SQUATfest Community Agreements and Speaker Code of Conduct

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Below you will find our SQUATfest Community Agreements and Speaker Code of Conduct. Many thanks to all those who gave their thought and input in putting these documents together. You can also download PDFs of each document below.

SQUATfest 2015 Community Agreements

(PDF)

 SQUATfest is a community conference, and we look to everyone in attendance to bring a spirit of open-mindedness, cultural sensitivity, and respectful learning. SQUAT hopes to create a safe, challenging, and provocative learning environment. SQUATfest staff, speakers, attendees, and other participants come from many different walks of life and each individual is in a different place in their understanding of various concepts, oppressions, privileges, cultural issues, skillsets, and education. We ask each participant to hold themselves accountable to this community agreement with integrity to encourage a shared experience based in connection and growth.

 SQUAT Birth Journal, and SQUATfest by extension, has long striven to be a place where all voices, particularly those that are historically and societally pushed to the margins can find a space to be heard with respect, passion, and enthusiasm. The diversity and richness of knowledge, experience, and identities is one of this conference’s greatest strengths. We encourage everyone to speak from their own personal experience and avoid generalizing, marginalizing, or tokenizing each other. We ask for patience and respect in interpersonal communication. We are respectful of our differences and will strive for a strong, vibrant conference. Thank you for choosing to engage with us.

Respecting Time: 

  • We ask that speakers, attendees, staff, and other presenters respect the time allotted for each activity so as not to conflict with later offerings, and to allow free-time and breaks for all participants.

  • We ask that all participants are aware of discussion time they are taking and if they are speaking too much or over others, particularly over others who have been historically marginalized or others who may have more direct experience.

  • We ask that everyone be willing to table conversations that are diverting too much time away from the general experience and come back to explore them at another time.

Respecting Each Other:

  • We ask that participants recognize SQUATfest as a space for growth and challenging personal assumptions, unplugging/decolonizing our thoughts, and expanding our vocabularies.

  • We ask that participants treat speakers and fellow attendees with respect and curiosity.

  • We ask participants to acknowledge that will not all be on the same page or share all the same language, qualifiers, understanding, or values.

  • We ask everyone to treat each other with patience and helpful accountability, refraining from shaming, dismissiveness, or intentionally hurtful behavior.

  • We ask for confidentiality in order to create a safe(r) environment in which people feel comfortable sharing and teaching what they know. We encourage a conversation about ground-rules and confidentiality at the beginning of each learning activity.

  • In the workshop learning spaces, we ask that you keep your phone and communication devices on silent. We ask you to step out of the room to attend to your device.

  • Please keep aisles clear and reserve elevator use for attendees with mobility issues to promote accessibility

  • We ask that everyone, to the best of their ability, refrain from the personal use of scented products that may trigger those with chemical sensitivities.

Respecting Our Space:

  • There is no smoking allowed anywhere on Kingsley House property

  • Children are welcome to use the playground facilities at Kingsley House, but need to do so with adult supervision

Language:

  • The primary language of SQUATFest presentations, printed materials, workshops, and general sessions is English, unless otherwise noted.

  • We ask that participants to the best of their ability speak at a moderate pace and volume, without assumptions of people’s primary language, hearing abilities, or comprehension.

  • When they want to, please allow people to self-identify their own gender pronouns. Please honor people’s pronouns and gender identities, whatever they may be, even and especially if they do not fit within your assumed norms.

  • Even if people disclosed personal details earlier, they may not want to be approached or tokenized based on those identities throughout the conference. Please be respectful of personal information and personal space.

  • We ask all participants to be willing to be respectfully called out/in on our language choice and strive for better, more sensitive and comprehensive community representation. No participant is obligated to call out/in others nor educate everyone around them, and offenses will likely occur even with effort and diligence.

Assumptions and Identities:

  • In general, we ask attendees to refrain from generalizations, assumptions of others’ identities, and to challenge themselves to grow in their capacity of understanding.

  • This includes, but is not limited to, assumptions of a person’s gender identity or expression, religion or spirituality, financial status, country or origin, citizenship or immigration status, primary language, visible or invisible (dis)abilities, relationship or parental status, child-bearing and child-raising choices and decisions, apparent race or ethnicity, or personal/familial heritage.

 Babes in Arms: 

  • Babes in arms are welcome at all workshops, panels, presentations, and other engagements at SQUATfest.

  • We ask parents and guardians who have a babe in arms to be aware of noise and needs of the little ones in the shared learning environment.

  • Breast/Chest-feeding without shame is welcome and encouraged at SQUATfest, as is infant feeding of all kinds and varieties.

Conflict, Mediation, and Feedback:

 SQUATfest organizers have worked hard to make SQUATfest a safe(r) space where people of all walks of life can be valued, respected, and celebrated. While we have worked hard with transparency of community expectations and agreements, breaches of this trust may occur.

  • If at any time an attendee is feeling unsafe, singled out, disrespected, or otherwise harmed, please see a SQUAT staff member to help right the situation according to its specifics.

  • Mediation may be available where appropriate, and SQUAT commits to working toward realistic, acceptable solutions for each given situation.

  • SQUAT welcomes your feedback on both individual workshops and educational offerings as well as the safety and accessibility of the overall conference. Feedback forms and anonymous feedback boxes are available at designated spaces throughout the conference. Feedback can also be emailed to squatfestnola@gmail.com.

If any of the above concepts are new to you, a good selection of the workshops offered at SQUATfest have a direct social justice focus and can help challenge and expand your horizons in the way you interact with your community. Of particular interest might be:

  • SQUATfest Circle Sessions

  • SQUATfest General Sessions/Keynote Speakers: Nicole Deggins and Marinah Farrell

  • White Folks Accountable with Christy Hall and Shannon Hanks-Mackey

  • #blacklivesmatter with Racha Tahani Lawler

  • Gentle Hands with Chole Lubell

  • Raising Kids without Sexual Shame with Nekole Shapiro

  • Forming a Full Spectrum Reproductive Justice Community with the Spiral Collective

 

SQUATfest Speaker Code of Conduct

(PDF)

SQUATfest is a community conference, and we look to everyone in attendance to bring a spirit of open-mindedness, cultural sensitivity, and respectful learning. SQUAT hopes to create a safe, challenging, and provocative educational environment. SQUATfest staff, speakers, attendees, and other participants come from many different walks of life and each individual is in a different place in their understanding of different concepts, oppressions, privileges, cultural issues, skillsets, and education. We ask for patience and respect in interpersonal communication. We ask each participant to hold themselves accountable to this community agreement with integrity to encourage a shared experience based in respect, connection, and growth.

 SQUAT Birth Journal, and SQUATfest by extension, has long striven to be a place where all voices, particularly those that are historically and societally pushed to the margins can find a space to be heard with respect, passion, and enthusiasm. The diversity and richness of knowledge, experience, and identities is one of this conference’s greatest strengths. We encourage everyone to speak from their own personal experience and avoid generalizing, marginalizing, or tokenizing each other. We are respectful of our differences and will strive for a strong, vibrant conference. Thank you for choosing to work with us.

Speaker Expectations:

SQUAT has specifically chosen your voice and presentation because we thought it would add to a rich, unique learning environment for our attendees and because it represented SQUAT’s Core Values and Mission. While each speaker/presenter/panelist is not officially SQUAT Staff, they will be looked to to uphold SQUAT’s values and to serve as a model of respect and integrity to everyone at the conference.

  • SQUATfest aims to be a safe and inclusive environment for all participants, while recognizing that safety takes many forms for many different people based on many intersecting factors.

  • We ask you to openly and honestly engage with your topic, audience, and SQUAT staff, with a supportive self-critical lens constantly seeking growth.

  • Many dialogues, questions, and conversations may be uncomfortable. Many conversations will not reach closure.

  • We expect you to prioritize the learning experience of attendees over your own egos and need to be a known authority or to be “right”. We are here to help facilitate a fruitful learning experience for our attendees, even when that may look different than we intended.

 We encourage speakers/presenters/panelists to take a critical look at their offerings pre-conference and challenge themselves to look at historical oppressions, gender inclusivity, and other commonly overlooked elements that may be key to a deep appreciation of material at SQUATfest. Any speaker who wants their materials looked over for suggestions can submit them to squatfestnola@gmail.com. Members of our Board of Advisors have graciously offered to provide feedback, resources, and constructive critique to better serve our wide variety of attendees.

 Time Allotment:

  • Respect the time allotted for each activity so as not to conflict with later offerings, and to allow free-time and breaks for all participants.

  • To the best of your ability, we ask you to artfully monitor and facilitate question/answer periods so that all participants are aware of the time they are taking. Be willing to table conversations that are devoting too much time away from the general experience and come back to explore them at another time.

Mutual Respect:

  • Treat your fellow speakers, SQUAT staff, and SQUATfest attendees with respect and curiosity, recognizing they are here to share and impart wisdom and life experiences often near and dear to their hearts, identities, and values.

  • We will not all be on the same page or share all the same language, qualifiers, understanding, or values. Our education, lived experience, and understanding of intersectional dynamics will vary. Be willing to engage in direct communication with people of different lived experiences with humility.

  • We ask everyone to treat each other with patience and helpful accountability, refraining from shaming, dismissive, or intentionally hurtful behavior.

  • We ask for confidentiality in order to create a safe(r) environment in which people feel comfortable sharing and teaching what they know. Confidentiality may mean different things to different people, and we encourage a conversation about ground-rules and confidentiality at the beginning of each of your workshops.

Language and Communications:

  • The primary language of SQUATFest presentations, printed materials, workshops, and general sessions is English, unless otherwise noted.

  • SQUATfest strives to be a safe(r) space for those who are gender non-conforming and a space to challenge gender stereotypes and assumptions. Please honor people’s pronouns and gender identities, whatever they may be, even and especially if they do not fit inside your assumed norms. It is not the responsibility of those identifying outside the norms to constantly explain themselves, answer questions about their identities, or educate others. Even if people disclosed personal details earlier, they may not want to be approached or tokenized based on those identities throughout the conference.

  • We ask all participants to be willing to be respectfully called out/in on our language choice and strive for better, more sensitive and comprehensive community representation. No participant is obligated to call out/in others nor educate everyone around them, and offenses will likely occur even with effort and diligence.

 Assumptions and Identities:

  • In general, we ask our speakers to refrain from generalizations, assumptions of others’ identities, and to challenge themselves to grow in their capacity of understanding.

  • This includes, but is not limited to, assumptions of a persons’ gender identity or expression, religion or spirituality, financial status, country or origin, citizenship, or immigration status, primary language, visible or invisible (dis)abilities, relationship or parental status, child-bearing and child-raising choices and decisions, apparent race or ethnicity, or personal/familial heritage.

Babes in Arms:

  • Babes in arms are welcome at all workshops, panels, presentations, and other engagements at SQUATfest.

  • We have asked parents and guardians who have a babe in arms to be aware of noise and needs of the little ones in the shared learning environment.

  • Breast/Chest-feeding without shame is welcome and encouraged at SQUATfest, as is infant feeding of all kinds and varieties.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs):

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for select workshops and are approved through the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) and the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC).

  • If your workshop has applied and been approved for CEUs, SQUATfest staff have already been in touch with you about this long ago.

  • If your workshop offers CEUs, you will be expected to keep a sign-in sheet, evaluation forms, and any other necessary documents as agreed upon for your workshop and turn them into the SQUAT staffed CEU table as soon as possible following your workshop.

 Evaluation Sheets:

  • Evaluation sheets are available at each workshop to provide feedback to presenters, SQUAT staff, etc.

  • These evaluation sheets are optional for most participants but required if the participant is seeking CEUs for a CEU-approved workshop.

  • These feedback forms are returned to SQUATfest staff for review, and when requested are also shared with presenters after the conference.

  • If you wish to receive copies or summaries of feedback from your workshops, get in touch with squatfestnola@gmail.com.

Conflict and Mediation:

  • If at any time you are feeling unsafe, singled out, disrespected, or otherwise harmed, please see a SQUAT staff member to help right the situation according to its specifics.

  • Mediation may be available where appropriate, and SQUAT commits to working toward realistic, acceptable solutions for each given situation.

Please submit this form to indicate that you have read all of the above guidelines. Questions and concerns can be sent to squatfestnola@gmail.com.