Thanks for ten great years of Open Source Bridge

Originally posted on the Open Source Bridge blog

On June 29 we came together to acknowledge all that the Open Source Bridge community has built over the last ten years. Christie Koehler started the day with a look back at the history of the conference and our local tech community.

Together we created an amazing body of work that will continue to influence others. We should all be proud of this.

Kronda Adair followed with a personal history of her experiences at Open Source Bridge, and of building her business. She offered these take-aways on the work we still need to do to create a truly inclusive and equitable industry.

Listen the Startup podcast series about Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage capital. You’ll learn what radical wealth redistribution looks like. You’ll upgrade your definition of hustle. Hint: it’s not taking a summer off and flying around the country to get 50 of your rich friends to give you 5 million dollars and then starting a VC fund.

If there’s one theme that pervades my experience in tech, it’s that the people who have traditionally have the least access to money and resources are the best at sharing what they do have with others. But as Arlan likes to say, we’re done settling for crumbs. We’re here for the cake.

Make a list of the products and services you regularly use and recommend to others and then find some black and brown entrepreneurs who provide those services and start using them and recommending them to your networks.

Ask your boss if the women and people of color in your company are being paid the same as their white colleagues for the same work.  If you’re white, tell colleagues how much YOU make.

Check out the Ascend Project repo and run your own version of it.

If you have the skills and the free time, make a website for a business owner who doesn’t have one.

Pay someone who’s given you free advice that helped you grow your business or advance your career. In cash.

Stop looking for underrepresented people to be your junior developers and start looking for us to be your CEOs, CTOs, and CFOs. I’m tired of watching companies hire us for VP of diversity positions and then blocking real change. There’s a lot of white people out here talking about they want to help but you don’t want to give up any of YOUR privilege. That’s not how it works.

These are just a few suggestions that I’ll leave you with as you go and consider your unconference topics for the day.

Lastly, I want to give you an easy metric to measure by so you know if your efforts are making real change:

Find ways to transfer MONEY, ACCESS, NETWORKS and POWER to those who have the least of those things.

If you’re not doing that, then you need to work harder.

We had a full set of unconference sessions, spanning the breadth of our community’s interests.

We collaborated and created things in the Hacker Lounge, including buttons.

And we talked about what comes next. You’re welcome to join us on our new Zulip Chat and be a part of this conversation.

Audrey shared her thoughts on Open Source Bridge ending in a blog post, Saying Goodbye to Open Source Bridge.

Do you have photos or reflections you’d like to share from our final conference? Leave a comment or let us know on Twitter or in Zulip.

Thank you everyone for being a part of this community and the work we did together! We’re excited to see what all of you create next.

New year, new board members (part 2)

Following up on our call for new board members, Stumptown Syndicate is happily welcoming 2 new directors to the board. Our bylaws have recently been updated so that board terms are now one year instead of three, with everyone having the option to renew their term continuously.

Without further ado, meet Courtney Stanton and Toby Fee!

Courtney Stanton
Courtney is a writer and manager at Feel Train, a creative technology cooperative. He also co-hosts a podcast, JoJo’s Bizarre Explainer, where he talks a lot about anime and gay feelings. He’s never quite gotten over the death of Google Reader.

Toby Fee
Toby is a self-taught web developer who enjoys hardware hacking and carpentry in his free time. Imported from California at the age of 9, he loves Portland and bikes its streets every snow-free day of the year. He has two children.

Elea Chang, Gaba Rodriguez Beron, and Reid Beels will remain on the board, while Thursday Bram is stepping back from Stumptown Syndicate after 2+ years. As Thursday was originally this year’s President, the Syndicate held a special election to reassign officer roles. Elea Chang is now returning as President while Courtney Stanton is the Syndicate’s new Operations Lead.

During her term, Thursday served as the 2016 Open Source Bridge co-chair, the 2017 Open Source Bridge sponsorship coordinator, and as mentioned before, Board President. We’re sad to say goodbye, but grateful for Thursday’s time and energy, so: thank you Thursday!

Happy 10th Birthday, Calagator!

Come celebrate Calagator’s 10th Birthday and recognize Calagator’s many contributors! We’ll have food, drink, friends, and tours of trains! We are also helping The Recompiler celebrate the publication of Year 3.

March 1, 6:30pm
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
2250 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR
Tickets available through Eventbrite

Calagator has been a free and open source resource for Portland’s tech community for that decade. In that time, 16,430 unique events have been listed on the site — and there are only 3,650 days in a decade. In 2017, Calagator clocked more than 177,000 page views.

Safety First PDX Office Hours: February 27

Safety First PDX is holding an online office hours session on Tuesday, February 27 from Noon to 2 PM Pacific Time at as well as on Twitter with the hashtag #safetyfirstofficehours.

While you’re welcome to bring all of your code of conduct questions for all of our office hours, we’ll be focusing on romantic behavior in professional environments — from unwanted flirting to bad breakups.

Safety First PDX is a program to help people create safer and more welcoming communities through good policies and actions. We teach people how to implement and enforce a code of conduct.

This office hours session is focused on answering questions you might have encountered in our trainings or in the communities you organize. Come ask us questions and find out about our workshops and online materials.

Please join us online in our video call and on Twitter February 27 at Noon Pacific Time!

Open Source Bridge Planning Meeting: February 5

This year is Open Source Bridge’s 10th anniversary. Want to help plan how we celebrate? Join us at 6 PM on February 5 at Customs House.

We’re especially looking for volunteers to help with:

  • Content (including reading and evaluating speakers’ proposals)
  • Logistics (especially for our party!)
  • Fundraising (including reaching out to potential sponsors)
  • Volunteers (coordinating)

And if there’s anything you know needs to happen at Open Source Bridge this year, come and tell us about it! With your help, we can make Open Source Bridge 10 a festival to remember!

Donut.js, January 2018 edition

Piece of paper with writing: Donut.js • Tuesday, January 30, 6pm at 30 NW 10th Ave, Alchemy Code Lab • Vanessa White: Project Management 101 with Cats • Ryan McKern: Bash 101: What Are Dot Files? • Matt Haughey: Communication is the Hardest Part

The most donutty meetup in town is back! Join Donut.js on 6pm Tuesday, January 30th at Alchemy Code Lab to start the year off right with three incredible speakers:

  • Vanessa White will be talking about project management and prioritizing from the perspective of a person with an autoimmune disorder.
  • Ryan McKern will take us on a command line journey, through the history of the shell, some demos, and how to make that >_ a little bit less intimidating.
  • Matt Haughey will go deep on the importance of communication and the central role it’s played in the many startups he’s worked at over the last 20 years.

Proceeds this month go to Call to Safety, a Portland organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence by providing confidential support services and education to empower our community.

There’ll be name tags, pronoun stickers, donut stickers, donut pins, a posted CoC, physical access lanes, live captioning from Mirabai Knight (StenoKnight), and conversation ideas during the break! D🍩NUTS. Pretzels. Chips. La Croix.

Get your tickets!

Safety First PDX Office Hours: January 30

Safety First PDX is holding an online office hours session on Tuesday, January 30 from Noon to 2 PM Pacific Time at

While you’re welcome to bring all of your code of conduct questions for all of our office hours, we’ll be focusing on codes of conduct at completely open events.

Safety First PDX is a program to help people create safer and more welcoming communities through good policies and actions. We teach people how to implement and enforce a code of conduct.

This office hours session is focused on answering questions you might have encountered in our trainings or in the communities you organize. Come ask us questions and find out about our workshops and online materials.

Please join us online in our video call on January 30 at Noon Pacific Time!

New year, new board members (part 1)

To kick off 2018, Stumptown Syndicate is looking for at least two new directors to join the board. Read on for details and apply by 11:59pm Pacific on February 16, 2018!

About Stumptown Syndicate

Stumptown Syndicate’s mission is to cultivate a resilient and sustainable ecosystem of diverse and inclusive technology communities.


  • facilitate the sharing of resources and knowledge
  • build and support experience-based education through talks, workshops, and other events in the Pacific Northwest
  • empower communities to actively engage new learners, experienced members, and everyone else who wants to participate

Our decision-making is also informed by some guiding principles.

Current program activities include events (Open Source Bridge, Ignite Portland and WhereCampPDX), resource development (Safety First PDX and the Citizen Code of Conduct), and fiscal sponsorship (Donut.js).

Future planned activities include developing more community partnerships, expanding our fiscal sponsorship program, expanding training materials and offerings, and more!

Board qualifications

We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. People of color and marginalized folks are encouraged to apply. New directors should be within commuting distance of Portland, Oregon.

Prior non-profit experience is helpful, but not required for being a Syndicate director, as we can provide training to get you up to speed. Please apply if you’re interested in furthering our mission even if you don’t think you know enough about running a non-profit.

Serving on a non-profit board in Oregon comes with certain legal obligations, a good overview of which can be found at Oregon’s Attorney General website page about non-profit board service.

Board member responsibilities

  • Participates actively in running the organization, including frequent and timely communication with other board members, staff, and volunteers.
  • Acts as a spokesperson for the organization with knowledge of its mission, history, policies, and programs.
  • Does their best to attend each board meeting, with the understanding that three consecutive unexcused absences will be considered resignation from the board. The board meets 12 times per year, plus one annual retreat. Board meetings may be attended remotely by special arrangement.
  • Accepts fiduciary responsibility for the organization and oversee its financial health and integrity.
  • Provides oversight to ensure that the organization is meeting its mission and running programs effectively.
  • Accepts ethical responsibility and holds fellow board members and the full staff to professional standards.
  • Engages in fundraising to ensure that the organization has the resources it needs to meet its mission.
  • Makes final decisions with the rest of the board on policies related mission, programs, finances, personnel, and public relations.

What to expect

  • A full board orientation, including background information on work accomplished to date
  • Board meetings once a month in Portland that are focused on discussion and decision-making, with agendas distributed in advance
  • Timely, accurate, and complete financial statements to be distributed at least quarterly
  • Ability to choose from a range of fundraising activities
  • Training as needed to fulfill board obligations
  • A yearly retreat
  • Monthly board dinners focused on getting to know and support each other (rather than board work)

What is the time commitment?

Directors can expect to spend an average of 3-5 hours a week on Syndicate business, including time spent via Slack and email.

The term length for directors has been 3 years in the past, but is currently under review. We do expect that new board members be able to commit for at least a year.

What is the compensation?

Board members are volunteers and are not compensated. Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed (e.g., childcare, transportation, meals, approved training).

Are there any perks to being a Syndicate Director?

Fame and vast opportunities for wealth! Just kidding. There is a certain visibility to being a Director, but the biggest reason for serving is that you get to help make the Portland tech community (and beyond) better and more vibrant.

Why would I want to join Stumptown Syndicate’s board?

Some specific reasons to apply:

  • You’ve attended one of our events and want to help these type of events continue.
  • You’d like to make the community even more welcoming and supportive by improving safety, diversity, and inclusion.
  • You’d like to see Calagator or our other tools improve and thrive. Or maybe you have an idea for developing a new resource?
  • You’d like to help us figure out how to fundraise to help Stumptown Syndicate become more sustainable and expand our community impact.

Do you carry Directors & Officers insurance?

Yes, we do.

Additionally, as a volunteer board member of an Oregon non-profit, you have “qualified immunity,” as explained by the Attorney General:

To encourage citizens to serve as board members for charities, the law cloaks volunteer board members with qualified immunity. They cannot be sued for negligent acts. They may, however, be subject to lawsuits alleging that a loss was due to their gross negligence, willful or fraudulent acts.

Read more about serving on an Oregon non-profit board here.

How to apply

Please apply by 11:59pm Pacific on February 16, 2018:

Questions? Email the board: We can’t wait to hear from you!

The 2017 recap

Over the course of 2017, Stumptown Syndicate:

  • hosted Open Source Bridge
  • sponsored the Innovate and Advocate Summit during Portland Startup Week
  • launched office hours with Safety First PDX
  • developed our fiscal sponsorship program
  • prioritized working with vendors whose mission matches our own (including moving our servers to Riseup)
  • supported meetups, events, and projects across Portland

Open Source Bridge
We’ll let the speakers, attendees and volunteers tell you about this year’s event. Here’s a sampling of the write-ups from OSB 2017:

This year’s Open Source Citizenship Award winner, Heidi Waterhouse, also blogged about her experience.

Safety First PDX
Stumptown Syndicate has a long tradition of working on resources to improve community safety, like the Citizen Code of Conduct. Our Safety First PDX program has taken on the process of continuing that work. In 2017, Safety First PDX conducted 3 trainings, covering the implementation of codes of conduct, incident response plans, and other strategies for improving community safety.

We also launched online office hours, where we’ve provided informal support to communities working on community safety questions.

Fiscal Sponsorship Program
Stumptown Syndicate has been building a fiscal sponsorship program, helping Portland communities with their administration, fundraising, and other operational needs.

We’re excited to be working with Donut.js (you can read more about them here!). We’re taking details like insurance and financial management off the organizers’ plates so they can focus on running great events.

And, by the way, you too can ask Stumptown Syndicate for fiscal sponsorship for your project.

Catching Up with Board Business
To ensure fair divisions of labor, Stumptown Syndicate limits officer positions on the board to one-year terms. This means we have some changes in the coming year, with Thursday Bram stepping up as Stumptown Syndicate’s latest President.

Photo of Stumptown Syndicate's 5 board members standing in front of a covered bridge in Vida, Oregon. Left to right: Reid Beels, Gabriela Rodriguez Beron, Elea Chang, Thursday Bram, and Sara Jensen

The 2017 Stumptown Syndicate board retreat

The Stumptown Syndicate board for 2018 is:

Thursday Bram, President
Elea Chang, Operations Lead
Gaba Rodriguez Beron, Director
Reid Beels, Director

While we’re all excited to work on these projects, 2017 has been a rough year for a lot of people. Our board is no exception. Three of our board members resigned over the course of the year for personal reasons. We support them for doing so—sometimes you need to put on your own oxygen mask first. As a result of these changes, we’re working to bolster Stumptown Syndicate as a more flexible and resilient organization.

We’re now prioritizing checking in with each other, not just to make Stumptown Syndicate a more supportive org, but because we care about each other as humans. As part of that, we’ve established a new board practice of having dinner together once a month, with a focus on each other rather than Stumptown Syndicate’s work.

We will be opening applications for new board members soon and have several volunteer roles available if you’d like to work on some of these projects with us!

Our Plans for 2018
For 2018, Stumptown Syndicate is expanding our efforts to support Portland’s ecosystem of technology communities, including these projects.

  • Growing our fiscal sponsorship program! Stumptown Syndicate will have some upcoming announcements about additional offerings for community events, so stay tuned.
  • Expanding Safety First PDX’s code of conduct and incident response resources, as well as offering more training options!
  • Hosting the 10th Open Source Bridge! We’re definitely ordering a cake, so you’ll want to be there.
  • Celebrating Calagator’s 10th anniversary! Excuse me, we’ll be ordering two cakes. We’re really going to need some help blowing out all these candles!
  • Developing more community partnerships! Stumptown Syndicate will be working with several new Portland partners in the upcoming year!
  • Redesigning our website! It’s about time, wouldn’t you agree?

To start strong in 2018, we need your support.

Your donations will help Stumptown Syndicate continue promoting and expanding the growth of Portland’s technology communities. In order to fund our early 2018 work, we need to raise $5,000 before the end of this year.

Help us close out 2017 by supporting our End of Year Fundraiser
Make a tax deductible donation below:

Donut.js is now an associated project!

Photograph of two women holding up an inflatable chocolate sprinkled donut, with their heads centered in the donut hole and both smiling at the camera. The text "Donut.js" is overlaid on the photo in the bottom center.As a 501(c)(3), one of Stumptown Syndicate’s goals has always been to support local events through fiscal sponsorship. Today, we’re thrilled to officially welcome Donut.js as a Stumptown Syndicate associated project!

In case you haven’t been to an event yet, Donut.js is a monthly night of tech talks and donuts. Tickets are $10, with proceeds going towards rotating local non-profits (past recipients have included p:ear, Basic Rights Oregon, and ChickTech). Going above and beyond the average tech meet-up, Donut.js also provides live captioning for all their talks, pronoun stickers, and marked physical access lanes.

Want to get involved? Donut.js is always looking for speakers and volunteers. Can’t wait to attend the next event? Mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 30, 2018 and follow their amazing emoji-filled Twitter account in the meantime!