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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Call for hangout presenters

Ol' Myrt here got to thinking about Nicka Smith's compelling post “The Problem of the Color Line” describing the disconnect between US Census bureau statistics about diversity and the under-representation of People of Color (POC) as presenters at US regional and national genealogy conferences. While Cousin Russ and I have had POC on our hangout panels, and have several as presenters, the majority of our presentions and study group participants are not POC.

Never has a POC approached DearMYRTLE about participating in one of our hangout or study group series.

Yet Cousin Russ and I have had people approach us about British Research (2016), British and Irish Military  Records (2016) and Irish Research (2017)

these people offered to design the course of study and be a member of the panel. 

We have had multiple individuals who have approached us to spotlight their:
  • website
  • a specific database on their website
  • newly released book

Only one was a person of color.

In all cases, I've had little, if any, experience on the topic. Apparently my newbie questions as the "opinionated moderator" doesn't negatively impact the discussion.

As Cousin Russ and I consider the schedule for our 2017 hangouts and study groups, it would be refreshing to have experienced presenters offer to speak in a single hangout and/or coordinate a multi-part study group. Some topics come immediately to mind:
  • Ethnic-specific topics: African American pre-1870 research strategies, Chinese migrations to South America, Native American
  • Locality-specific topics: Brazil, Eastern Europe, France, Mexico, Scandinavia, Spain, South America, southern US
  • Religious-specific topics:  Jewish genealogy, locating US Lutheran Church Records,
  • Methodology-specific topics: writing the narrative, composing proof arguments
  • Other topics: paleography, maps and land records, US military, maps and land records,
  • Clothing
  • Medical practices
  • Female ancestors 
  • Newspapers
I've heard it said that people are "afraid" to give a presentation in our conversational, open access format, for fear it will diminish the call for in-person presentations on the same topic. What we've found is that our work attracts a different audience. It may be the lure of the "paid" speaking gigs at our esteemed colleague Geoff Rasmussen's Family Tree Webinars.
What we offer is a spunky yet professional environment to spotlight a presenter's expertise, in an open discussion format where slides and website demos are most appreciated by our attendees.

DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ recognize the United Nations' International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024. We reach out to _all_ regardless of race, color, creed or national origin with support for researching family and documenting cultural inheritance.


Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it's simple. If you value the work Ol' Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you'll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.