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Lisa Neal

I am not responding to this particular post but to your blogs and how impressive they are. I especially found the Cambodian one of interest having had a Cambodian babysitter for 12 years. Great work!

Deborah Zanke

Sounds like an interesting panel discussion Beth. My comment is about the title: "Pimp my non-profit..."

I know the term "pimp" has taken on a different connotation over the past several years but to those of us working in the non-profit social services sector with sexually exploited youth, the term and the image of the pimp's hat seems inappropriate for a non-profit discussion. I think we need to be cautious about language and about how we sometimes inadvertently glamourize/normalize violence/exploitation against women and girls.

I don't want to come off as the "language police" but the title just struck me as inappropriate. Has anyone else voiced any concerns about it?

Beth Kanter

In the interest of transparency, I'm cross posting to the comments that took place in private email between me, Deborah, and Ed Schipul the panel designer. Deborah brought a very good point about the title of the panel.

Ed said:

This is something we are *very* aware of. To the point I have considered renaming the panel, but by the time that occurred all of the printing etc had already gone out.

On the plus side, a somewhat controversial title did allow this, of the three panels we proposed, to make it past the panel picker and be accepted by SXSW as a panel. The fact that we don’t have a larger representation at SXSW for social issues and the nonprofit sector blows my mind! I suspect this is a result of the panelpicker system

In this case we borrowed a title from the DC Netsquared Group from January 2007 as a marketing gimmick.
http://www.netsquared.org/blog/britt-bravo/pimp-my-nonprofit-the-washington-dc-netsquared-january-meetup

The good - the exposure we will get at SXSW will be huge. Netsquared has even contributed one (1) ticket to the Mashup conference coming up as well for the panel to give away as a door prize! So from a PR and marketing perspective this is a good thing for Netsquared and the social sector in general.

The bad part is we do have a somewhat controversial moniker and hints at historical references of depravity. Whether society has reclaimed the word, even in a joking context, is really unknown. Internally I have settled on the “greater good” aspect of having a social voice heard at SXSW. And making sure we as a panel are *crystal clear* that while the title is meant to be funny, the topics we are discussing are world changing and 100% real. And definitely NOT about exploitation.

Last though – what is good is conversation. I appreciate your comments! And I bet I could get Hugh to let us change the name of the panel on the web site if this is a large issue. This might reduce on site SXSW marketing as we were going to wear silly hats and hand out moo cards to be sure the panel is packed. The logic there being if you Deborah and you Beth propose panels next year that it will be know there is a demand for nonprofit and social issue panels at SXSW, right? But I am open to change.

Deborah Responded:

Thanks Beth, I appreciate you passing my comments along. I don't know if you have "Pimp and Ho" events in your local bars out your way but a couple of bars have tried such events where I live and there has been great outrage--particularly from those trying to exit the sex trade and those working with women and girls with this issue. The event has patrons dress as pimps and sex trade workers and plays up the theme in other ways. When I saw the title of the panel discussion, it kind of reminded me of the controversy of these events. You'd never see an event such as "wife beater and victim party", for example. Yet, somehow, when it comes to sexual exploitation, we accept the dynamic. You'd hate to alienate some of the non-profits you hope will attend the panel.

Anyway, thanks for considering my two cents.

John Phillips

I just stumbled across this blog, however, I like what I've seen so far. I will be in attendance at SXSW this year and I've notified my business partner that we should attend your panel. Though I don't have anything to say about the name of the panel, the content pertaining to it seems very interesting, and we've often talked about how we can position ourselves as a design company to help non-profits get familiar with the web.

Anyhow, I look forward to seeing this panel, and possibly meeting you as well.

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