Issue #1 | Creating A Culture Of Inclusion | BanklessAfrica Newsletter
This is BanklessAfrica Newsletter, a newsletter about staying up to date with well-curated news about crypto and Web3 around Africa.
Hey, BanklessAfrica fam!
We're so happy to finally be able to talk to you all. We've been super excited about this newsletter since we first started working on it, and now that it's finally out, we can't wait for you to see it!
The Terra ecosystem crash was a hard hit, and many of us were left reeling from the loss of our funds; this can be rough on your mental health. In order to stay sane through these trying times, try talking to someone in person or online about your feelings and concerns; do some meditation or yoga; or get some fresh air and exercise.
Here's a quote from Nelson Mandela: "Hope is the only thing stronger than fear."
We hope you enjoy Issue 1 and stay strong this week in crypto.
Contributors : Abidemi, Cisco, Yofi, Trewkat
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As of May 13th, 2022
∘ Biggest Gainers of the Week:
Name: Goldario (GLD)
7d %: +557.94%
Volume (24hr): $229,103
∘ Biggest Losers of the Week
7d % : -100.00%
Volume (24hr): $1,368,468,232
∘ Top Assets by Market Cap
Name: Bitcoin (BTC) Price: $30,506.01 7d % : -15.95%
Market Cap: $581,493,109,447
🫂 Creating A Culture Of Inclusion
Cover : Cisco Author: Abidemi
When we speak of inclusion, it’s often in the broader context of “we need more people of color or women” but inclusion involves more than race, sexual orientation, or nationality; there's much more nuance to it. HR technology company Justworks' definition of inclusion is spot on:
“Inclusion refers to creating a work environment where all people are truly welcomed, valued and respected — for all of who they are — regardless of differences”.
DAOs are spaces where inclusion is crucial but due to their decentralized and autonomous nature, contributors and stewards sometimes assume inclusion is a given. In reality, it isn’t. True inclusion involves far more than what’s currently happening in DAOs.
In the book, Community; The structure of belonging, author Peter Block writes about fragmented communities and how the culture of individualism causes isolation. He notes:
“those we label homeless or ex-offenders or disabled or at risk are the most visible people who struggle with belonging.”
Another paragraph points out how disconnection and detachment lead to not just isolation but are also threats to the gifts and strengths of marginalized groups. In a DAO sense, marginalized groups include the degens, non-crypto-native individuals, special-needs individuals, and in some cases, contributors from developing nations.
Building inclusive cultures in DAOs involves creating nurturing structures where each contributor feels empowered and can easily pivot across various projects, where mental health is openly talked about, and most importantly, where care is freely given and received. For contributors to care about each other, there has to be an awareness of what it takes for each contributor to show up every day, what it takes for those watching from the sidelines to actually jump in and take action, and to know how valued their contributions are.
Some actionable steps to creating cultures of inclusion:
Active listening is crucial in creating cultures of inclusion. DAOs are peer-to-peer networks of contributors who are there to get work done. Every contributor, therefore, needs to cultivate the act of listening so they can create better experiences for people looking to join in. One idea would be to organize syncs where contributors just share their realities, talk about the difficulties they're experiencing in the DAO, and encourage healthy feedback loops.
Empathy: Being sensitive, aware, and understanding of one another's weaknesses and struggles is another great way to foster inclusion in a DAO. We do not all have the same background, privilege, or resources. A contributor from Egypt does not have the same challenge as one from Mexico or Nigeria. It’s up to each one of us to at least try to understand what it takes for each contributor to show up every day, and to extend grace when needed.
Encouragement, flexibility, and self-determination: again, not everyone contributes in the same way or has the same work process. Contributors who have challenges such as ADHD or dyslexia, or those experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, will need a little more time, encouragement, and maybe even less rigidity in how they contribute. Helping them determine how they’d like to go about contributing is key to creating an inclusive culture.
DAOs are a work in progress, which means there is still so much to learn. It also means that the opportunity to proactively design an inclusive work environment is right there for the taking. After all, DAO members who feel welcomed, valued, and respected are far more likely to keep on contributing when external conditions get a little rough.
News in and Around Africa
Mara To Build Pan-African Cryptocurrency Exchange With $23M Raised
Author: Venture Beat
On the heels of the Central African Republic's recent decision to legalize bitcoin, Mara is launching a cryptocurrency exchange that will provide access to the crypto economy for Africans.
This means that people in Africa will be able to use Mara to buy and sell different types of cryptocurrencies. The company has raised $23 million in funding from investors including Coinbase Ventures to build this exchange, which will be available across all countries in Africa. It has partnered with the Central African Republic, which just passed a bill legalizing bitcoin as legal tender.
The new exchange will make it possible for Africans to buy and sell cryptocurrencies while also allowing them to use their local currencies rather than having to convert funds into U.S. dollars or other foreign currencies first.
Coinbase-Backed Mara to Advise Central African Republic on Bitcoin Adoption
Author: Bitcoin Magazine
With the recent adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in the Central African Republic, the cryptocurrency startup Mara, which is currently being backed by Coinbase, has moved to advise the nation’s government on how to tackle issues of internet penetration and identification.
Tanzania Closer to Launching a CBDC
The Central Bank Governor of Tanzania has stated that the country intends to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). A date, however, for the launch has not been set.
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