Community Agreements

Anytime people gather as a group we form both a community and a culture. At the NESAWG conference we seek a community and culture that is respectful, comfortable, open, curious, and kind. Community Agreements help us identify concrete ways to create that culture and to talk about and through conflict. Using these practices and tools we can challenge ourselves and each other while still recognizing we’re all coming from different places of knowing and transforming.

All conference participants have agreed to abide by these agreements. Please be mindful of your own actions, be open to observations of your behavior, and be open to sharing feedback with others regarding their actions.

Special thanks to Vanessa Garcia Polanco, Aiyana Potts, and Karen Spiller for their help in crafting these.

Our Community Agreements are:

Be Curious, Open, and Respectful - call in not out/throw sunshine not shade

No one knows everything - together we know a lot

We can’t be articulate all the time - give the benefit of the doubt and ask questions

We take care of ourselves - stretch, eat, drink, use restroom, rest, etc.

Confidentiality - don’t speak for others without explicit permission, don’t share something communicated in a private or safe space.

One mic - one voice at a time

Take Space/Make Space - if you are usually quiet challenge yourself to take more space, and if you usually talk a lot be mindful to leave room for quieter voices

Avoid Jargon, Acronyms, and Industry language - use inclusive language that is accessible for people with varying inside knowledge

Be aware of time - enough let’s move on (ELMO)  means if what you wanted to say has already been said, don’t say it

Speak from your own experience - Use I statements rather than generalizations

Challenge assumptions

Be conscious of intent vs. impact - no matter intention you’re responsible for your impact

Avoid using isms without explaining what you mean by them

In addition to agreements, NESAWG holds certain assumptions that underpin the framework and activities at the conference. These assumptions were originally articulated by AORTA, and are borrowed with gratitude!

Community Assumptions:

All systems of oppression exist

We are all here because we want and choose to be here

We live at intersections, we all benefit and are harmed by systematic oppression

It is not useful to argue about which system is worse

All systems are interconnected

Dismantling systems of oppression benefits everyone

Confronting social injustice is painful and joyful

Liberation is possible

Everyone has a choice in any situation

The body doesn’t lie

Opposing systems of oppression, building alternatives, and cultural change are all necessary

The Community Agreements will be included in conference program and all attendees will agree to them upon registration.