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
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!
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.