A Call for Unity

By March 19, 2021Blog

Open Mainframe Project Members and Community,

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the horrifying news from Atlanta of the killing of Asian-Americans in a series of shootings. This comes amid growing numbers of anti-Asian hate incidents, totaling nearly 3,800 incidents over the course of roughly a year during the pandemic.

This hits close to home for me as, many of you might know, my three youngest children are Asian-Americans. Where I live, a place I’ve lived my entire life, is best characterized as “less than diverse”. Raising Asian-American children in this environment is certainly an eye-opening experience. My family has been subjected to several levels of racism and intolerance. One of my children was called ‘coronavirus’ by his classmates. Another was told his eyes look weird and he should fix it. Seeing my children directly experience racism like this, especially in this modern world, truly breaks both my wife and my heart. 

From my experiences in many of the communities at the Linux Foundation, diversity brings better innovation and outcomes, helping each of us grow in understanding of one another. As the Open Mainframe Project has focused on creating inclusive spaces for collaboration, we have seen the mainframe community grow more diverse across genders, races, and backgrounds. There are several Linux Foundation staff, Open Mainframe Project members, and community leaders of Asian-American descent and I’d like to let them know that we support them and stand by them. And if they need anything, please do not hesitate to call me.  

I also call on us to continue to strive to understand one another, be inclusive in our communities, and bring in those in our community that are marginalized. I’m pleased to see many in this community start to come together around ensuring the mainframe community is a safe and diverse space for this collaboration. This discussion is starting on both a newly formed Slack channel ( #wg-diversity ) as well as on a mailing discussion list. I invite you to join these communication channels and share your thoughts and experiences and reach out to those who need your support. 

As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have questions or concerns. You can also read the Linux Foundation statement here

Warm regards,

John Mertic, Director, Open Mainframe Project