Grants:Project/Chinmayisk/Community toolkit for Greater Diversity/Workshop/Code of Conduct

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Introduction[edit]

This Code of Conduct was implemented at the training workshop for the project "Community Toolkit for Greater Diversity", held in October 2018 in Goa, India.

We encourage everyone to participate wholeheartedly and commit to building a community for all during and beyond this workshop. We seek to treat everyone as fairly and equally as possible. If a participant makes a mistake, we expect them to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and do our best to right the wrong.

Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honour diversity of age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, political beliefs, profession, caste, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and technical ability. We will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour based on any of the protected characteristics above, including towards participants with disabilities.

Scope[edit]

This code of conduct (CoC) applies to all participants and organizers, venue staff, and speakers during this workshop.

Location[edit]

There is no geographic boundary of where this policy can or cannot be implemented. One must follow the policy for the whole duration of the event, regardless of one's physical location: the event venue, accommodation, or place of excursion.

Values we hold[edit]

  • Be friendly and patient. Create a friendly and welcoming environment for all.
  • Be welcoming. We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any caste, ethnicity, culture, colour, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
  • Be considerate. During the course of the event, there is an expectation of considerate behaviour from the organisers and participants. Contentious issues will discussed which may provoke strong emotions. However, we urge you to still be considerate towards all. Resolve disagreements with dignity and respect. Avoid personal attacks.
  • Be respectful. Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.
  • Show open-mindedness and respect in collaboration. Our work and knowledge are open to all to make Wikipedias/Wikimedia projects better. Remember that people can and will build on your work and vice versa. When providing (and receiving) advice or criticism, be constructive, open-minded, and stay respectful. Conduct intellectual debates rather than personal attacks.
  • Be careful in the words that you choose. We are all people from different social, political, economic backgrounds. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren't acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, language, place of origin, and caste.
    • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, religion, language, place of origin, or caste.
    • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
    • Discriminatory jokes and other forms of ‘humour’
    • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
    • Posting or showing sexually explicit or violent material without explicit and prior consent
    • Display of sexual imagery in public areas
    • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
    • Posting someone's personally identifiable information online without their explicit consent or threatening to post it
    • Death threats and/ or threats of violence or physical harm
    • Personal insults
    • Unwelcome sexual attention
    • Inappropriate physical contact
    • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
    • Publication of non-harassing private communication.
    • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
  • Remain professional, considerate, and stay sensitive. While it is very important to establish personal relationship with other members, let us not forget the professional attitude we ought to maintain in the community. Inappropriate and insensitive actions or words can harm other members and essentially us as a whole community.
  • Embrace diversity; understand disagreement. We all come from a different background and hold different beliefs. Disagreement can be inevitable sometimes in our casual and professional interactions. Keep in mind that the diversity of our community is an asset instead of a drawback. Be willing to listen and understand each other's viewpoints.
  • Show acceptance and patience. We all make mistakes and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes.
  • When we disagree, try to understand why. Disagreements happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Remember that we’re different. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that it is human to err and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes.
  • Include everyone in the circle. The event should not be viewed as a competition to prove who is most knowledgeable, but rather as an opportunity to broaden our networks of skill, collaboration and understanding. Strive to ensure that no one is left out; introduce yourself to strangers early and often, and speak in language that is accessible to all. In particular, please define acronyms and technical jargon when using them in discussion.
  • We believe that everyone is an expert in their own realm, and encourage each participant to please contribute their wisdom to the mix. Breaking down barriers between the vague notions of "novice" and "expert" will be the order of the day.

Dos[edit]

  1. Be kind and polite. Assume good faith in each other.
  2. Be patient and welcoming.
  3. Embrace and appreciate the diversity and differences among each other.
  4. Be careful and sensitive to your actions and words.
  5. Be a good listener.
  6. When disagreement or conflicts occur, discuss and resolve it in an open, civil, and respectful manner. Consult event organizers if needed.
  7. Obtain participants' consent before taking pictures, videos, or posting anything on your social media.
  8. Respect the speakers and raise questions without interrupting the flows of the program
  9. Express discomfort if you find yourself in an uncomfortable environment or conversation.
  10. Point out or report harassment, discrimination, or personal attack when it happens.

Don'ts[edit]

  1. Commit harassment or discrimination in any forms.
  2. Directly or indirectly attack or maliciously criticize one's identity, appearance, beliefs, opinions, or behavior.
  3. Talk over another member in a group conversation or deliberately ignoring their questions. (Let everyone have the chance to talk.)
  4. Waste resources, be it food, electricity, paper, etc.
  5. Force members to participate in activities or conversation they do not wish to join or continue.

Harassment[edit]

Harassment includes, but is not limited to the following actions:

  1. Offensive comments related to one’s gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, age, regional discrimination, political or religious affiliation
  2. Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
  3. Deliberate misgendering. This includes deadnaming or persistently using a pronoun that does not correctly reflect a person’s gender identity. You must address people by the name they give you when not addressing them by their username
  4. Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop
  5. Threats of violence, both physical and psychological
  6. Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm
  7. Deliberate intimidation
  8. Stalking or following
  9. Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
  10. Sustained disruption of discussion
  11. Unwelcome sexual attention, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior
  12. Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  13. Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  14. Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect others from intentional abuse
  15. Publication of non-harassing private communication
  16. Violation of personal privacy through unwanted discussion and/or actions without consent

Discrimination[edit]

Discrimination includes, but is not limited to the following actions:

  1. Prejudicial treatment against an individual or group based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category (including one’s gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, caste, age, regional discrimination, economic class, and political or religious affiliation)
  2. Unfair treatment against individuals or groups based on prejudice on people they are associated with
  3. Restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group (favoritism)
  4. Statements that stereotype or impose faulty assumption towards certain groups
  5. Tokenism towards certain groups
  6. Using a non-communal language in discussions to deliberately exclude an individual or group from participation
  7. Victimization
  8. Any kinds of harassment

Personal Attack[edit]

Personal Attack includes, but is not limited to the following actions:

  1. Racial, casteist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, religious, political, ethnic, national, sexual, or other epithets (such as against people with disabilities) directed against an individual or a group. Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse.
  2. Holding an argument that is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself (Ad hominem)
  3. Using someone's affiliations as to dismiss or discredit their views—regardless of whether said affiliations are mainstream
  4. Linking to external attacks, harassment, or other material, for the purpose of attacking another member
  5. Comparing one to an infamous person of group
  6. Accusations about personal behavior that lack evidence
  7. Any kind of threat

Exceptions[edit]

Our community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will not act on complaints regarding:

  1. "Reverse" -isms, including "reverse racism," "reverse sexism," “reverse casteism” and "cisphobia"
  2. Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you”.
  3. Refusal to accept social justice concepts.
  4. Communicating in a 'tone' you don't find congenial.
  5. Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions.

Safe and positive space policy[edit]

Safe and Positive Space Policy (SPSP) refers to the rules to help marginalized groups and persons come together to communicate regarding their experiences with marginalization. In other words, it is to combat the continued silence as a reinforcement of one's under-privilege status.

Marginalization refers to the distance and mistreatment one experienced within the community due to his/her gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, age, regional discrimination, caste, political or religious affiliation.

The policy implies that organizers welcome questions and request of assistance when a member expresses his/her discomfort in the community as a result of marginalization. For any inquiries and concerns, please feel free to consult the Incident Response team members during the event.

Incident Response team for this event[edit]

Shobha S V

Chinmayi S K

[Email addresses redacted on this public copy of the code of conduct]

Reporting and mechanism for resolution[edit]

We appreciate and value your attendance. However, we take incidences of harassment, discrimination, and personal attack very seriously. All members, including participants, organizers, sponsors, and venue staff, can be subject to victims and violators.

Members who are asked to stop any of the unacceptable behavior are expected to comply immediately. Those who violate this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without reimbursement of any kind. Please note that conference team is able to help participants contact hotel/ venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the events.

If you believe someone is violating the code of conduct (whether you are a direct victim or not) we request you to report it to the Incident Response team as soon as possible. You may reach the Incident Response team through the email provided in the above section, if you do not wish to approach us in person. All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases we may determine if a public statement should be made. In such cases, the identities of all victims and reporters will remain confidential unless they have instructed us otherwise.

If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please contact the organizers immediately.

Reporting via email[edit]

If you wish to report an incident via email, please include the following information:

  • Your preferred contact means (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up)
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible
  • Any evidence if applicable
  • Any other information you believe we should have
  • (Optional) Names of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well. If you do not know the individuals' names, please include some identifiable descriptions.
  • (Optional) Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.

The Incident Response team and organizers will take actions immediately after the receipt of your report. An acknowledgement of report receipt will reach you within 24 hours (latest). Once the response is determined and implemented, another notice will be given to the original reporter to indicate actions taken. Please respect the committee's decision and express any additional concerns if needed.

The organizing group will hold meeting to review the incident and determine:

  • Incident details and evidence
  • Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation
  • Responsible person
  • Response necessary to address the issue, including but is not limited to
    • No response (if determined it is not a Code of Conduct violation)
    • A private meeting to the individual(s) involved
    • A public announcement
    • Change of programming of the event(s)
    • Permanent or temporary expel of individual(s) from the event
    • Legal actions
  • Any punishment if applicable

If the incident reported is determined to be an ongoing behavior or major threat to physical safety, the organizers' immediate priority will be to protect victims involved. Please note that all reports will be privately stored and reviewed after the workshop os over in order to help us improve future events.

Social media policy[edit]

Do not photograph, video, or audio record anyone at the training workshop without their express permission, sought in advance.

Except when photography is part of a specific session activities, you should not continuously take photographs at the event rather than participate in sessions.

All attendees need the freedom to say controversial things without worrying about their statements becoming public without their permission. To that end, no one is allowed to publicly attribute your comments to you unless you give them express permission.

We do want to spread the word about what happened at this workshop, so that everyone can benefit and to make future events more successful. We strongly encourage writing about or telling people about the sessions at this training workshop on blogs, social media, news stories, and other media as long as stories follow these rules:

  • No attribution without permission: You can write about what people said but not who said it unless you have explicit permission from the speaker(s).
  • Each session can decide to adopt different rules (e.g., always public, or always private) as long as it informs all participants who join the session.
  • Please do not “live tweet” sessions excessively – it can make people feel like they are speaking in public, and it distracts other people and your in-person engagement will suffer.

Attribution and acknowledgement[edit]

This code of conduct draws heavily from the following sources:

  1. CIS-A2K/Events/Code of conduct
  2. Django Code of Conduct
  3. WikiConference India 2016/Code of Conduct
  4. AdaCamp Toolkit