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Nominee for 2019 Python Software Foundation Board Election

Marlene Mhangami

  • Previous Board Service: Board Member 2017 and 2018
  • Employer: Zimbopy and Umba Hub
  • Other Affiliations: Pycon Africa Chair
  • Nominee Statement:

      Hi, my name is Marlene and I’m a member of the Python community in Zimbabwe. I'm the co-founder of Zimbopy, an organization that teaches Zimbabwean girls how to code in Python. I'm also the current chair of Pycon Africa, the first pan-African gathering of the Python community. Serving on the board has been such an honour for me! This year I served as the board's communications co-chair, along with Lorena Mesa. We worked with the PSF blogging team to highlight the amazing work Pythonista's are doing all over the world. Lorena and I also teamed up with Naomi Cedar, to kick off the translation working group to help with efforts to make Python accessible to people of various languages. I also joined the PSF's fundraising committee and attended a number Pycons around the world, including Pycon India, Namibia, Ghana and of course Pycon USA. I have really enjoyed my time on the board and would love to continue on in service of the community. Below is an outline of how I would like to contribute going forward as a PSF Director if re-elected.

      2018/2019 Goals as a Board Member Encourage and Support Diversity by continuing to support the growing the number of PyCons in Africa: the global Python community is growing rapidly and I have been excited to see groups that are underrepresented playing an active role in making this happen. We now have six African countries, that have successfully held PyCons, up from only four last year, and with the addition of our regional Pycon Africa conference, I'd say we are making great progress! I would like to continue to work to increase this number by connecting with communities that are still growing and providing them with access to relevant resources and support.

      The PSF Blog: One of my goals is to diversify the stories we tell through the PSF blog. I would like to spotlight members from our many communities around the world, particularly those from underrepresented groups, and help tell their stories. Not only do I think this will be a great way to recognize these members for their work, but I also believe it will make them feel more connected to the international community. I would also like to publish more articles in languages other than English, to make the blog more accessible to none English speakers.

      Outreach and education programs: I would like to help support programs that make learning programming accessible particularly outside of the USA. Resources like tutorials and easy to follow summaries for teachers should be accessible and have an option for use in spaces that do not have stable internet connections. Keeping our members from diverse backgrounds in mind should be a priority when making educational documentation. Some of these issues were discussed with the Pyladies leadership group, and I am hopeful that we will come up with solutions that are able to be implemented in the coming years.