SAFER SPACES AGREEMENT passed by GA on 20 January 2012 (revised on June 6, 2012)
The basic tenet is respect–
- respect for each other (our backgrounds, identities, ideas and bodies) – and
- respect for the space we’ve created together
The components of Safer Spaces Agreement include:
- An equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen.
- Resisting abusive discussion, however strongly we might feel about a particular topic.
- Any behavior (physical or verbal) that demeans, marginalizes or dominates others or that perpetuates hierarchies, is not welcome.
- Identifying and challenging our own privileges – the things that sometimes give us an easier ride than others.
- Recognizing the wide range of identities that people may identify with and avoiding generalizations or assumptions about people.
- Recognizing that anyone in the space could be currently experiencing or have experienced oppression such as violence, sexual violence, racism, economic oppression or homophobia.
- Rejecting horizontal hostility and “in fighting” and to focusing our critiques up the hierarchy to those in power, rather than against our own (#OB) community members.
- Challenging prejudice, abuse and oppression. If we ignore it we are complicit in it.
- Holding ourselves and our community (#OB) accountable for violations of the safer spaces agreement. If you are feeling uncomfortable, silenced, marginalized, you have the right to address this. If you are called out for an oppressive or problematic action you have the responsibility to listen and to respect others and to be accountable.
- Recognizing that creating safer spaces is an ongoing and fluid process. Marginalized groups (such as women, LGBTQ folks, people who have disabilities, people of color, people who have experienced poverty and others) have the right to create temporary safe spaces at any time and add to the Safer Spaces Agreement as needed.