First Birthday Series: CSCCE working groups and special interest groups

For our “First Birthday Series” of blog posts, we are taking some time to reflect on CSCCE’s community of practice, which turned one year old on 21 October 2020. Our first post summarized the community “by the numbers,” then we delved a little deeper into our programming offerings, and last week we discussed our resources and the importance of co-creating together. In this post, jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley, we take a look at the scaffolding needed to support working groups and special interest groups – and review what ours have done so far.  

The rationale for working groups and special interest groups

Why might a community decide to establish working groups and/or special interest groups? In an earlier post we discussed community-level programming – activities that are general enough that they are designed to be of interest and value to all members and to create opportunities to get to know one another and identify commonalities. However, within any large enough community, there will also be differentiation into sub-groups who want to focus more deeply on a specific topic – perhaps as an area of professional development or something that supplements a project they need to deliver in their own community role. This differentiation into sub-groups also creates opportunities for emerging leaders within a community – those who are highly engaged and wish to take on more responsibility for advancing the overall mission of the community. It’s this combination of scaling, through the activities and empowerment of these emergent leaders, and dedicated group work that greatly enhances the ability of any community to make progress towards its overall mission. For these activities to be successful, community management is nonetheless needed to support emergent leaders and their groups in their activities.

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CSCCE’s Community Participation Guidelines now available

This week we’re thrilled to share CSCCE’s Community Participation Guidelines with our community. These guidelines are the result of several months of careful consideration, and were co-created by members of our community of practice in a dedicated working group. 

In this post, we, the members of that working group, outline our process. Over the coming weeks, we’ll also share additional blog posts in which we reflect on some of the nuances of preparing community participation guidelines. We are doing this for two reasons: We want you to know how we ended up here, and we want our experience to assist you as you develop similar guidelines for your community. 

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to info@cscce.org

The CSCCE core values, which informed our community participation guidelines. Image credit: CSCCE
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May’s Community Call Recap and Announcing the CSCCE Core Values

On this month’s community call we discussed and refined a set of core values prepared by the CSSCE Code of Conduct Working Group. Through breakout sessions and open discussion, members of the community considered the values and how they translate into personal and collective behaviors. 

As a result, today we published our core values on the CSSCE website here. They will inform our code of conduct (coming soon), how staff and members interact in our community of practice on Slack (request to join here), and all of the programming and trainings offered by the center. 

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May’s community call – The CSCCE core values

Our May community call, scheduled for Monday, 18 May 2020 at noon US Eastern Time, will focus on CSCCE’s core values and how we are working with members of our community of practice to co-create a code of conduct.

This call will include a discussion with the CSCCE Code of Conduct working group, and provide opportunity for all members of our community to comment on our draft core values statement.

Our May 2020 call will focus on the collaborative process of developing the CSCCE code of conduct. Image credit: CSCCE
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Community Guidelines: A Key Component of Your Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolbox

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of … Continue reading “Community Guidelines: A Key Component of Your Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolbox”

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

Community managers are in a unique position to help foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within their communities. One of the tools at their disposal is the establishment of community guidelines.

What message are you sending to your community members with your community guidelines? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mootreelife/5364190913/
What message are you sending to your community members with your community guidelines?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mootreelife/5364190913/

Community guidelines set the tone for community interactions by clearly stating what the community is about and what it values. They lay out expectations for community members and consequences for failing to meet those expectations. This is the perfect place to codify an organization’s beliefs around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and highlight behaviors that cultivate creativity, productivity, and collaboration.

It is most effective if guidelines are created early in a community’s life cycle before a conflict arises. However, it is completely acceptable to create or revise community guidelines as times change, or in response to an issue that bubbles up in order to move your community in a more positive and inclusive direction.

Below are a few points to keep in mind when drafting community guidelines to ensure they wholly represent your community.

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