Mapping Diversity and Inclusion w/n Resonate Coop Membership

on our Community Team Call a couple days ago i was tasked with coming up with some initial ideas regarding gathering member demographic data to have a clearer picture and understanding of the demographic composition of our cooperative.

here’s some of my initial thoughts (including ideas shared from others on our call)

below are indicators that may be useful in us having a better sense of our membership who’s actually present.

to be clear, i persynally am advocating for membership to be more inclusive of bipoc/global majority people, people whose first language isn’t necessarily english, people from communities that have been historically dispossessed represented and engaged in all aspects of our cooperative, from artists, to developers, and listeners.

as @angus was pointing out on our call, this is a crucial aspect if we hope to grow this cooperative in a way that’s in alignment with our principles. if we misstep on this early on, this will affect the composition of our cooperative for years to come and may be a bit discouraging if those aforementioned communities aren’t represented.

but yah, here’s some things i think we could do to answer the question, “What is the existing diversity in Resonate?”

  1. Conduct a Demographic Survey for Resonate Community Forum Users, Resonate Artists, Developers, and Listeners
  • What is your Age?
    A. 12 -17 years old
    B. 18 - 25 years old
    C. 26 - 35 years old
    D. 36 - 45 years old
    E. 46 - 55 years old
    F. 56+

  • Place of Birth
    A. Caribbean Islands
    B. Pacific Islanders
    C. Australia
    D. Asia
    E. Africa
    F. Europe
    G. South America
    H. Central America
    I. North America
    j. _________________ (Prefer to Self-Describe)
    ______________ (Short Answer Space)

  • What Gender Identity Do You Identify As?
    A. Female
    B. Male
    C. Non-Binary/Third Gender
    D. Transgender
    E. Cisgender
    F. Agender
    G. Genderqueer
    H. A Gender Not Listed
    I. Prefer to Self-Describe ______________

  • Sexual Orientation
    • Straight/Heterosexual
    • Gay or Lesbian
    • Bisexual
    • Queer
    • Asexual
    • Prefer to self-describe _________________

  • Ethnicity/Race
    • Indigenous American or Alaskan Native
    • Asian
    • Arab
    • Black or of African Descent
    • Hispanic/Latinx
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
    • White/Caucasian
    • Multi-Ethnic/Bi-Racial _________________ (Which Ethnic Group(s)/Race(s)?)
    • Some other race, ethnicity, or origin
    • Prefer to self-describe__________________

  • 1st Language
    A. English
    B. Spanish
    C. Portuguese
    D. French
    E. Mandarin
    F. Arabic
    G. Prefer to self-describe ______________

  • 2nd/3rd Language (If Any)
    __________________ (Short Answer Space)
    __________________ (Short Answer Space)

  • Educaton
    A. Some High School
    B. High School
    C. Bachelor’s Degree
    D. Master’s Degree
    E. Ph.D. or higher
    F. Trade School
    G. Prefer not to say

  • A. Less than €25,000
    B. €25,000 - €50,000
    C. €50,00 - €100,000
    D. €100,000 - €200,000
    E. More than €200,000
    F. ______________ (Short Answer Space)

  • What is your Current Employment Status?
    A. Employed Full-Time
    B. Employed Part-Time
    C. Under Employed (Seeking Opportunities)
    D. Unemployed
    E. Retired

i realize this list isn’t perfect or all inclusive/exhaustive. and some categories i realize are not mutually exclusive. i would love feedback to make this stronger. i tried to apply what i’ve read in terms of writing inclusive demographic survey questions. i looked here for reference. https://chattermill.com/blog/demographic-survey-questions/

if you have any additional suggestions to strengthen this survey, please do not hesitate to share!

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  1. Simultaneously recruit bipoc/global majority people/Womyn and other people from marginalized communities (LGBTQIGNC), people who English isn’t their first language, who are developers, artists, cultural workers, listeners/users to our platform and cooperative.

  2. Develop a process for onboarding worker owners weighting participation from those aforementioned communities, building out our platform to make space for their involvement, reflecting the needs of those communities. i.e. language justice tools/ identity based caucuses etc.

Note: i’m not completely clear about how this would look, and am completely open to feedback. but those are some of my initial thoughts

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I guess you could ask after disabilities? To know if we have members who need accessibility for vision/audio etc? That might be helpful?

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+1 to making site accessible to people with poor vision (plugging this tool to test for visual impairment issues https://wave.webaim.org/)

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Damn this tool is fantastic I’m actually going to use for our own website thanks a ton, it’s the kind of thing that’s stupidly simple but I know I won’t do without it in the future and I’ll pass it around.

Also this topic is very dear to me, I think it’s most business venture’s original sin that despite all their claims for equity/fairness and so on, you often can’t find on their leaderboards a single person from low wage worker’s background, very few BIPOC that didn’t attend ivy league’s school, almost no LGBTQIA+ persons that are not at something like “communication” or whatever to just be the face of some marketing aspect but never in the decision making teams, not to talk about the presence of native americans in big USA business which well, I don’t know of any… and the list goes on. There’s a wealth of those people appearing here and there in marketting videos and on stage for “representation” purposes but very few of them actually seem to run those business or have any say when said business go into directions they don’t like, and it shows.

So not only do we need to do this but we also need a roadmap, a plan of some sort in case the results of the survey do not match our goals of openness and we don’t like what we see. Stuff like : if there aren’t enough non american/west european in there, if there aren’t enough people coming from low wage backgrounds (and here I DO mean to make a big difference between someone unemployed who went to some elite University vs someone unemployed without any fancy degree or any parents with fancy degrees these are not the same kind of unemployement), if there aren’t enough LGBTQIA+ or BIPOC or anything else we strive to represent more, then we need to wonder :

How do we make it more viable for these people to come on board? Because here we’re at a crossroad with very few good solution the thing being, if you’re unemployed because you’re in between jobs and you’ve got family support to help you during that time, and you’ve got access to computers easily, knowledge of how and where to network through the internet or in the real world etc. it’s pretty easy to dedicate yourself to ethically virtuous business ventures, which means I’m expecting us to grab that audience way more easily than the other.

Because the other kind of people we seek if we mean to be trully inclusive, are people for whome the simple fact of dedicating free time, energy, efforts and insights to any activity can be the line between being able to eat by the end of the month or not, and it can also be an added tension and fear of failure or being dismissed on top of already brutal state and capitalist control (to get their allowances, to find a job, to do whatever it is that poor people have to do to make their life breathable through endless background checks to make sure they’re not cheating and they are indeed looking for work and blablabla). Which means in a sense, for a business like ours, if we want to make it a safe space for them, the contribution and knowledge of those people will inherently be pricier because they can’t necessarily afford to be “free”.

Which gets me to my point : should inclusivity be considered a “budget column”, like, it’s own actual part of the budget where we consider that since it requires specifics and unique problematics we can’t just achieve it through “just looking for it” we need to create the not only ethically welcoming but also financially welcoming space for these people to not feel like they’re endangering their livelihood even more by giving us their precious time and energy?

I’m fully aware that asking the question now when finances are not exactly booming yet is a bit of a stretch, but nevertheless, I think if we are to tackle the very complex issue of “diversity”, leaving the financial side of the question unanswered because it’s the awkward elephant in the room that no one really wants to deal with would be a disservice to the question we’re trying to answer.

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@brndnkng Thanks for putting this together! We’ll talk about finalising the list of questions and how we’re going to distribute it at our next community meeting (tomorrow)

Agreed. You’re more than welcome to sit in on our discussion tomorrow (see event here). We’ll be talking about practical action on both conducting the survey and then what followup looks like.

This times 100%!!! If questions aren’t asked we can’t know.

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Spirituality/Religious affiliations? Is that worthwhile to place in the diversity questions too? I always forget, but for example I suppose this could be very important for things like holidays when people are working on projects or meetings. Having an eye out for what the community needs, celebrates, or might be affected by globally perhaps is helpful too?

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thank you to everyone who’s responded to this thread and offered feedback.

i’ve been thinking a lot about this diversity and inclusion mapping and believe it makes sense to define the social construct of race in us further understanding our social location(s) in relation to how this manifestation shows up in our lives/hence in our community space/cooperative.

i wanted to offer a couple definitions of race and have us discuss so that we’re able to come to categories that reflect our collective understanding instead of coming up with categories out of thin air based upon my limited knowledge from my perspective as a Black persyn from Turtle Island (so-called North America & Central America), descendant of enslaved Africans, Indigenous peoples, and European colonizers/settlers.

the three definitions i feel makes sense for us to discuss/debate are as follows:

  • "Race " is the witchcraft of our time.
    M. F. Ashley Montagu - quoted from Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life by Barbara J. Fields and Karen Elise Fields

PDF:

where you can purchase: Verso

  • race [is] an unstable and ‘de-centered’ complex of social meanings constantly being transformed by political struggle"- Michael Omi and Howard Winant Racial formation in the United States

PDF: Z-Library single sign on

where you can purchase: Racial Formation in the United States - 3rd Edition - Michael Omi - H

  • Racism, specifically, is the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death.”- Ruth Wilson Gilmore Golden Gulag

PDF: Z-Library single sign on
where you can purchase: Golden Gulag by Ruth Wilson Gilmore - Paperback - University of California Press

i’m hoping that our next community team conversation we will be able to discuss and even if we don’t completely agree, have a shared understanding of these terms and reasons why people choose/choose not to identify with certain racial categories. feel like this is also helpful in understanding that for some people these categories are unescapable based on how society is currently structured.

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This is really interesting!

Background reading

Earlier this year I read a number of books focused on the African American experience, starting with the Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Douglass’ first (and most popular) memoir, followed by Up from Slavery (BT Washington), and I was working my way up to The Souls of Black Folk by DuBois, however I haven’t quite got to that yet. I’ll add these three books to my reading list. I see that RACE CRAFT includes “An Imaginary Conversation Between Emile Durkheim and W. E. B. Du Bois”, which I’m looking forward to.

I’d also add to this list a few texts and concepts from the colonial experiences, historical and ongoing, of indigenous Australians. In particular I would highlight the concept of Erasure which plays a key role in the experience of colonisation and racism by indigenous Australians.

In particular I would add Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman (a Noongar woman from WA, my home state). It’s a novel, but from what I understand (I haven’t read it yet, it’s sitting on my bedside table), it is a powerful introduction to the experience of colonisation and the erasure that results from it. For context, the concept of Terra Nullius has played a key (negative, erasing) role in the history of indigenous land rights in Australia.

And Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe, a reconsideration of much “received wisdom” about the history and nature of indigenous culture prior to colonisation.

@brndnkng One of the issues we’re going to have here is that there are many different experiences of racism, exclusion, exploitation and erasure from many different parts of the world in which Resonate is present. For example I would love to add James Baldwin, one of my favourite writers, to this list, but I don’t want to overload this too much.

A structure for ongoing discussion?

That said, like you say, it is important that we have this conversation to actually have a meaningful discussion and approach to diversity and inclusion in Resonate. Otherwise we’d just be working on a relatively superficial level.

Perhaps there’s a way we can set up a structure for an ongoing conversation about this, particularly how it relates to the music industry? A structure for ongoing conversation is probably the only way we’ll be able to include new voices and perspectives as more folks from different backgrounds join.

We’d need to build that structure in such a way that whatever we do in an operational sense, e.g. this survey, dedicated forum groups, better identification of identity throughout the player and forum etc, would be responsive to our ongoing deeper conversation about diversity and inclusion.

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Beyond diversity and inclusion, following the mandate of the proposed Manifesto approved by our Board, Resonate must be a venue for social and material repair in response to hundreds years of unjust and genocidal commercial practices across the globe.

Whether in Robert Owen’s utopian efforts in the 19th Century or mutual aid societies formed by and in support of people escaping slavery in America, the institution of the co-operative organization is a response to the destructive and antisocial logic of extractive wealth creation and profit. The business purpose of our co-op, and others that embrace these core principles, must be to secure fair venues for individuals and communities to negotiate and organize around alternative social logics that provide remediation from this catastrophic legacy.

Like other aspects of organizing pluralistically in the co-operative model, many people may not be familiar with the social history and context for this work. For this reason, it is important that Resonate always dedicate significant attention and capacity toward the education of our members, raising their general cultural fluency, world historical knowledge, and democratic organizing skills.

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Reminder that while a new version of the manifesto has received the support of the board, it hasn’t yet been voted on by the co-op’s membership. To be democratic, all should wait to refer to such things as “ours” until members have decided for themselves.

If we are to suggest thought provoking reads on the matter of Diversity / Oppression / Inclusion / Post-colonialism and other many essential topics, may I humbly offer this (in my opinion) essential read by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

I think most of her subsequent works are also worth reading ( “A Critique of Post-Colonial Reason” for example), but yes, this one is particularly relevant to many topics about Occidentally centered preoccupations of social justice and incidentally what can and can’t be proposed by those systems in terms of solutions.

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@Hakanto At your suggestion I have revised my reference to the Manifesto draft approved by the Resonate Board.

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