|# I Pledge To Be Better|
|I want our industry to be a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for everyone, regardless of|
|their gender, abilities, skin color, sexual orientation, age, class, neuro-diversity or any other attribute.|
|I acknowledge that this is not currently the case, and will do my best, to the extent that I can|
|afford to dedicate to this, to help make ours a better community and industry.|
|I value the diversity of perspectives that people with different backgrounds bring to the table.|
|I will call out exclusionary practices, behaviors or cultures and see how, together, we can perhaps|
|reshape them to be inclusive and supportive instead.|
|I will take some time to read up on, and educate myself about issues such as sexism in our industry.|
|I acknowledge the onus is on me to be decently informed before speaking out, calling out, or|
|participating in these discussions.|
|I will examine my own privileges, uncomfortable though it may be, and do my best to recognize them|
|I will call out people for behaviors that I deem offensive or unacceptable, but I will do so|
|respectfully and with civility. I will strive to educate, not antagonize.|
|I acknowledge that I will make mistakes, and that I may offend someone unintentionally with my words|
|or actions. Rather than get defensive when called out on it, I will try my hardest to listen|
|respectfully, and learn more instead.|
|I will decline opportunities to speak at events that have predominently or exclusively white male|
|line-ups, to offer that opportunity to an equally if not more capable or suitable (non-white/male)|
|person, who may simply not be as widely recognized due to the cyclical system that favors those who|
|have spoken before.|
|I will not attend events that do not have clear [Code of Conduct policies], like an anti-harassment|
|or diversity statement. I will also decline to attend events that feature, or permit to attend, any|
|known offender of sexual assault.|
|I pledge to be better, and set a positive example for others in our community, industry, and society.|
Is this to trade your position for another person of your choosing? As simply declining to speak with the hopes of something else, just means that the next best choice gets in, which may not be your next best choice. I find it hard how such an action helps, happy to learn how it does.
@balupton – it's not clear from the phrasing, I agree, but that slash is meant to cover just the "white" part, not the "non-" before it, so: non-white / non-male (without the redundancy). Either way can easily be interpreted though, so I'd love to hear a suggestion for a concise, clearer alternative.
As for declining: usually, you decline by way of responding to the organizers. At this point, it helps to explain why you declined, and at the same time encourage them to find someone more diverse. If you have any, list all your suggestions for alternative speakers who could cover the same material, and who happen to be less well-represented in the industry.
If you just say "No thanks." and leave it at that, then yes, they'll probably just go to the next person on the list, sure.