[Chaoss-Board] CHAOSS response to FSF

Georg Link linkgeorg at gmail.com
Wed Mar 31 20:40:35 UTC 2021


Hi CHAOSS Board members,

In the DEI Working Group call [1] there was discussion about the
recent/ongoing concerns related to RMS rejoining the FSF board. As the DEI
WG is committed to helping organizations and communities center DEI in
their open source work, the question was raised whether CHAOSS could or
should have any response. It is possible that the Linux Foundation is also
responding to this (or already has) and any insight on that would be
helpful too.

We have three decisions to make and I would love your input.
We don't need to make the choice right now, we can first discuss.
I will voice my own opinion in a response to this email tomorrow.

*# Decision 1 - YES/NO: Public Statement:* Does CHAOSS make a public
statement?

Other organizations have publicly stated how they stand on the subject of
bringing RMS back on board but more broadly about expecting respect and
dignity from free software and open source leaders. Examples:

   - OpenUK:
   https://openuk.uk/openuk-response-to-richard-stallmans-reinstatement-to-fsf-board/
   - RedHat:
   https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/red-hat-statement-about-richard-stallmans-return-free-software-foundation-board
   - Outreachy:
   https://www.outreachy.org/blog/2021-03-23/fsf-participation-barred/


*# Decision 2 - YES/NO: Community Communication: *Do we, as the board, send
a message to our community members?

We are lucky with how inclusive the CHAOSS community is and now might be a
good time to reinforce that this is by design and choice, affirming to our
community members that we value and strive for DEI, respect, and positive.

Here is a draft for the CHAOSS mailing list that we can discuss:

>>>
Hello CHAOSS Community members,

In light of recent events surrounding the FSF, we wanted to reach out to
our community; specifically those who may feel uncertain what our stance
is. We wanted to assure you that this community does not condone or
tolerate harassment or inappropriate conduct at any time.

We would also like to extend our sincere thank you to all of you. Your
effort and contributions are what make the CHAOSS community who we are. We
welcome and support everyone.You have all been excellent in creating a
positive environment by:

   - Using welcoming and inclusive language
   - Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
   - Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
   - Focusing on what is best for the community
   - Showing empathy towards other community members

Should you notice unacceptable behavior, please use our process in our Code
of Conduct <https://chaoss.community/about/code-of-conduct/> to allow us to
restore the positive environment we are currently enjoying in CHAOSS.
>>>

Thank you to Matt, Nicole, and Elizabeth for helping with the draft.


*# Decision 3 - YES/NO: Sign Open Letter:* Does CHAOSS sign the open letter
to FSF?

This is the letter: https://rms-open-letter.github.io/


What are your thoughts?

Best,
Georg

PS: Please remember that the CHAOSS Board mailing list has a public
archive. You can share your thoughts privately with me and other board
members by sending a direct email.

[1] CHAOSS DEI meeting from 2021-03-24, starting at minute 28:30
<https://youtu.be/L_tuEhyLRt4?t=1714>

-- 
Georg Link, PhD
(he/him)
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