains a going concern. Attending an in-person event today brings with it significantly more risk than it did in 2019 when robust mitigations are not in place.
Those risks disproportionately harm communities who were already marginalized and underrepresented, and present a barrier to access for people with disabilities, chronic illness, caregivers, people who are otherwise at high risk, and those who live with them.
While organizers have worked hard to navigate the pandemic, the reality is that our collective practice around Health and Safety is inconsistent, and falling into atrophy as seen in current events.
In the 2010s, many people took a Geek Feminism entry on the Code of Conduct pledge Code of Conduct (CoC) pledge Opens in a new window (#CoCPledge select tweets on Ashe Dryden's blog Opens in a new window) to make events more safe and inclusive. Thanks to that and the work of dedicated community members, it became commonplace to have a CoC, we now know what makes a “good” CoC, there are templates to work from, and even experts who consult and train. Our events are better for that.
Today, we have a choice. We can either fall back on the bare minimum required by local regulations, and in so doing subject our community to devastating health impacts while calcifying the very inequities we’ve been working to resolve.
Or, we can do what we did in the 2010s, and raise the bar.
We, the undersigned, want to raise the bar. We are taking the Public Health Pledge (#PHPledge).
The Public Health Pledge
I am committed to diversity and inclusion, including people with disabilities, chronic illness, and caregivers, therefore I pledge to only participate in or organize events that have robust Health and Safety policies.
Events must meet these criteria:
- The event has a Health and Safety policy, and if the policy changes it is only strengthened – never weakened – between the event’s announcement and the event itself.
- The event actively communicates this policy by including it on their website, in the registration flow, and speaker proposal process, discussing the policy regularly during events, and including it everywhere important announcements are shared.
- The event’s policy includes active measures designed to minimize the number of participants who are infected with transmissible diseases like COVID-19, as well as mitigate transmission between participants.
How to make events more safe and inclusive
There is no one size fits all solution that covers events small and large, public and private, nonprofit and for-profit. However, there is a suite of tools well established in public health.
We will be launching an initial Organizer Guide in the coming days, which we will iterate on in conversation with community leaders and experts. The goal is to co-create practices that speak to many different situations, and provide organizers with as much information and as many tools as we can to ease each other's work toward raising the bar.
However, this page would be incomplete without an overview of the types of active measures event organizers can take.
Minimize the number of participants who are infected with COVID-19
- Require vaccines, including boosters
- Require negative test results
- Require people to affirm they are not exhibiting symptoms
- Easy “no questions asked” refunds
- Alternative modes of participation
Mitigate transmission between participants
- Mandate masking indoors, and outdoors when not physically distanced
- Manage indoor air quality with ventilation and air purification
- Keep meals and receptions outside
If you’d like to be informed about the launch of our Organizer Guide, or participate in the discussions to improve on it, please follow @PHPledge on Twitter.
SignatoriesAdd your name
- Joshua R. Simmons, Foundations Advocate, former Chair of Open Source Initiative
- Amanda Casari, Co-founder of Open Source Stories
- Christopher Neugebauer
- Paris Pittman
- Jeff Luszcz
- Kristian Glass, PSF Fellow
- Gareth J Greenaway, Senior Software Engineer, Salt Project
- Norma Miller, President and CEO of White Coat Captioning
- Jill Rouleau, Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat
- Laura Gaetano, Designer
- Jennifer Moore
- Isabel Drost-Fromm
- Gina Häußge, Creator & Maintainer of OctoPrint
- Lisa Caywood, Sr Community Manager + Project(s) Board Member
- Nicolas Steenhout, Accessibility Consultant, CAPS member
- Taylor Barnett, Staff Developer Advocate, former Co-chair of API Specifications Conference
- Daisy Leigh Brenecki, Conference Director, PyCon AU 2020 and 2023
- Monica Ayhens-Madon, Independent Community Facilitator
- Shaun Mouton, Friendgineer, Organizer
- Carina C. Zona, Developer advocate, CallbackWomen founder, @CoCpledge account maintainer
- Lars Marowsky-Brée, Distinguished Engineer
- Matty Stratton, Global Organizer, DevOpsDays
- Alexander Dietrich
- Joan Liu, Product Manager
- VM Brasseur, corporate strategist, open source & technical leader, author, speaker
- Sayeed Choudhury, Director of OSPO
- Jim Jagielski, Co-founder Apache Software Foundation; Emeritus Director OSI; Open Source Developer, Advocate and Luminary
- Kai Katschthaler, DevRel and Content Specialist
- Finn Porter, Software Engineer
- Carlos Cordero, Kiwi PyCon 2022 & 2023 conference director
- Selene Pastelski, Software Engineer at GitHub
- Sara Safavi, Developer Experience leader; conference speaker and organizer
- Mia Moore, Technical Community Builder/Developer Relations
- Kevin Lewis, Director, You Got This!
- Renee Pieschke, Technical Project Manager, Radiant Earth Foundation
- Joe Nash, Developer Educator, Twilio
- Benno Rice, Over-Opinionated Engineer (v/rare)
- Jan Eckhoff, UX Consultant
- Jeff Forcier, Developer/sysadmin, startups/finance
- Jason Harris, Principal Evangelist, 1Password
- Michael Downey, Software freedom and digital rights advocate
- James Vasile, Open Tech Strategies
- Robert O'Connor, Full Stack Developer
- Mel Kaulfuss, Lead Developer Advocate
- Richard Jones, PyCon AU Steering Committee Leader Person
- Ti Wilson-Brown, Software Engineer, Activist
- Jared Synn
- Robert Jolly, Product + Accessibility Management
- Rowena Specht-Whyte, Disabled activist and advocate
- Owen Blacker, Technologist, and governance team member Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group
- Nicky Ringland, PyCon AU Education Track organiser
- Alvin Bryan, Developer Advocate
- Ben Cotton, Open source contributor and author
- Pragati Rai
- Mica Swyers, Developer Educator
- Chris Wiegman, Engineering Manager
- Lena Freund, Nobody
- Chalis Montgomery, Organizer
- Russell Keith-Magee, Founder, BeeWare Project; PyCon AU Organizing committee
- Geoffrey Thomas, Software Engineer
- Scott Larsen
- Dr Stuart Ekdahl, project lead at www.covidpledge.co.nz
- Ellen Doornbos, CPWA, Accessibility Consultant
- Jenna Ritten, Lead Architect & Chief Developer Advocate, InnerSource@IBM & Developer Advocacy
- Irit Katriel, Software Engineer
- Adrian Cochrane, Software Developer
- Peter Mount, DevOps Developer, Online Gaming
- Swan Sodja
- Maria Romera Jolliff, Student of Public Health
- James Reevior, Lead Developer
- Esther Payne, Community Manager and Privacy Advocate at the Librecast Project
- Dr AL JONES, Psychologist
- Noah Berman, Lead Security Engineer / Covid Action activist
- Chris Spence, Retail Worker and Councillor
- Brett Sheffield, Founder, Librecast Project
- Schalk Neethling, Mechanical Ink - Founder
- Toni Rheker, Software crafter, former SoCraTes organiser
- Paul Berschick, Project Manager at Plain Schwarz UG, co-organizer of Berlin Buzzwords & FOSS Backstage
- Adina Wagner, Research Software Engineer
- Matt Beland, Consultant, Speaker, Art Instructor
- John Duksta, Security Engineer
- Jakob Haufe, Debian Developer, Sysadmin, Freelancer
- Kalon Hinds
- Steven Zekowski, Retired Physician (allergy-immunology)
- Dr. Matt Lee, Miniature Painter and Filmmaker, retired free software apologist
- Edward L Platt, Researcher, Civic Technologist
- Tristan Louis, Founder, TNL.net
- Jennifer Angeli
- Brian Ross Ashley, Common Thread Chorus newsletter editor, political activist
- Jordan Harband, Open Source Maintainer
- Jinna Kiisuo, TPgM at Google