(please share this image widely!)
Hey there, this page is particularly for new people to Bicon who perhaps haven't heard the full recent changes we've been starting/adopting. There's an 'unofficial' facebook fan page where lots of us chat where some conversations have gone on – and some on our unofficial fan discord page too.
So we decided to write an FAQ or update to help communicate a little.
Current team is Kate N Katy – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We took over 8 July 2020. Although we're the only "team members", there are a huge number of fantastic supporters behind us, working on all of this together (Including Blake and Rachel who were instrumental in helping us find anti racism training overall, and Blake did the image at the bottom of the page too). Just before we took over, there was a blog post naming racist issues Bicon had done/had for over 10 years. A cultural wave to change has started in the Bicon community, and when we took over it was very much with the mindset of 'what can we do to combat structural racism, incidents of racism and perpetual racist mistakes'. There's a statement under this page in the 'hierarchy' on the page from the organiser *just* before us called Rowan, who also got it (that's here – https://2020.bicon.org.uk/anti-racism/ ) it was published before this new people/FAQ page.
The current team 100% endorses this statement and the actions in it. So we're planning to do a lot of things, and some we've already started. Some of them need formally 'voted in' at a meeting at bicon this year – it'd be great if you'd join us to help!
- at this bicon in 'virtual 2020' we've sourced training on anti-racism which will be free to attend for 50 people as a kind of a 'trial'- this is already full.
- we're voting to make this mandatory for 2021 (as far as possible), details in link on training underneath this in the 'hierarchy', and voting to see if we can get 'bicon' money for it.
- if we don't get 'bicon' money for it we'll sell tickets – either way we're going to fund raise for anti-racism work money generally
- we are looking to either try and raise cash to get people of colour specialists to review our code of conduct before 2021 – or ensure it's looked at including people of colour so we can ensure racism is dealt with
- we've got a couple of different levels of sessions this year about racism and intersectionality as well as the anti-racism training for people to attend
- we're starting a programme of anti-racism learning to run between 2020 and 2021
- voting on changing our structure to try to stop racist mistakes each new year (learning and transfer of the learning between years, we want to abolish 'yearly' teams and make it a wider organiser pool)
- there are other things we're working on, but they're still in progress and not 100% fully formed ideas yet, but if you want to be part of it, please do get in touch!
We just wanted to outline some of the things we are committing to and looking at, and ask for help from those willing to be part of the change and bring our bi community together. I know lots of people of colour may still not trust the event until we've shown change – and I totally respect that. I ask all white attendees – past, present and future – to help us achieve this change together.
We commit to listening to the voices of POC. We totally admit and understand that all white folks have made racist mistakes personally and structurally and are committing as a community to learn and work together on this. There are a lot of people who are committing to this with their whole hearts, and putting time into this learning and we hope to see more as our plans formalise. I hope that over the next year it will become more clear the steps we're taking to try and change and that people of colour may be able to trust the community in future.
Thanks – Kate N Katy
(comments left on for this page as a test to see if people like to engage here)