As you might have seen, the North Carolina legislature recently passed House Bill 2 (HB2), related to transgendered people’s rights to use the bathroom of their choice. Just last week the UNC system announced that they are required to follow HB2. DataONE is not a political organization, but is a community based on the values of inclusivity and equality. I'm sending this message today because this law runs counter to those values and impacts our DataONE Users Group meeting space this summer. I don't want silence to be seen as a form of implicit agreement. I want to reassure you that this and all DataONE meetings are safe, open and welcoming for everyone and I want to share the steps we are taking.
With just under 100 days until the DUG meeting, it is not feasible to move out of NC completely. However, DataONE and ESIP staff (with whom we are co-locating) are working together to move both the DataONE User Group and ESIP Summer meetings out of the UNC facility, the Friday Center, to the Durham Convention Center. Durham, while still NC, immediately called for repeal of HB2 and moving to a private facility ensures that we have policies and facilities that do not discriminate.
Finally, I want to apologize to those of you for whom this move will not be enough. We will stream all DUG plenary sessions and I hope that will provide an avenue for some participation. Moving forward, DataONE staff will consider these types of laws in future venue selections. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me (William.email@example.com) or Amber Budden, Director for Community Engagement and Outreach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Principal Investigator, DataONE