A SXSW State of the Union — Advocating for Human Rights

As we head into 2020 and the future, the world feels fraught with an uncertainty that can be disconcerting. But we also believe it brings opportunity: opportunity for communities to come together, opportunity to galvanize and inspire people, and opportunity for creative problem-solvers to make a tangible difference.

SXSW is known for being a place that brings the world together to share ideas, learn, and discover. Behind the event is a diverse group of people with different points of view, but if there’s one thing we can unite around it's our purpose – to help creative people achieve their goals.

This purpose takes many shapes, and one of the areas we take very seriously is that of ensuring that we advocate for human rights throughout the year and at our event.

We’d like to share a few of our key stances that exemplify our commitment to these values:

  • We stand against discriminatory laws and unequivocally support civil rights for all persons everywhere. Participation by speakers, artists, and filmmakers from around the world is crucial to the creative mix of ideas that makes our event meaningful.
  • We have not disclosed, and will not disclose, any participant or attendee's immigration status to any immigration agency.
  • We will continue to support the efforts of organizations like Texas Competes, who work tirelessly to lead the fight against discriminatory legislation affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
  • We protect data we gather in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Furthermore, we have not used facial recognition technology at any of our events and have no plans to do so in the future.
  • We expect our employees, partners, and participants to abide by our Code of Conduct.
  • We will continue to grow our CSR and sustainability initiatives.
  • And last, but most certainly not least, SXSW will continue to be a weapons-free event.

These are challenging times, but they’re also times of hope. It’s our privilege to gather so many people with unique perspectives in Austin every March. The ideas that come out of SXSW have the power to change the world, and being a part of that is an honor we’re grateful for every day.

– Roland Swenson, CEO/Co-Founder

By Roland Swenson