Established this year by Destiny Fox Kanno and Joe A. Simpson, Jr, the BlackPress Meetup group will host its first event next week. It will be a meet-and-greet social hour for attendees. The session will run from 7pm to 8pm CST on Thursday, January 27.
There is also a BlackPress Slack group they want to raise awareness about and bring more people in. It can be handy for members to asynchronously communicate about the event, discuss broader topics, and talk with others.
“Our goal is to both bring more creators of Black African descent into the WordPress Community and also provide a Community space for those already there to connect, learn from, and support each other,” responded the organizers on the reason for the Meetup. “This Meetup was also created to raise awareness about WordPress, recruit organizers and volunteers, and eventually lead to a WordCamp-style event on an HBCU campus.”
Kanno is an Automattic-sponsored Developer Relations Advocate from the San Francisco Bay area. She helps global WordPress contributors get the most out of available tools and resources to create products and sites for and with globally-diverse online communities.
Simpson is a Digital Communications Administrator at Metro Los Angeles and a team rep for the WordPress Accessibility Team. He is also a Community Deputy, leading three WordCamps and two WordPress-related Meetups in Santa Clarita, California.
The format of the event is an open video chat. There will be a central room where anyone can chime in at any time. However, there will also be some time in breakout rooms if there is a large enough turnout. This would allow more intimate discussions and attendees to speak directly with others.
Currently, the co-organizers are not yet shooting for weekly meetings. “We would love to have a regular schedule like that, but since this group has just started, we are targeting monthly Meetups for now while we build our network and momentum,” they responded. “Once we have regular membership, we will most definitely try to accommodate not only more regular meetings but more meetings in other time zones as well.”
This also plays into how they will run future events and their content. The goal for the first Meetup is to identify the community’s needs. Some example questions they posed were:
- Do we have a large number of folks who are creating themes and plugins or are working on design, accessibility, or marketing, etc.?
- Are folks mostly freelancers or working for larger businesses?
“Once we get a better understanding of this, we would like to create more targeted events and spaces for folks to knowledge share and collaborate with their peers,” they said.
They are also looking for speakers to present at future events. Anyone interested should let the co-organizers know if they can contribute.
“We definitely have ambitions to have our next Meetup event include a speaker for a certain topic — potentially a look ahead for the 6.0 WordPress release,” they said. “We are also hopeful to have a Mega Meetup event as this is a globally-focused group and an end-of-year release holiday party event.”
Meet and Greet Mixer
Thursday, January 27, 2022
7pm – 8pm CST
Description: Please join us for BlackPress’s first meetup event focused on networking with fellow community members. During this first social hour, we’d like to also talk about what you’d like to see from this meetup group! Do you have a speaker you’d like to invite or a discussion topic for our next meetup? We’re all ears!
Looking forward to connecting with you all!