Hey library peeps, spring is upon us and I’m interested in finally nailing down a community agreement within our working group. We’ve danced around this for months now and I think we should finally be finished with it and agree on laying out our expectations of each other and what acceptable behavior in our working group looks like. Below is a copy of the agreement that recently passed Spokes Council. I think it’s a good template for us to work with. As Scales recommended awhile ago, I’m posting this on the blog so that we can discuss and hammer it out transparently, not just behind the veil of email.
STATEMENT OF INTENTION UPON ENTERING THE SPACE
(in multiple languages)
I enter this space with an open mind, heart, and attitude.
I ask for and respect the consent, boundaries, and needs of those around me.
I support the empowerment of each person in order to subvert the histories and structures of oppression that marginalize and divide us.
I hold myself accountable to community decisions and will work for, care for, and defend our community.
If I violate community agreements, or act in a way that harms the community, I will remove myself from this physical space.
(a living document)
- We amplify each other’s voices.
- We commit to making spaces physically accessible to all.
- We do not use drugs or alcohol inside this space.
- We do not bring weapons inside this space.
- We use all tents communally on a rotating schedule.
- We accept only in-kind donations.
- We get explicit consent before interacting physically or using others’ belongings.
- We affirm that consent is not just the absence of a “no,” but the presence of a “yes.”
- We will call the police or an ambulance in a serious situation only after careful consideration in discussion with any person harmed as it can put individuals and the community at risk.
- We respect everyone’s names, preferred gender pronouns, and expressed identities. We make no assumptions about someone’s race, gender or class identity based on their appearance. We also understand that no one is required to share information about their identities.
- We speak only for ourselves and commit to hearing each other and creating opportunities for all voices to be heard, especially those that have historically been marginalized or silenced.
- We commit to ongoing awareness of our prejudices, privileges, and the structures of oppression that affect our personal experiences.
COMMITMENT TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY
We accept a shared responsibility in holding one another accountable to these agreements. If we feel that an agreement is not being respected we will express that concern without violence, judgment or assumption of intent by others. As a community, we commit to developing creative and transformative ways to address harm. In all cases where someone is harmed, we affirm the experience and decisions of the person harmed in guiding our responses and next steps, while allowing all parties involved to transform the cycles of abuse and violence.
If an individual disrespects community agreements we will collectively implement the 6-step de-escalation process, which may result in an individual being removed from the space. We will work to coordinate with organizations that assist individuals who are overcoming addiction or who have committed abuse or violence.
Those who have committed harm in this space or who have been called out for harm in the past and whose presence limits the participation of others in this movement may need to leave until the harm has been addressed.