Nikki Stevens: Winner of the 2017 Aaron Winborn Award

The Aaron Winborn Award was created in 2015 after the loss of one of one of the Drupal community’s most prominent members, Aaron Winborn, to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease in the US and Motor Neuron Disease in the UK). Aaron’s commitment to the Drupal project and community made him the epitome of our unofficial motto: “Come for the code, stay for the community”. The Community Working Group with the support of the Drupal Association came together to honor Aaron’s memory by establishing the Aaron Winborn Award, which annually recognizes an individual who demonstrates personal integrity, kindness, and above-and-beyond commitment to the Drupal community.

Nominations were opened in January, giving community members the opportunity to nominate people they believe deserve the award, which were then voted on by the members of the Community Working Group and previous winners of the award.

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 recipient of the Aaron Winborn Award is Nikki Stevens.

Nikki is a Drupal Architect and Tech Lead at Kanopi Studios, a PhD student, and a long-time member of the Drupal community who has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of diversity issues in our community and advocating for creating a more welcoming and inclusive culture everywhere that Drupal exists, whether that’s online, at events, or in our workplaces.

She is also the founder of Drupal Diversity and Inclusion, an independent collective of volunteers who advocate for greater diversity in the community and more inclusive events, help create safe spaces, and build the capacity of allies.

In less than a year, DD&I has already had a positive impact on our community, providing a venue for important and sometimes difficult conversations that we need to have as a community and bringing issues to the forefront that have long been ignored. Their advocacy has also been instrumental in creating a more open, diverse, and representative speaker line-up here at DrupalCon Baltimore.

Nikki’s leadership in particular has been instrumental in inspiring others to help tell their stories and bringing people together to make our community a place where more people can feel welcome. We have a long way left to go, but the work that Nikki and others are doing now is building the foundation for a better, more sustainable project and community both now and in the future.

We hope you will join us in congratulating Nikki as this year’s recipient of the Aaron Winborn Award!