2019 Code of Conduct Transparency Report

Posted by Thea Flowers on behalf of the PyCascades Code of Conduct Committee on 2019-03-20

PyCascades aims to continue its legacy of being an inclusive and welcoming conference. Continuing from last year, we have a code of conduct that applies to all of our attendees, speakers, volunteers, and staff. We also have reporting guidelines and infrastructure in place. This year, we did the following to further our efforts to uphold our community values:

  • We updated our Code of Conduct to include more clear guidelines around reporting as well an explicitly documenting when and how we will involve local authorities.
  • We required all attendees (including speakers and volunteers) to acknowledge that they have read the Code of Conduct when registering their ticket. This was confirmed in person during badge pickup, and those that had not acknowledge the Code of Conduct were asked to do so before receiving their badge.
  • Our Code of Conduct hotline, which allows people to report issues by phoning our Code of Conduct committee, made another appearance this year and also included the ability to text.
  • Our Code of Conduct committee consists of members of the community in addition to only the core organizers.


During and leading up to the conference, we had the following incidents reported to our Code of Conduct committee. These have been summarized and anonymized.

  • An attendee entered problematic language in their registration. The attendee was contacted and they fixed their registration information.
  • A speaker had problematic images in their slides. The speaker asked the Code of Conduct committee to review their slides. We suggested removing the images and the speaker updated their slides to remove these images before presenting.
  • A sticker with inappropriate language was discovered the in snack/break room. We removed the sticker, but unfortunately we were unable to determine who left it there.
  • During the lightning talks, a presenter used inappropriate language and had a slide with an inappropriate picture. We communicated this to the presenter after their lightning talk, and they chose to have their talk and materials removed from our published materials. Their slides have been removed from our welcome wagon site and their talk will not appear in our finalized videos. Unfortunately, due to YouTube limitations we are currently unable to remove the content from the livestream recording.
  • A situation concerning the safety of one of our attendees came up. We attempted to find and contact this person and were able to confirm their safety, however, we were unable to resolve this issue. This situation appears to be more appropriate for the Puget Sound Programming Python (PuPPy) conduct committee so the members of our committee have handed this off to them. We will continue to follow-up with them.

We would also be remiss if we did not document that there were a series of negative comments in online forums towards our women and transgender organizers as well as some of our speakers. We want to reiterate that PyCascades is exceedingly proud of our organizing team and speakers. The inclusion and amplification of women, transgender, non-binary, and other underrepresented minorities in our community is not up for debate.


We would like to thank the Django and Write the Docs community for providing us with the framework needed to establish our Code of Conduct and associated procedures. We would also like to thank Nexmo for providing the credits for our hotline. We would like to thank various members of our community who provided constructive feedback about our conduct reporting process, allowing us to improve. Finally, we would like to thank all of our volunteers who served on the Code of Conduct committee. These volunteers have to deal with emotionally difficult situations in order to ensure that we continue to have a community that is welcome to all.

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