SRCCON:WORK, space to care for and challenge one another
by Erika Owens
As we vacillate from one crisis to another, from one disaster, one series of buyouts, one tough day/week/month/year, our challenges compound and our resilience is taxed. I spoke about this at SRCCON and in the months since, the danger and exhaustion for many of us has become even more acute. In December, we intend to create time and space for us to care for and challenge one another.
Defining what we need and expect
With SRCCON:WORK, we have the opportunity to spend two-days reflecting, strategizing, and, if we’re lucky, even doing a little bit of healing. To come together as a group to work on questions related to career, collaboration, and mental health is an act of defiance itself, given the constant crisis mode that we have been thrown into. And this community is clearly emboldened—to pose and engage with questions we must confront to continue this work in an equitable, inclusive fashion.
We’re so grateful to everyone who submitted session ideas and who was willing to share their thoughts and experiences on hiring, privilege, recovery, and more. We’re still building the full schedule, but you can check out the remarkable sessions we’ve confirmed so far.
These sessions demonstrate how this community is committed to confronting one another on tough questions of how we work together, who gets the most attention, and how we can do better—do more inclusive, efficient, responsive, meaningful, complex, positive work.
In addition to its topical focus, part of what makes SRCCON:WORK different from our usual SRCCON experience is the size. It iterates on what we’ve learned from running SRCCON and our cohort-driven convening events. We’ve seen how in just a couple of days, a cohort can build enough trust to challenge one another, enough connection to become ongoing collaborators, enough joy to sometimes even leave as friends.
With SRCCON:WORK, we’re aiming to blend the intimacy of a convening with the scale of SRCCON. At about 100 people, this more intimate format means that not everybody can come and that we have to be even more intentional about equitably distributing tickets.
Each year with SRCCON, we’ve iterated on our approach to tickets. Given what we’ve learned from SRCCON and the need to be thoughtful in selecting cohorts with compatible experiences that are representative of the diversity of this community, we are not doing a lottery for SRCCON:WORK. On October 11, we will open a form with a few questions for you to tell us why you’d like to attend SRCCON:WORK. We’ll send out invitations to attend in mid-October.
In thinking about the why to attend SRCCON:WORK, we’re focusing on participants who are seeking to make a change in their career or their workplace. What can it mean to make a change? It might include:
- hiring folks on your team
- balancing a bunch of different roles as you build your own leadership
- taking on a new career challenge
- figuring out how to make your own way
- developing strategies for how to help other people move up or give back to the community
- putting mental health and self care practices into place for yourself or your team
- pushing for a policy change that will make your team or organization more inclusive, collaborative, and/or caring
By focusing on practitioners whose work is most affected by the themes we’re tackling we hope that SRCCON:WORK can be an incubator for long-term projects and ideas that people can take back to nurture more inclusive, responsive spaces in their newsrooms.
Gathering in Philadelphia
We’re looking forward to this time to close out the year together in Philadelphia. And we’re grateful for the support of the News Integrity Initiative to sponsor Diversity Scholarships for journalists of color to attend SRCCON:WORK, as we begin new work to support leaders from under-represented communities in journalism tech. Our work is made possible by the contributions of community members leading and participating in sessions as well as the generosity of our sponsors, which allows us to organize an accessible, inclusive event.
As we continue to figure out responses to the current climate facing our industry, we remain grateful for the leadership of this community. We’ll have more info from SRCCON:WORK over the next few months and look forward to spending this time with you all.