Axelerant Blog: Drupal 9.1 Is Here: Are You Ready to Upgrade?

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/03/14 - 9:29am

As expected, Drupal 9.1 was released on schedule at the closure of 2020. We have already talked about the Drupal 9 release and how it’s a testament to the predictable and reliable nature of the Drupal release cycle. Drupal 9.1 takes a step forward by adding more features and releasing them as predicted.

In this blog, we will be discussing the new improvements and more that will follow. 

Is it worth upgrading?

The Drupal 9.1 stable release was out as expected on Dec 2nd, 2020. We previously advocated that if you are on Drupal 8.9, you needn’t hurry to upgrade to Drupal 9.0 as you would not see many new features. But that’s changed.

Drupal 9.1 adds exciting features and updates along with support for PHP 8 (we have previously written about making Drupal 9 compatible with PHP 8).

It’s also worth upgrading as Drupal 9.1 brings significant changes in the user interface for both sighted users and assistive technology.


Axelerant Blog: A Guide To Automated Testing With Drupal And Applitools

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/03/14 - 9:29am

Traditionally, Drupal web applications are built using various entities like Content types, blocks, components using Layout Builder, and then the product is made available to the end-user on the front-end using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The team usually starts with backend stories related to building various content types, related roles, and permissions, and then the frontend team picks it up to make the site more usable and accessible as per the design requirements. 

Of course, with component libraries like Storybook, Fractal, PatternLab, and with designs in place, the frontend team can start implementing them as component libraries in parallel, which are later integrated with Drupal. 

In this blog, we will be talking about testing the application.

By using Applitools Ultrafast Test Cloud, you would be able to execute the automated visual validation tests across several browsers, operating systems, and devices of your choice and at lightning speed as although the test runs once on, say Chrome (assuming Chromedriver is configured in the tests), the capturing of the pages occurs in parallel, in the background for all the configured browsers and viewports.

Signup for a free account with Applitools and feel free to clone this repository to try it out on your own. Integrate automated visual validation tests in your project that will help you build and release visually perfect web applications or websites confidently at a faster rate.


Axelerant Blog: Upgrade Drupal to PHP 8: Compiling extensions

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/03/14 - 9:29am

In the last article, we discussed the changes required to get Drupal 9.1 running on PHP 8. At that time, we got the Drupal 9.1 dev release working on PHP 8.0.0 RC4 with a few patches. Since then, a lot has changed with many of those patches being committed and Drupal 9.2 dev open for development. But we’ll talk about all of that at a later date. Today, let’s look at getting some of the common PHP extensions and configure it to run with Drupal.

We left off at a point where we have plain Drupal 9.1 running on a plain PHP 8 RC4 setup. Drupal doesn’t require any extensions, not in PHP core, and that means we only had to enable extensions like gd, MySQL, and others to have Drupal 9.1 running. With that, we were able to install Umami and use the site without any problems at all. To enable those extensions, we only needed our docker-php-ext-enable script, which is part of the PHP base Docker imageSee the Dockerfile in the reference repository for the source code (lines 41-52). Installing other extensions that are not part of the PHP core is not quite that simple. Think of it this way: if a module is present in Drupal core, you can install it right after downloading Drupal. But if it is a contrib module, you have to download and install it separately. It’s the same thing with PHP extensions.

Why test with extensions?

Just as you probably wouldn’t have a Drupal site with at least one contrib module, you probably wouldn’t have a PHP installation without a few of the common extensions. Drupal core utilizes some of these extensions when they are available (such as APCu and YAML), which yields better performance. This means that even though the extensions are not technically required, you would most likely have them.


Axelerant Blog: A Complete Overview of Drupal Migration & More

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/03/14 - 9:29am

With the launch of Drupal 9 in June 2020, the topic of Drupal migration is fresh on everyone’s mind. We will be delving deeper into the nitty-gritty around the topic in this blog. 

Migration is the process where the content from the old site, converted into the desired format and is saved in the new site. Sometimes, migration is a simple activity of mapping the source content to the destination content types and sometimes, it is a bit more complicated.

Let's take a comprehensive look at the Drupal migration process in context to the recently launched Drupal 9, and what’s involved in migrating from different versions. Here's what we will be discussing about:

01. Drupal 7, 8, and 9

02. Migrating Then and Now

03. Drupal to Drupal Migration

04. Migration from external sources

05. What’s More?


clemens-tolboom pushed to patch-1 in clemens-tolboom/leaf

On github - Mon, 2022/03/14 - 8:33am
clemens-tolboom pushed to patch-1 in clemens-tolboom/leaf Mar 14, 2022 1 commit to patch-1
  • d557662 Deno.execPath is a function so call it.

The Drop Times: The Baby Steps of Drupal India Community

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/03/14 - 3:50am
In a Fireside Chat organized by DIA, Dries Buytaert talked about how happy he is with the changes in the Indian Drupal community and how they can improve.

The Drop Times: Dries Buytaert: Low Code No Code Adoption Good for Drupal

Planet Drupal - Mon, 2022/03/14 - 2:04am
Dries Buytaert in a chat hosted by DIA talks about the learning opportunities with low code no code systems and the possibility of pure headless turning out to be niche in the long run.

#! code: Drupal 9: Creating A Block To Render A Node Field

Planet Drupal - Sun, 2022/03/13 - 8:57pm

Drupal 9 gives you a lot of flexibility to place node fields into different areas of the site, but there are some limitations. You could use the field display manager to change the order and format of the fields, or install the layout builder module and organise fields into sections.

The problem comes when you need to display some fields outside of the limits of the node template. For example, you might want to show a header image within the page template, or print a curated list of links in the sidebar. These situations exist outside of the node template so you need a different way of adding those fields to those parts of the page.

There are just some situations where you just need to render out a field to a different part of the page.

The best way I have found to do this is to use a Drupal block. Since a block can be placed anywhere on the page and can be made aware of the context of the page we can quite easily use a block to pull out the data from the node and print it anywhere we like.

Let's start with a very basic block implementation that just adds enough information for Drupal to register it as a block.

<?php namespace Drupal\mymodule\Plugin\Block; use Drupal\Core\Block\BlockBase; /** * Provides a 'Article Header' block. * * @Block( * id = "mymodule_article_header", * label = "Article Header", * admin_label = @Translation("Article Header"), * ) */ class ArticleHeaderBlock extends BlockBase { /** * {@inheritdoc} */ public function build() { } }

This block does absolutely nothing, so our next step is to inject a couple of dependencies.

Read more.


clemens-tolboom opened a pull request in mandarineorg/leaf

On github - Sun, 2022/03/13 - 8:17pm
clemens-tolboom opened a pull request in mandarineorg/leaf Mar 13, 2022 Use the current running deno and not `which deno` #23

I want to compile using the current running Deno. I have a stripped deno which I want to run when doing the Leaf.compile step. await runCmd(`cp /u…

+2 -2

clemens-tolboom pushed to patch-1 in clemens-tolboom/leaf

On github - Sun, 2022/03/13 - 8:17pm
clemens-tolboom pushed to patch-1 in clemens-tolboom/leaf Mar 13, 2022 1 commit to patch-1
  • ae15ba6 Use the current running deno and not `which deno`

clemens-tolboom opened an issue in mandarineorg/leaf

On github - Sun, 2022/03/13 - 2:58pm
clemens-tolboom opened an issue in mandarineorg/leaf Mar 13, 2022 Can we have new version v1.0.5 including PR #20 ? #22

I use PR #20 which works as intended. I can serve leaf managed files with a fallback to normal FS.

clemens-tolboom commented on issue denoland/deno#9198

On github - Sat, 2022/03/12 - 1:48pm
clemens-tolboom commented on denoland/deno#9198 Mar 12, 2022 clemens-tolboom commented Mar 12, 2022

My deno compiled executables are quite different in size (Mac 84MB, Linux 89MB, Windows 58MB). Stripping my deno generated files gives error ... :…

Centarro: Replace Swift Mailer with Symfony Mailer for HTML email

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/03/11 - 10:26pm

When you're theming a Drupal Commerce site, you shouldn't forget to style the emails your store sends. The primary use case is the checkout completion email that includes the customer's receipt, but there may be others depending on your feature set and customizations (e.g. dunning emails for recurring subscriptions).

Commerce Core provides a basic, table based template that you'll want to either replace or at least ensure is styled by your theme to reflect your branding. (Find it in the order module's templates directory, commerce-order-receipt.html.twig.) However, without adding the capacity to properly send HTML email from your site, it's going to look like a jumbled mess in your customer's inbox.

We've long recommended Swift Mailer for formatting and sending HTML emails from Drupal Commerce. Symfony announced the project's deprecation late last year, recommending folks switch to using the 3 year old Symfony Mailer instead after they brought it up to full feature parity with the Swift Mailer library.

Fortunately, there's a module for that!

Read more

Drupal Association blog: Heather's Farewell and #DrupalThanks

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/03/11 - 9:00pm

As I complete my last day leading the Drupal Association, I want to share my gratitude for everyone that makes Drupal so darn special. The past three years have provided me with significant lessons in leadership, collaboration, and resiliency. It’s been an honor to serve the Drupal Association and the Drupal community. I leave with memories and experiences that I will always cherish. 

I’m incredibly proud of the Drupal Association staff, who continue to have a positive and lasting impact on the Drupal project. This team is an essential part of the Drupal community. Each gives so much time, talent, and thoughtfulness to all they do to support our mission. They keep Drupal moving forward by helping the people (that’s you!) and maintaining the tools that make it all possible. I have no doubt that this team, led by acting executive director, Angie Sabin, will continue to succeed given the solid strategic goals and action plans firmly in place and ongoing advisement from our outstanding Board of Directors

Even though I’m off on a new adventure to grow and scale Amazon’s Alexa Prize program, I’ll have the opportunity to stay connected to Drupal through my new role as a contributor for the Discover Drupal talent and education program. We are in the process of learning from year one of the Discover Drupal pilot and are developing strategies to launch the program globally, providing new access ramps to Drupal. Discover Drupal is a prime example of what we can and should do as a community and is part of the solution to continue growth and innovation for the Drupal project. 

My wish for each of you reading this message is that you can contribute to Drupal’s Community of Innovation in a way that is meaningful to you. One of the very best ways to get started on your journey as a Drupal maker is by attending an event near you. I sincerely hope many of you also have the opportunity to travel to DrupalCon Portland in April and/or DrupalCon Prague in September to learn, build, and connect. Many thanks to all of the event organizers, volunteers, sponsors, participants and contribution mentors that make these important Drupal events possible. 

One of the things that Dries and I bonded over when I first began this job was our shared belief that Drupal has the power to make a positive impact in the world. I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on this subject during my keynote speech at NEDCamp in 2020 - Better Together: How the Drupal Community Can Change the World. Strong communities give us shared purpose and connection and allow us to better meet our goals. Still, they require a sense of psychological safety to function optimally. I appreciate the work of this community, particularly the Community Working Group (CWG), toward making Drupal a safe space for everyone. 

As I said at DrupalCon Europe last year, I have a vision for Drupal’s Community of Innovation. I believe all things are possible because:

  • We believe in the power of Drupal’s flexible, free, open source platform to make a positive impact in the world.
  • We are diverse, inclusive, curious, and collaborative.
  • We are Drupal makers.
  • We are better together.

Drupal’s Community of Innovation is a true leader in the world of open source. You have the energy, talent, and collective wisdom to accomplish almost anything, and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

- Heather Rocker

File attachments:  IMG_5418.JPG
Categories: blog: What’s new on - Q4 2021

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/03/11 - 6:48pm

Read our roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community. You can also review the Drupal project roadmap.

This update for the fourth quarter of 2021 sums up the major accomplishments and important news from the end of last year. Our Q1 2022 update will be coming soon, to be published in April. 

Drupal Lifecycle Updates Drupal 8 End of Life

In the last quarter of 2021, Drupal 8 reached its end of life. Modern versions of Drupal (8 and beyond) rely on third-party dependencies such as the Symfony framework, and so Drupal 8's lifecycle was tied to the end of life of Drupal 8's symfony version.

Upgrading Drupal from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is vastly easier than any previous Drupal version upgrade - however, the module ecosystem is still a factor.

The Drupal Association engineering team coordinated closely with the Core maintainers for Drupal 8's end of life, notifying project maintainers, updating the automated testing system, and promoting information on updating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 (a much easier process than the D7 to D8 upgrade). 

Drupal 6 Long-term support winding down

After 8 years of community support and an additional 6 years of long-term support, Drupal 6 will soon reach its final end of life. In PSA-2022-03-09, the Drupal Security team announced that D6 LTS will end in October of 2022, and no additional community or commercial support will be available for Drupal 6. We're incredibly grateful to MyDropWizard and Tag1 Consulting for supporting the community for so many years. 

Drupal 7 Support extended another year 

In February, we announced a further extension of Drupal 7 support: PSA-2022-02-23

More than a decade after its first release, Drupal 7 is still widely used across the web. It can be found powering civic engagement in government installations; managing vast amounts of content for faculty, students, and staff in educational institutions; and providing the digital backbone for many businesses and non-profit organizations. Drupal 9 is well-maintained, secure, stable, and feature-rich, but many organizations still rely on Drupal 7.

Therefore, we are announcing that moving forward, the scheduled Drupal 7 End-of-Life date will be re-evaluated annually. As of today, we are extending the end-of-life by one year to November 1, 2023.

We will announce by July 2023 whether we will extend Drupal 7 community support an additional year. Factors that we will consider are community support, Drupal 7 usage, and active Drupal 7 maintainers. Current support is made possible thanks to the many Drupal 7 maintainers and companies that are paying to support Drupal 7.

Initiatives Closer to core than ever before 

A number of active Drupal initiatives require a closer connection to Drupal Association-managed infrastructure than ever before. From managing the security of automatic updates, to modernizing the way we deliver use-case specific distributions of Drupal, to our collaboration tools; each of these efforts requires close coordination with the DA engineering team to create innovation in Drupal itself. 

The Drupal Association has been organizing regular initiative meetings in Drupal Slack for several key initiatives that are currently underway. 

You can find the calendar of these and all other core initiative meetings in the sidebar of this page: 

Collaboration features moved into GitLab

Accelerating our use of GitLab's collaboration tools lowers the barrier to entry for new contributors to Drupal, and lets us take advantage of GitLab's own innovation cycle in creating code collaboration tools. 

We've moved more aspects of the Drupal community's code collaboration features into GitLab as part of our larger project to fully adopt GitLab as our community's collaboration tool. 

SSH keys for contributors are now managed directly in GitLab, and the source code, commit log, and activity links now all point directly to GitLab as well. 

We've also updated the display of project maintainers to show all maintainers, not just committers, and to show user pictures to humanize each project's maintainer team. 

These initial steps help decouple our 'Project' pages from the code collaboration tools, paving the way for more significant milestones like migrating testing and issues to GitLab. 

We're now heavily focused on planning the transition from DrupalCI to GitLabCI, but more about that to come in our next update! 

Collaboration features moved into GitLab

The replacement for is nearly here. We've already added a community events listing feature to: which provides a feed of data for services like Drupical. 

Providing a central location for the community to self-organize around their own local and virtual events is just one piece of the puzzle. These discussion groups help connect the community around common interests and promote collaborations that may become the seed of Drupal's next innovation. 

Community Groups will be the last piece of the puzzle, helping the community self-organize around topics that are important to them. 

Team Augmentation Welcoming new faces to the Engineering team

As mentioned in our last update, in Q4 we brought onboard three new members of the Drupal Association engineering team on a contract basis. 

  • Irina Zaks is helping us with project management for the GitLab Acceleration initiative. 
  • Caleb Crawley is working on features and helping us get ready for Drupal 9 upgrades. 
  • Fran Garcia-Linares has jumped straight into updating to Drupal 9.

If you see them around, be sure to give them a wave!


As always, we’d like to thank all the volunteers who work with us and the Drupal Association Supporters who make it possible for us to work on these projects. In particular, we want to thank: 

If you would like to support our work as an individual or an organization, consider becoming a member of the Drupal Association

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra


Community Working Group posts: Looking for Translator Subject Matter Experts

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/03/11 - 6:20pm

As part of our conflict resolution work within the Drupal community, the Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) sometimes relies on the advice of Subject Matter Experts (SME) in the areas of cultural differences, language translations, and other areas. It is our goal to approach each community member and situation with sensitivity and respect.

Our SMEs are called upon only when necessary to help the conflict resolution team with specific issues and are only provided the information necessary to complete their tasks. They are not fully onboarded members nor are they exposed to private data that is irrelevant to their task at hand. All SMEs must agree to the CWG Code of Ethics

The current crisis in Ukraine has brought to our attention that our group does not have an English/Ukrainian or English/Russian translator, should the need arise. It has also made us aware of the fact that, in spite of having a variety of SMEs ready to help, we lack translators for many languages. We feel that this is far too much of an American and Western European focus for our global community.

With this in mind, if you, or someone you know in the Drupal community, is comfortable providing cultural and translation services for the conflict resolution team, we'd love to hear from you at drupal-cwg at 


Drupal Association blog: A step-by-step guide to a successful event scholarship program

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/03/11 - 5:43pm

By Von R. Eaton (he/him), Events + Engagement Manager for the Drupal Association. 

Von is a New Jersey-based activist, community engagement professional, and change-maker. He currently does social/cultural change work through his role at the Drupal Association, through his business Von Reyes Consulting, as a Steering Committee member for the organization Philadelphia Asian & Queer, and as a board member of GLSEN Philly. 

Working as a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practitioner has led me down many paths across disciplines as DEI efforts are essential in every industry for every role and every project. One of the many ways the Drupal Association promotes equity is through our DrupalCon scholarship program. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with Angie Byron and Henna Singh over at MongoDB recently, where I did a skillshare on how to best implement needs-based event scholarships for historically oppressed communities. One of the best things about my work is connecting with other folks who are committed to making change, and it was such a joy to share space with Henna and Angie. We realized that this scholarship roadmap could be useful for all the event organizers out there who are dedicated to making space for everyone. 

Before you get started on building a scholarship program, you’ll need to make sure you have a team with the right expertise. Consult with a DEI professional (if you do not have one on staff) to ensure that you are addressing the needs of marginalized people in your community. Make sure it is someone well-vetted and knowledgeable and prioritize hiring DEI professionals who themselves are of marginalized identity. Most importantly, make sure you have the budget to pay DEI practitioners what they are worth! This is a specialized field with a high degree of emotional labor involved. 

Step 1: Determine the purpose of your scholarship program 

What is your ultimate goal with providing scholarships for your event? Asking yourself this question first is essential. For each event/industry, your purpose will probably look a little different, but addressing the actual needs of marginalized people should always be at the core. You want to stay away from programs that serve organizations more than they serve scholars. 

Here are my tips and best practices for determining your purpose: 

  • Do a needs assessment with the key stakeholders in your industry to know who the folks are that need the most support in your industry.
    • Prioritize the voice and experiences of folks in your industry who are experiencing oppression. 
    • Diversify your data sources! 
  • Do a feasibility assessment of what your organization/agency/business can realistically provide to scholars. Try to avoid over-promising, and be transparent with applicants. 
  • Have peer-reviewed scholarly articles that speak to the areas of need you are addressing (your DEI practitioner can help you with this!).
Step 2: Build your application form

Good data is essential to the success of a scholarship program. Building your application form with your target scholar audience in mind with evidence-based collection tools will ensure that your scholarship program is put into the hands of the right folks. Additionally, your application form is often your first point of contact with potential scholars, and it lets them know what it is you're trying to achieve. There is a lot of opportunity for providing both education and comfort for your applicants in your form.

Here are my tips and best practices for building a good application form:

  • Include your purpose at the top of your application form, with a link to further information if you have a separate landing page. 
  • Include consent-based disclaimers that tell your applications exactly how you will use their information from the beginning. This is important for applicants to feel safe and comfortable applying for scholarships with your organization.
    • Example: “The following questions are demographic questions that help the Drupal Association meet our goals of increasing diversity, ensuring equity, & fostering inclusion. Please select this box to acknowledge that you understand that these questions are completely confidential, and you will have the agency to publicly share as little or as much as you feel comfortable.”
    • Example: “Nothing in this application will be shared publicly without your explicit consent. The only people who will see your answers are our internal scholarship review committee, and these answers will not be stored for future use. Please select  this box to acknowledge that you understand that this application is completely confidential.” 
  • Rather than a blanket question such as: “check this box if you’re oppressed,” ask in-depth questions to learn more about how systemic oppression impacts your applicants’. This helps you gain more insights into your community and how to best help those who need it the most. Demographics that I suggest collecting are: 
    • Gender
    • Sexuality 
    • Race 
    • Ethnicity 
    • Nationality 
    • Immigrant/refugee identity 
    • Disability 
  • Display cultural competency and DEI efficacy in the way you ask your questions. This is especially important, and I recommend researching data analysis from social scientists to help guide you. Here are my top tips for doing that: 

    •  Use text fields for most of your questions so that folks can self-describe. This is more work for you on the back-end as you’ll need to collate the related fields, but it is worth the extra work! 
    • Include clarifying language in questions that have been historically oppressive in data collection.
      • Example: Instead of “Name,” use “First Name (what you would like to be called)”. This lets folks know that they are not required to share their legal name with you if that is not the name they use.

      • Include examples of marginalized identities for demographic questions to both guide the reader and communicate safety and competency to your applicants. 

      • Example: “Your Gender (self-describe, e.g. cis woman, non-binary, trans man, trans woman, agender, etc.)”
      • Example: “Your Sexuality (self-describe, e.g. lesbian, bisexual, asexual, etc.)”
      • Example: “Your Race (self-describe, e.g. Black, Asian, Indigenous, bi/multi-racial, etc.)”  
  • Explicitly ask if they are financially disadvantaged using a yes/no radio button in the form. If they are not, do not move forward with the application. Save the funds for those who truly need it.

    • Then, ask a follow-up text field question. An example: “Tell us a little bit about why you are applying for a scholarship. How would receiving a scholarship impact you?”

  • Ask relevant questions that determine if they fit your demographic, not just for your scholarship but for your event at-large. Ask them what their interests are, what they would most like to do at your event, what are their professional goals, what experience do they already have in your industry, etc. 
  • Make your questions required unless the question does not provide the applicant a chance to explain. Requiring answers help you as the review committee make the best decision possible! This is the reason you provide disclaimers at the top of your application.
  • Set a clear and public timeframe for applications. I usually suggest 1-2 months to give folks time to apply but to not have the application flooded and you’re unable to select. 

TLDR: Make as many of your questions required text-fields as possible, do your research on how to ask questions safely/effectively, give the applicant an opportunity to describe themselves, keep confidentiality, set a firm timeframe, and make sure you're collecting the information you need to make decisions. 

Step 3: Select your scholarship recipients 

You will typically have 3 different types of scholarship applicants: 

  1. Those who fit your criteria (yay!) 
  2. Those who don’t, but applied anyway.
  3. Those who are searching broadly for scholarships online, usually for higher education, and stumble upon your application via a Google search. 

For folks in groups 2 and 3, send a polite decline email thanking them for their time and effort. 

For the folks in group 1, move forward with the selection process! Here are my tips and best practices for selection: 

  • Ideally, selection is made by a committee of folks with explicit training in diversity, equity, and inclusion. This could be where your DEI consultant comes into play again.

  • Set up 15-30 minute casual interviews to give folks the opportunity to express themselves and for you as the review team to get to know them as whole human beings. 

    • Often, as DEI practitioners, we ourselves are marginalized, and it is important to practice self-care in this process. Make the process work for you as much as you make it work for scholars. 
    • In this vein, provide 3-4 time slots that applicants can choose from for the interviews that work with your schedule as reviewers. 
    • Be flexible when you need to be, but don’t burn yourself out! 
  • Have some guiding questions for your interview. Some examples from DrupalCon North America: 

    • Is this your first time at DrupalCon? 
    • Tell me about your familiarity with Drupal as a platform and project. 
    • What are three things you would like to do at DrupalCon? 
    • Tell me about how your identities/worldview impact your experiences.
  • You will likely have a ton of extremely deserving candidates. Your knee-jerk reaction might be that you don’t know who to award scholarships to and why. Here are the folks to prioritize in a DEI needs-based scholarship: 

If you have two candidates with the exact same identities, prioritize the candidate who has never attended your event, is more financially disadvantaged or is less ahead career-wise. 

Step 4: Implement your scholarship program 

Let’s talk logistics! There are a few things I recommend to make your program as seamless, effective, and affirming as possible. 

Internal & external communications 

Make sure your communications to applicants are drafted ahead of time and send out all of your communications at once. Take a trauma-informed approach to the process: acknowledge them as a person first and a scholarship applicant second. Always see them as humans and ensure they feel supported, even if they didn’t get a scholarship. 

For folks who are not selected, avoid getting too specific unless an applicant directly asks why they weren’t selected. Be honest but not hurtful! Build applicants up when they don’t receive a scholarship to remind them that just because they were not selected doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy. Some example language: 

  • “We had several strong applications that exceeded the spots we could fill.”
  • “We had some applicants who shared your identity and aren’t as far along in their career goals as you are. You are a leader in our industry, and we really value your experience and all you bring to our community!”
  • “Thank you so much for your time and dedication to this process. While we were not able to offer you a scholarship this year, we invite you to apply in future years!” 

Invite those who were not selected to participate in your event in other ways. For example: 

  • Volunteer 8+ hours to receive a free ticket to the conference.
  • Offer a 50% off coupon if that will help fund their trip further.
  • Provide additional resources on how to engage with your organization outside of the event.

If you plan to highlight your scholarship recipients publicly, ensure that this is optional. There are very real and very genuine safety issues of certain attendees being exposed in connection with a diversity scholarship (e.g. LGBTQ+ from a country where it is criminalized, being a non-citizen/refugee, being disabled, and applying for jobs, etc). 

Travel & finances  

Travel and finances are probably the most important part of your implementation process.

Pay for everything upfront. The flight, lodging, and conference ticket should be funded by your organization with funds you have allocated in your budget. Additionally, booking all travel and lodging should be taken care of by you. In order for this scholarship to reach the people who need it most, they need to be able to actually use it. If someone is capable of being reimbursed for high-cost expenses, they probably don’t fit your criteria. 

If you open your event to a global audience, you’ll have some international applicants. International applicants might need to apply for a visa, so it’s important that your scholarship timeline is long enough to account for this. The time it takes to process a visa application varies by region and has only gotten longer since COVID-19. 

You can write a letter of invitation (even before the selection process is completed) to help with the visa process. Ensure that the language you are using in your letter of invitation doesn’t commit your scholarship applicant to anything financially and that you are taking care in not providing any information that might endanger them. International scholars will need to have a visa in hand before they can access scholarship funds. Follow the same process for a visa letter as you would for regular conference attendees! 

You might have folks who are unable to secure their visa in time for the event, no matter how well you plan. To ensure your scholarship fund doesn’t go unused, I recommend keeping a waitlist of candidates who don’t need a visa and can make travel arrangements in a shorter time frame. 

Step 5: Put your purpose into practice

We’ve talked about how to build your form, how to select, how to allocate funds, and how to book travel/lodging. 

But the most important thing is that your scholars get the most out of the experience! 

At your event 

Have structured programming specific to scholars, so they are affirmed and supported. This is where you can get creative as an event organizer! Some examples might include: 

  • Virtual meet & greets between scholars leading up to the event.
  • A welcoming breakfast just for scholars first thing in the morning, so they can meet each other, find friends, and network.
  • A mentorship program where you pair scholars with long-time event attendees who can show them the ropes AND have DEI cultural competency training.
  • Program pathways: develop event guides for scholars that will help them attend the parts of your event that best fit their needs. 

Some scholars will want to show their gratitude in some way. While I strongly recommend against requiring scholars to volunteer, I encourage you to offer it as an option if they want to give back. This is also a great way to build long-term relationships with your scholars long after your event!


An important thing to avoid is furthering cycles of abandonment that marginalized people often face by institutions. Engaging your scholars post-event is so important to the health and sustainability of your scholars and your program.

Ask your scholars for feedback on their experience and implement those changes in future years. The greatest thing you can do as a DEI practitioner is to suppress your ego and center your scholars as much as possible. 

Encourage scholars to create avenues for keeping in touch beyond the conference. For example, they could create a Slack channel just for them to stay in touch and share experiences, or you could create it on their behalf. Add them (with their consent) to volunteer lists for the future. Perhaps they can be on your review committee in future years! 

At the end of the day, the scholarship program should be for the sole purpose of supporting and uplifting folks most vulnerable to global systems of oppression in whatever community your event is for. All other outcomes should be secondary. Keep this driving force at the heart of your efforts, and you will nail it!

Categories: How I run my blog on a Raspberry Pi

Planet Drupal - Fri, 2022/03/11 - 9:00am

Like a lot of folks who enjoy tinkering with technology, I now have a small but growing collection of Raspberry Pi boxes around my house. I've used them for various projects: A PiHole network ad blocker, an OctoPi 3D print server, and a Minecraft server, among others.

However, the most custom project I've done is setting up a Raspberry Pi to act as a web server to host my own blog site, I got the idea while researching for an interview I did a couple of years ago.