Checklist for Organizing an Inclusive Event

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Organizing is hard. Inclusivity can be difficult. Here is a live document intended to help organizers cover all the bases, so that no one is made to feel like they are unimportant or an afterthought.

  • Will there be childcare? Regardless of whether there will or will not be, this question should be answered in all event announcements, so parents can make informed decisions.
  • Is this space accessible? This question should be answered in all event announcements, regardless of the level of accessibility of the event. Some things to keep in mind include accessibility for people in wheelchairs, people who walk but have other physical disabilities, accessibility for those with sensitivity to scents or allergies, accommodations for people who are hard of hearing or deaf, content that may be triggering to those suffering from PTSD, proximity to public transportation, 
  • Is the makeup of the group of presenters diverse? This is NOT a suggestion that you include a solitary cisgender white woman, and say you’ve got a “diverse panel.” Your speakers should mirror the groups you are intending to speak TO. If you want your group to feel inclusive to people of color, and white people who are not cisgender men, you should not just be inviting them to attend, you should also be asking them to speak. Keep a public list of speakers, and update it as you add more, so that people can make an informed decision about whether your event really speaks to them.
  • Is there a fee associated? All event announcements should include this information. Additionally, if you are interested in maximum inclusivity but must charge for your event, a sliding scale and/or inclusion of the phrase “no one turned away for lack of funds” can be a huge step.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are all questions that should be answered publicly when your event is announced, rather than questions you should scramble to respond to when someone brings them up. Regardless of your resources as an organizer, or capacity to actually fix accessibility issues like those mentioned above, simply addressing them up front can make a huge difference between making people feel like they were considered in the organizing stages of your event, or making them feel like an inconvenient afterthought.

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Elle Armageddon

Elle Armageddon is a Bay Area-born feminist, activist, blogger, glitter enthusiast, and smartass. In addition to writing, furiously tweeting, and mucking around with a chemistry set that looks suspiciously like a bar, you can also find her providing medical and legal support for protesters, babysitting her niblings, and climbing things at her local gym. If you'd like to support her writing, you may do so at https://patreon.com/armageddon She can also be found on Twitter: @OaklandElle

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