Conference Diversity and Inclusion.

Our goal is to create an inclusive, respectful conference environment that invites participation from people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientations. We’re actively seeking to increase the diversity of our attendees, speakers, and sponsors through our calls for proposals, other open submission processes, and through dialogue with the larger communities we serve.

This is an ongoing process. Richmond SQL Server Users Group (RSSUG) will continue to update this policy and welcomes suggestions for additions/clarifications.

How can you help with Diversity at our events?

Suggest relevant affinity groups that they attend, speak and contribute as volunteers to the event. Suggest ways that the onsite conference experience can be more welcoming and supportive, free from intimidation and marginalization. Be supportive of everyone at the event. We welcome everyone to the event. For Fully Virtual events this Code of Conducts apply to items shared as well through Backgrounds or images that an attendee displays while on Video. Zoom backgrounds, Profile pictures, or shared images that violate this policy will not be tolerated.

Code of Conduct

The Richmond SQL Server Users Group wants to provide the best possible experience for everyone, at all of our events. We strive to make our events as inclusive and safe as possible. Towards that goal, our objective is to increase the participation of diverse community members.


The Richmond SQL Server Users Group believes our community should be truly open for everyone. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or religion.

This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for participant behavior. We invite all sponsors, volunteers, speakers, attendees, vendors, and other participants to help us have a safe and positive conference experience for everyone.


We require all conference participants (sponsors, volunteers, speakers, attendees, vendors, and other guests) to abide by this code of conduct at all conference venues and conference-related social events.

Expected behavior:

Be welcoming. This is an all-inclusive environment where you’re likely to meet people from different types of backgrounds with different points of view and even different programming languages. Everyone should feel welcome at our conference regardless of their technical knowledge or years of experience. Be respectful, considerate and collaborative. Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Help us make this a diverse conference where people can collaborate and share ideas without fear of backlash or ridicule. Be careful in the words that you choose. We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to: Violent threats or language directed against another person. Sexist, racist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language. Inappropriate use of nudity, sexual images, and/or sexual innuendo (including presentation slides) Strong or excessive profanity Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following Harassment of others (in any form). In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop. Sustained disruption of talks or other events Personal insults, especially those using racist or sexist terms. Inappropriate physical contact or unwelcome sexual attention. Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior. When we disagree, try to understand why. Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time and our events are no exception. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Remember that we’re all different. The strength of our community comes from its varied community, people from a wide range of backgrounds. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that it is human to err and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere, rather offer to help resolve issues and to help learn from mistakes. Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert conference organizers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress. Political statements of any kind through the use of backgrounds/images on video will not be allowed.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior by other attendees, organizers, speakers, volunteers, venue staff, sponsors, or other patrons will not be tolerated. Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. If anyone engages in unacceptable behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including expulsion from the conference without warning and may possibly face exclusion from our future community events.

What to do if you witness or are subject to unacceptable behavior

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff. You may also contact conference staff and ask to be put in touch with the conference organizer. Even if you’re not sure, if you encounter something that makes you uncomfortable, please contact a staff member. Every concern will be handled respectfully, privately, and confidentially.

If you have questions/comments/concerns about this policy, please let us know (in-person or via email).