Sharing the Journey
Agile Alliance hosted a online series focused on Growing Racial Equity in the Agile Community for Black Lives from July 10th to August 28th, 2020.
While this initial series has concluded, the journey to see those solutions through continues. Some will be individual actions. Some will spur initiatives and similar ones will likely converge. The initiatives are member driven so the next steps will be driven by you. We are hopeful that all those involved build upon their ideas and prototypes to test them in the real world and share their outcomes.
This first session was a workshop focused on Growing Empathy. We invested time listening and building empathy from multiple perspectives around racial inequity for Black lives in our globally Agile community.
The second session was an open space with the theme “Exposing Complex Problems of Racial Inequity for Black Agilists” to gain a deeper understanding before we begin considering solutions.
The third and fourth sessions were long breakouts focused on a Designathon to continue the journey to action by ideating and uncovering potential solutions to these complex problems with starting plans to move them forward.
The fifth session was a retrospective for reflection and refraction on what has happened so far on our journey towards racial equity. We explored what we have learned about ourselves, our community, and our organizations through applying a design thinking lens to the complexities of systemic inequity.
Continue the Journey
We have created and shared a Google drive folder which includes all of the topics discussed, empathy maps created, photos, and other resources to browse through.
We encourage everyone to add resources to the spreadsheet.
We invite you to join the Talk Agile Alliance Community Slack group and #diversity_inclusion channel to engage with the worldwide community so the conversation can continue and spread year round. From there you can join the #Growing_Equity_Agile channel.
For a broader perspective on Agile topics, check out the events below and other community events.
We Support the Black Community
This long overdue global conversation is spurred by events that have occurred in North America that graphically illustrated the systemic worldwide problem of racism in a way that nobody in the world could ignore. This has given people all around the world the strength to speak up about challenges they face day to day due to racism.
These events have put a harsh spotlight on the elephant in the room that many of us did not feel safe to talk about. This series is about creating a safe space for us to have serious conversations about improving how we interact with each other because we want to genuinely value individuals and interactions.
We spend most of our lives working. How can we ensure that we all have an equal opportunity to enjoy our time as professionals? What constructs do we need to put in place so that we can shift the inequities for Black people in our global Agile Community?
We’d like to share a quote with you…
“. . . teams where everyone is alike, while comfortable, are not effective. Teams need to bring together a variety of skills, attitudes, and perspectives to see problems and pitfalls, to think of multiple ways to solve problems, and to implement the solutions. Teams need diversity. Conflict is the inevitable companion of diversity. “
— Kent Beck. Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (XP Series)
There are multiple facets of diversity. Let’s embrace the “inevitable” racial diversity conflict and come together globally to find solutions with concrete actions we can implement. Our focus is on creating an equitable community fostering interactivity and collaboration that enables everyone to listen to, engage with, and support diverse voices to produce amazing solutions.
This is the beginning of an ongoing conversation, not just one session or one day. We will continue to come together to explore and confront the ugly problems we’re facing to build empathy and design solutions. Throughout this journey, we will continually retrospect, inspect and adapt, and improve as we confront even more questions, have hard conversations, and realize difficult actions.
We invite you to join us on this journey in first understanding and then…
We are listening. We are learning.
Agile Alliance stands firmly and wholeheartedly in support of the Black community, and in the ongoing fight for racial justice and equity around the world. Racial injustice has no place in our organization and our community.
As we are committed to supporting people who explore and apply Agile, valuing “individuals and interactions” is at the core of what we do. This idea goes beyond our work in software — it’s the basis of human dignity itself.
We understand these issues are not new and that explicitly declaring our commitment to them is overdue. Words are powerful, but we want to complement our words with action. We are reinforcing the following commitments:
- We will focus on examining, building and embracing the diversity within our organization and membership.
- We will use our platform to elevate and engage underrepresented stakeholder voices.
- We will create space for ourselves and the Agile community to engage in essential discussions, anti-racist learning and action.
We will keep listening. We will keep learning. We will do better. We support the Black community. #BlackLivesMatter
— Agile Alliance Board of Directors