In our conduct with each other as activists, we agree to…
…Be welcoming and accessible to families, and all identities
- Embrace all members and cherish diversity of sex, race, age, ethnicity, national origin, range of abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, financial means, and education.
…Have a shared expectation of confidentiality
- Not share one another’s stories or struggles without consent, and be truthful when reconciling our mistakes and conflicts.
- When in person, honor requests to refrain from technology use in communal settings. Any device with a microphone is a potential listening device and everyone has the right to discuss certain subjects without the risk of being recorded.
- When in virtual meeting spaces or on calls, if not using headphones, let others know about who else is in the room and may be listening, so that participants can make informed decisions about what and how they share.
…Communicate with transparency
- Be open about our intentions in being here & what we hope to offer and receive from the space & community.
- Practice honesty, especially as it relates to sharing information and offering its appropriate context.
- Ask for what you need & communicate when you don’t know or understand.
…Strive for transformational movement building
- Put people first, and engage in this activism because of moral necessity and with the desire to create a strong community, not because of individual debts owed.
- Center long-haul building of a liberation movement grounded in community, not the winning of concessions.
…Investigate conflicting & differing viewpoints responsibly
- Strive to understand each other while remaining committed to the recognized truths of structural oppression.
- Reject binary thinking about “right” and “wrong” organizing strategies, acknowledging the ways that a diverse set of tactics can be effective.
- Understand that we are all influenced by white supremacy and have learned to engage with the world based on our various relationships to the power structures it has been used to create.
- Expect that our experiences, perspectives, and opinions are heavily impacted by our position (e.g. income, class, education, etc) within oppressive colonial structures.
…Honor & embrace a full truth
- Engage cognitive dissonance & gaslighting as separations from material reality in favor of a psychologically appealing one.
- Be mindful of the various vantage points of social struggle, as well as their limitations & implications.
…Take responsibility for our own experiences
- Use ‘I’ statements to own our feelings & perspectives, and not assume we are able to speak to the intentions of others.
- Use ‘we’ statements to demonstrate collective commitment and own our group decisions and actions.
…Be conscious of patterns of participation
- Be aware of who is and isn’t speaking, ensuring that we are each contributing our voices as well as intentionally supporting others in doing the same.
…Move forward with compassionate accountability
- Expect each other to make mistakes and recognize that is a fundamental part of what makes us human. We also acknowledge that individual actions (and inactions) have collective consequences, so we work to support one another in seeing, confronting, and healing from harm.
- Recognize emotions & feelings as real, informative, & worthy of investigation & understanding, rather than assigning automatic judgement to their presence.
- Avoid making assumptions: engage with curiosity rather than guessing what someone means; don’t assume agreement or understanding.
…Make time to process conflict
- Be aware of power dynamics, give and receive criticism as constructive, not condemning, and trust our comrades to do the same.
- Make a commitment to having uncomfortable conversations, sharing the responsibility of calling people in and out
- Not let things fester, but mediate and work through conflict and disagreements.
…Anticipate a desire for progress
- Strive to come from a place of love and correction if one of us says something that is offensive. Expect that we are all interested in building real community, and be willing to investigate intent while addressing impact.
…so that we may achieve our goals of individual and collective liberation!
*Updated April 2021