‘Support Inclusion in Tech’ is Fundraising to Sponsor More Marginalized WordPress Contributors

Support Inclusion in Tech (SiNC) is now fundraising on the Open Collective (OC) Foundation’s platform. Spearheaded by Winstina Hughes, SiNC assists underrepresented WordPress contributors and provides financial support to WordCamp speakers for travel and hotels.

What is SiNC?

SiNC was proposed by Winstina Hughes in 2022 to mitigate the financial stress of underrepresented groups seeking to participate in WordPress events and was first tried in WordCamp US 2022. She advocates for a 5th freedom, envisioning “the freedom to experience a thriving community truly open to everyone through sharing of information about The WordPress Open Source Project at community events.”

Interested candidates seeking travel and/or lodging assistance can confidentially register on the SiNC website, entering an anonymous directory listing. SiNC then pairs them with sponsors who provide financial assistance by reimbursing necessary amounts. SiNC currently provides a Mentorship Program to all speaker applicants. 

Last year, 60% of applicants received assistance, and Sharon Norah, the co-lead for the WordPress Kampala community, became SiNC’s inaugural sponsored WordPress contributor.

Fundraising on Open Collective Foundation’s Platform

February is Black History Month and is the perfect opportunity to find long-term solutions to support the marginalized. Those interested can make one-time contributions to sponsor a speaker’s travel and/or accommodations. Winstina Hughes has been approached to explore expanding support to speakers participating in WordPress conferences beyond WordCamps.

I reached out to Winstina, and this is what she had to say: “If absolute transparency speaks to your heart, this is my way to honor your donation and impact as we work together to reduce barriers to the full inclusion of underrepresented speakers worldwide,” 

SiNC’s fundraising effort deserves recognition, especially in the current climate where companies face scrutiny for their diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, prompting many to reconsider and rebrand their initiatives.

We hope SiNC’s fundraising initiative succeeds, especially considering the discontinuation of another notable WordCamp assistance program, DonateWC by Ines van Dijk, due to the lack of a volunteer team. Rob Howard’s suggestion for paying all WordCamp speakers is also yet to become a reality. 

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