Community Agreement

Code of Conduct and Community Agreement

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Venture Out will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Need help?

Contact us at ventureout@startproud.org and iradele.plante@ventureout.ca.

The quick version

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices.

We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers.

The less quick version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified as they’ll be wearing branded clothing and/or badges.

Conference staff will be happy 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 conference. We value your attendance.

We expect participants to follow these rules at conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.

Original source and credit: http://2012.jsconf.us/#/about & The Ada Initiative

Community Agreement

In order for the conversation to be meaningful, it needs to come from everyone! Here are some guidelines for Venture Out workshops, panels, and other conversations.

We’ve adapted our community agreements from an article written by the Anti-Oppressive Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA).

One diva, one mic

We ask that one person speak at a time and leave a few moments in between speakers for those who might need more time to process or are less comfortable interjecting in conversation.

No one knows everything; together we know a lot

We believe that each person has something to contribute to the conversation. We ask that you practice being humble, share what you know, and look for what you can learn from each person in the room.

Move up, move up

If you’re someone who tends to not speak a lot, please move up into a role of speaking more. If you tend to speak a lot, please move up into a role of listening more. In both cases, growth is happening!

We can’t be articulate all the time

Often, we hesitate to participate for fear of “messing up” or stumbling over words. We want everyone to feel comfortable participating, even if you don’t feel you have the perfect words to express your thoughts. Here is the place to try things out. Even if you “mess up”, we can work on the language together.

Be aware of time

Please respect everyone’s time commitment, and refrain from speaking in long monologues.

Embrace curiosity

We make better decisions when we approach our problems and challenges with questions (“What if we…?”) and curiosity. Allow space for play, curiosity, and creative thinking.

Acknowledge the difference between intent and impact

Sometimes people say or do things that cause harm, even when it is not their intention to do so. But when we use our good intentions to deny (or avoid being accountable), more harm can be caused.  

We ask that we each do the work to acknowledge that our intent and impact of our actions are two different things, and to take responsibility to any negative impact we we may create. This can be as simple as apologizing.