Web3 and the entire blockchain ecosystem are still in their infancy. With promises of decentralization, autonomy and opportunity for all often thrown around. The reality is that very few underrepresented folks are accessing these promises.
We explored themes from my "INCLUSION IN NFTs 101" tweets in Part 1 of this series. For tips on inclusive language, hiring diverse teams, and how to show people they're seen, you can read that article here.
In Part 2, we'll delve into inclusive tips for paying people, showing up, and recognizing this is a global community. All things that can make a big difference in helping underrepresented groups feel included in web3 and NFTs.
I've said it before and I'll say it again---if you're a project, community and/or company making money in web3, pay the folks helping you to make money.
I've heard from mods, interns, and "ambassadors" who dedicate time and expertise, with no financial compensation in return.
Here are some justifications I've heard:
- "It's their "investment" in the community, and therefore in the value of their asset(s)."
- "They volunteer "happily" and never ask for money---what we're building is the currency."
- "Not every project has the resources to pay."
- "This 'investment' doesn't pay bills, nor is it guaranteed."
- "Not asking, doesn't equal doing something it 'happily'."
- "This is understandable, but 'value' can be more than only capital. At a minimum, formalize these efforts. Create a system and contract, tracking their investment, and pay them when/if you begin to see revenue.
Not paying means that many underrepresented people can't afford to take these opportunities. As a result they don't build the skills and experience that come from these roles. If they do take the positions, they're at greater risk for burnout, doing this work on top of their other jobs.
Think Globally, Not Locally
Web3 is a global community. Blockchains is powered by hundreds and thousands of individual miners around the world. All working together to verify transactions and earning rewards for their work.
Much of web3, especially NFTs, focus on North American languages, time zones, and experiences. This disadvantages people in other countries, compared to their counterparts.
Without consideration of our global peers, we negatively affect their ability to learn, develop skills, and access information and networks. This reduces their access to possible financial freedom and sovereignty over their identity, money, and data.
Some ways to be more inclusive of the global community include:
- Provide translators within your twitter spaces (follow @kinoalyse for her model).
- Host spaces at more than just one time. For example, make times more accessible to North America and others to Asia.
- Provide a variety of language channels in discord.
Show Up For People—Not Only On Awareness Days
Show up all the time, every day of the year---not only on awareness days, weeks, or months.
Underrepresented people know the difference between real allies and performative allies. We see through your statements and commitments in reaction to major events and failures affecting specific communities. We know that any actual strategy or programming built into your business doesn’t align with your Pride Month panels, interviews, and logo changes.
This is not a call to stop showing up on awareness days. There is power in the acts of visibility and solidarity for specific communities. Those moments alone are simply not enough.
Not sure how to show up? See Do These 2 Things Before Doing Anything As An Ally in Web3.
There's no "right way" to be inclusive, and of course it can be overwhelming. So pick one of the above and make that shift in your own business or encourage that shift in your network. One person encouraging one shift within their circle can have extraordinary network effects. You can be that one person.
Stay tuned for part 3 in this series of How to Make Web3 More Inclusive.