As a company we agree that:
- All are welcome
- Any hateful, racist, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, sexist or other discriminatory conversation will result in instant removal from the company
- We agree to respect people’s pronouns (More explained below if you need, plus an invitation of some alternative wording for words like ‘ladies’ and ‘guys’ below)
- We would like to create a brave space where language barriers and different life experiences are understood
- We recognise that English is not everyones first language will try to speak clearly and with patience.
- Our intention is to lift up, to support, to cheer on, to grow together, to be the family we choose
- To share positive words which are uplifting and encouraging and will help raise our creative vibration
- Our intention is to be of service: to ourselves and each other
- We assume we are all powerful, awesome, here for a reason
- We really listen to one another (not hijacking/waiting for our turn to speak)
- Before speaking we check in: is it kind is it true is it necessary?
- We invite one another to avoid conversation that might affect, harm or trigger others
- If we think something we say may trigger a response in other people but really feel it is important, we try to use tw (short for trigger warning) so others can choose to listen or not (more explained on what tw means below)
- If things don’t resonate we find compassionate ways to bring that up with that individual or the group and assume we are both whole as we speak into the problem.
- We check in with ourselvs: this is a space where we invite self regulating: if we don’t want to share/ participate that is ok to… we use this as an opportunity to use our will and practise boundaries as well as speaking our truth and looking after our wellbeing.
- Confidentiality: we respect this space and do not share outside of our space.
Some other things to consider and notes on some of the areas mentioned above:
Do you know your own domain (where your limits are?) What are you comfortable with? How far do you go? What are you own boundaries (where are you becoming uncomfortable?) and what are your limits? (what are you not willing to accept?) Until we understand what our own domain is we cannot distinguish between these three (so it is important to establish these for yourself)
We want to acknowledge the power and the importance of disruption and discomfort in our evolution and sometimes stepping into those boundaries before your limit (leaning in). Discomfort can be important for our learning and growth and in order for us to be able to dismantle the systems that take us out of choice and consent, and to practice and learn our boundaries and allow for our growth. We also invite you to reflect on where privilege intersects here? (For example might you not have needed to consider trigger warnings because you haven’t had to deal with a particular experience?)
We want to acknowledge that a large part of this work is also about unlearning our conditioning and our beliefs. When you notice a judgement of yourself or others can you question whether it is true or a belief? As we all have a past, we all have beliefs, and it is likely we will make mistakes at times and get triggered at times. Sometimes unlearning is about stepping into areas we don’t know and making mistakes and then doing the learning (or unlearning). Beliefs and identities can also be connected to traumas and to oppression and so I invite that we all try to act with compassion for ourselves and each other, do our best to take on board one another’s learnings and one another’s requests and also allow for mistakes and for growth.
Pronouns explained: A gender neutral or gender inclusive pronoun is a pronoun which does not associate a gender with that individual. Some societies (ours included unfortunately!) tend to recognise just two genders (male and female). The idea that there are only two genders is called a gender binary, because binary means having two parts (male and female). Therefore, non-binary is one term people use to describe genders that don’t fall into one of these two categories, male or female.
How to Be Respectful and Supportive of Non-Binary People:
It isn’t as hard as you might think to be supportive and respectful of non-binary people, even if you have just started to learn about them. You don’t have to understand what it means for someone to be non-binary to respect them. Some people haven’t heard a lot about non-binary genders or have trouble understanding them, and that’s okay. But identities that some people don’t understand still deserve respect. Use the name a person asks you to use. This is one of the most critical aspects of being respectful of a non-binary person, as the name you may have been using may not reflect their gender identity. Don’t ask someone what their old name was. Try not to make any assumptions about people’s gender. You can’t tell if someone is non-binary simply by looking at them, just like how you can’t tell if someone is transgender just by how they look. If you’re not sure what pronouns someone uses, ask them, and perhaps we could put them in your zoom names to help one another remember when we are on a call? Different non-binary people may use different pronouns. Many non-binary people use “they” while others use “he” or “she,” and still others use other pronouns. Asking whether someone should be referred to as “he,” “she,” “they,” or another pronoun may feel awkward at first, but is one of the simplest and most important ways to show respect for someone’s identity.
Trigger Warning Meaning: Evidence shows that trigger warnings do help people feel better. A trigger warning is a statement at the start of a speaking or a piece of writing, video etc which lets everyone know that it contains potentially distressing material (a trigger warning is often used to introduce a description of such content). That content might include graphic references to topics such as:
sexual abuse and violence,
violence on children,
animal cruelty or animal death,
body hatred, and fat phobia,
kidnapping and abduction,
death or dying,
mental illness and ableism,
racism and racial slurs,
sexism and misogyny,
classism, hateful language directed at religious groups (e.g., Islamophobia, antisemitism),
transphobia and trans misogyny,
homophobia and heterosexism.
How to describe a trigger warning?
Warning people of challenging material can help their engagement by giving them the ability to take charge of their own health and learning. We can be empowered if we have choice. Every day stressors like trauma, oppression can impact our ability to have choice, and so trigger warnings can help survivors have choice and avoid reliving the event that may have caused them trauma. By offering choice, we can reduce distress, and allow them to prepare themselves mentally (particularly for people with post traumatic stress disorder). Make them clear enough that people know whether they want to go on with the read or not, but not so descriptive that they might trigger a reaction.
Here are some examples:
Trigger warning this may be distressing for people dealing with grief.
Trigger warning, what I am about to say is about racist violence. I will do my best to engage bravely, empathetically and thoughtfully.
Trigger warning this may be distressing for people dealing with sexual abuse.
What I am about to say is about domestic violence. I will do my best not to tell the story for dramatic effect but to explain why it is important to illustrate my point