Community Standards

Community Standards

We valued the participation of each member of this hackathon community and wanted to ensure that everyone involved had an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, everyone was expected to show respect and courtesy to others at all times.

To clarify expectations, hackathon teams and community members were required to conform to the following Community Standards. We believe that they were essential to maintaining a productive and collegial environment for working together.

This wasn't an exhaustive list of things that participants couldn't do. Rather, it was taken in the spirit in which it’s intended – a guide to make it easier to enrich all of us and the technical communities in which we participate.

This code of conduct applied to all spaces managed by the Hackathon for Social Justice. This included the mailing list, events, and any other forums created by the Hackathon team which the community used for communication. In addition, violations of this code outside these spaces may have affected a person’s ability to participate within them.

If you believed someone was violating the code of conduct, we asked that you report it by emailing

Be friendly and patient. Be welcoming.

We strived to be a community that welcomed and supported people of all backgrounds and identities. This included, but was not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.

We did not harass. Harassment was defined as any unwelcome or hostile behavior towards another person for any reason. This included, but was not limited to, offensive verbal comments related to personal characteristics or choices, sexual images or comments, deliberate intimidation, bullying, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of discussion or events, nonconsensual publication of private comments, inappropriate physical contact, or unwelcome sexual attention. Conduct needed not be intentional to be considered harassment.

Hackathon for Social Justice did not tolerate any such behavior.

Be considerate.

Your work was used by other people, and you in turn were depend on the work of others. Any decision you took affected users and colleagues, and you should have taken those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we were a diverse community, so you might not have been communicating in someone else’s primary language.

Be respectful.

The Hackathon for Social Justice was designed as a place for people all of different skill levels and approaches to meet and work together toward common goals. As a result, we did not expect that everybody will share the same opinion. However, we did expect that disagreement was done respectfully.

Additionally, we expected that members educated others respectfully. To this end, anybody else’s level of expertise or knowledge was not to be assumed. We did not belittle a lack of information, or insist on unnecessary precision. We were all learning, so we afforded others—as well as ourselves—room to grow.


While the community standards were designed primarily to prevent certain bad behavior, we also believed that our community members should work towards a higher standard. To that end, we strongly encouraged the following conduct, though they were considered aspirational rather than necessary.

Build With, Not For

We worked to ensure that the community was well-represented in all stages of development. We sought out those who were under-represented, and removed barriers to access. We listened as much—or more—than spoke, and gave full consideration to all ideas, even if they seemed improbable at first.

Empower, Experiment, and Find a Way for Everybody to Contribute

When more people shared their knowledge and skills, they gave a project a greater chance to succeed. When somebody showed up with an unusual skill, we looked for ways to fit them into the team rather than reasons why it wouldn’t work. We experimented with new approaches, and weren't afraid to try something that might not have worked.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, friendly place for all.

Original text courtesy of Django Project's Code of Conduct and Code for DC.