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The DIYversity Project Celebrating women & members of the LGBTQ+ community

By Katie Wilde
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1 The DIYversity Project

If you’re like me (a lover of puns, makers, and people of all backgrounds) you’ll be excited to hear that one of Guelph’s best pun makers are leading our community in new ways, with the DIYversity project.

Diyode is community maker-space where members share resources like space, tools, and knowledge. They believe in fixing, building, inventing, and that making can be for anyone. The name comes from a combination of DIY (do-it-yourself) and a play on the word ‘diode’.

The DIYversity Project is a year-long initiative to diversify the population of makers at Diyode Maker Club. They are kicking off the project with an open house including tours of Diyode's new space (183 Dufferin Street) from 7-11pm on March 8th, International Women's Day.

In addition to tours, there will be information about upcoming open nights for women and the LGTBQ+ community, as well as the first chance to register for the first three workshops (3D printing, wood-working, and laser-cutting).

Kim Martin, the lead investigator on the project, will be on site to answer questions and meet with other individuals and community groups that are interested in getting involved. The event is open to all and free to attend. In her words, “Come on out and get making!”Kim says she’s excited about The DIYversity Project because it “aims to broaden the community of makers in Guelph. In short, I want women and LGBTQ+ makers to feel comfortable in Diyode. I want to build community.”

Kim is the co-founder of The MakerBus in London, Ontario and a postdoctoral fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Guelph. Her research has taken her across Southern Ontario, where she tries to understand who is participating in makerspaces and why.

Having collaborated on a successful grant to fund the project, the researcher and the maker-space are ready to invite the community to participate in a series of workshops, starting with their launch event on March 8.

Diyode’s president, Eva Bodehelyi, is a woman. She is part of a roughly 10% minority in the membership who agree that more diversity would make Diyode even better. She is “looking forward to how the new participants can give fresh ideas and perspectives to our community, and how that can inform maker-spaces everywhere to become more vibrant.”

To follow the conversation and take part in the initiative, see the DIYversityFacebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2183437121694597/

Diyode is one of the featured sites on Doors Open Guelph 2019! Preview the event on http://guelpharts.ca/doors-open-guelph, and consider volunteering at this awesome site.

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