In light of Pantheon's decision to host the web presence of hate groups, the WPCampus Board of Directors has unanimously voted to terminate WPCampus' partnership with Pantheon.
WPCampus and Pantheon have had a longstanding relationship since our formation, with their sponsoring of WPCampus events, and with donating hosting services for our web presence. These contributions have significantly helped our organization provide services and networking to our community in support of our mission to advance higher education. Their donations were critical to our growth, and we accepted them because we felt we were two organizations with aligned values.
When it came to our attention that Pantheon was providing hosting to hate groups, we reached out on April 24, 2023 hoping to use our longstanding relationship to get more context from them and to urge them to reconsider their stance. Pantheon’s public statements refer to these decisions as being complex, so we urged Pantheon to consult with and rely on the expertise of organizations that track hate groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center. This dialog continued until May 10. It was responsive and cordial, but they reiterated their official statements and let us know that their decision was final. We discussed options at the following board meeting and unanimously decided to end the relationship between WPCampus and Pantheon. We informed Pantheon of this decision on June 2.
Providing a platform for organizations that support discrimination and hateful legislation against individuals because of their race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or other marginalized identities is an open attack on tolerance and acceptance. Doing so creates a space that is dangerously unsafe for historically excluded and marginalized groups online and, inevitably, offline as well. A failure to stand with these vulnerable groups tells members of our communities that they are unwelcome or unworthy of rights.
In our mission to support WordPress in Higher Education, WPCampus commits to creating a safe and welcoming space for everyone. We believe our community is most powerful when its voices are diverse, so we have taken action to show our solidarity with marginalized groups and to speak out against hate groups and the people who enable them.
WPCampus will not accept financial contributions or in-kind support from entities whose policies do not align with the organization’s values. The Board of Directors has declined Pantheon’s sponsorship of our 2023 conference, and the WPCampus network of websites has been removed from the Pantheon platform. We have migrated our websites to temporary hosting while we evaluate long-term solutions.
The WPCampus Board of Directors:
David Dashifen Kees
Eric Scott Sembrat