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Homogeneity


K3MRI
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With absolute respect for the ARRL and a very dear friend and member of Ham Community who happens to be front and center in that image, and without any judgement whatsoever, I ask myself: "what is wrong with this picture?"

Is it just me or are we reinforcing the message that to be an amateur radio operator you have to look like 'me'. I look like I fit in that picture; I just wish I did not look like 95.65% of those in the image. I would hope that in years to come, the diversity and youth bugs bite us, because if they don't...

 

20220100%20QST%20Cover%20RESIZED.jpg

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Amateur Radio has to compete with the Internet.  Most of the younger people don't want to bother with talking on a radio.  They want Tik-Tok and cell phones.  Your point is valid, but I think most younger people aren't going to want to go back 100 years with their technology.   If it doesn't have WiFi and a camera on it, they just aren't interested.

I got my boy at Ft. Bragg that I VE'd his exam earlier this year and got his ticket.  He walks areound with his DMR radio and a hotspot so he can talk on his "radio".He wouldn't do analog for nuthin.

Why go to Cali in a coverd wagon when you can drive there in  a Lambo?   LOL

Edited by KD3Y
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It is a tough competition, no argument there, being popular is not easy. Anyone play water polo? 🤣 I just think we need to find innovative ways to make our practice interesting to more diverse groups. When you go to Hamvention or Hamcation you see youth. They're curious, interested, and actually very interesting. The problem is that we don't see enough of them. Do we need more digital? Do we need more field work? I am part of a group now, called GOTA for Life that is trying to both attract new members and keep them active. I have been part of other groups before. Truth be told, I do not believe anyone has yet found that magic spell to attract good new licensees to the practice in sufficient numbers to keep us going for decades to come. Does that mean I'll give up? Those who know me know my resolve: when I hit a wall, if I can't blow it up, I find a way around it, under it, or over it, but that wall 'ain't gonna' stop me. But yeah, agreed 100%, it's a tough fight ahead. We need a win 🏆 The question is, who's going to be the one with the great idea. C'mon Anthony, it's time for an epiphany 😎

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3 hours ago, KC3MSE said:

Someone missed the point here. The picture shows the non-diversity of the membership in the ARRL: WASP. If the ARRL is to survive, it needs to diversify!

Hint: relatives are not supposed to administer amateur radio license tests to relatives.

👍 Agreed. It’s been a couple of days since I first saw that front cover, and I still can’t get over it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Elmer


As some of you know, I am completely appalled/disillusioned with the decision by the ARRL to project a nearly all-white, nearly all-male, nearly all straight image in QST.  It was not just the cover photo, but also every photo in December and January. They projected white, male, straight, with the permitted 2% female and every opportunity to show off the few young people associated with amateur radio.

It is not just that amateur radio is no longer a cool and unique ability, having its own cool technology. It is also that the last few generations [of Americans] have become completely at ease with racial mixing and gender mixing. To them, QST stands out like a sore thumb. There will always be STEM-attracted people.  I was a nerd attracted to the post-sputnik "lets beat the Russians" hype that would be called STEM today. But, even the young techies are confused by the sect of old white men who show up in every QST photograph that includes a primate.

No doubt there is horrible push-back from rank-and-file members when a non-binary or other nontraditional person is highlighted. The dinosaurs ruled the Earth before they were replaced by tiny mammals. The mammals were originally little things that hid in the brush and were squashed under the toes of the big animals. But, the mammals survived the meteors and ice age. That kind of species survival is why diversity is so important. First you have diversity, then you have selection, then there is survival (of the fittest). An organization of white old men (and I am one) lacks diversity.  The current makeup is insufficient for the long-term survival of amateur radio.

The argument for diversity does not even require a distaste for the inherent unfairness of publicly promoting only white hams. I happen to share the distaste. But, whether or not you like to hang with people who have as many tattoos as Lionel Messi or the skin tone of Kylian Mbappé, we need to attract more people from a broader swath of America. Just as an example, the US Census indicates: White: 60.1% (Non-Hispanic), Hispanic: 18.5%, Black: 12.2% and Asian: 5.6%. It will be hard work to get the ham radio community anywhere near those proportions. Such a task would require a plan put together by people who have expertise. It is a task that would require money and commitment. Most of all, it would require buy-in from many thousands of white hams.

I do not think we, the amateur radio community, appreciates what needs to happen. Small, incremental changes have never worked well in this sphere.  When will we seek out people who look, think and live differently than we do? How will we help them succeed? Can we embrace what they want to do with the hobby? Each of us needs to consider these questions. They are the first (incremental) steps towards changing the community. We begin by changing ourselves. 

 

  • Agree | Support 1
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Agree, support, stand with you.

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