ML Ally Pledge
In recent years there have been several well-publicized incidents of sexual harassment, bullying, racism, and other unacceptable behavior at machine learning conferences. These follow a long history of less well-publicized experiences that have, unfortunately, been part of the conference experience for many attendees, at times implicitly or explicitly condoned. The NeurIPS Code of Conduct is first step towards encouraging our community to recognize these issues and correct them.
As an additional step towards addressing these problems we, the NeurIPS Diversity and Inclusion co-chairs, present the following pledge for members of the machine learning community to acknowledge past problems and explicitly commit to taking action to make our field more respectful and welcoming to all attendees. We wish to voice our support for the four affinity groups at NeurIPS (Black in AI, Latinx in AI, Women in Machine Learning, and Queer in AI), and to ask that you consider signing this pledge, which recognizes the challenges that have been faced by members of our community, including many members of these groups.
For the purpose of this pledge, we adopt the following definitions of terms:
Privilege: an unearned advantage given by society to some people but not all
Oppression: systemic, pervasive inequality that is present throughout society, that benefits people with more privilege and harms those with fewer privileges
We also acknowledge that in an international community, with its wide variety of social norms, these notions are nuanced.
I acknowledge and condemn sexual harassment, bullying, racism, and other hateful and discriminatory behavior. I acknowledge that being an ally is not a badge I wear, but a commitment to end oppression and to understand my own privilege. To this end, I pledge to take concrete actions every day of the NeurIPS 2018 conference to stop the oppression of others, to take feedback to heart and to not walk away when I make mistakes, and to reflect on my own behavior.
Signers of the pledge will receive a physical diversity ally sticker to wear at NeurIPS, and may download the above badge to add to their NeurIPS presentations and posters.