Agreements for Community Conversation and Conduct

The Fremont Arts Council engages community to cultivate the spirit of celebration where everyone is an artist.

We strive to keep our common spaces free from oppressive action, behavior and language.  We follow the following social expectations…

Agreements for Community Conversation and Conduct

All are Welcome Here

  • We are a creative, inclusive, and welcoming community that believes in uplifting one another while co-creating celebration arts in a kaleidoscope of ways. We value the experiences, learnings, contributions, art and dignity of everyone in this inclusive community.  
  • We do not discriminate based on age, race, gender, size, disability, sexual orientation, health, and other human attributes. We welcome the participation and ideas of people new to the Fremont Arts Council community.
  • Our mission to engage the community requires us to be willing to have challenging conversations. These may include conversations about privilege, power, history, culture, inequality, pain, and injustice. Our goal is to have dialogue from a place of compassion that honors our shared humanity.

We care about our impact

  • We work to be mindful of the impact of our words, actions and public art on others; especially any impact on marginalized groups.
  • All FAC participants are asked to be aware of their language and behavior and to think about whether it might be harmful to others.  Be aware of your prejudices and privileges and the space you take up at FAC events and meetings, and actively challenge these preconceptions.
  • We recognize that anyone in the space could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, for example violence or racism.  There is no place for racism, sexism, sexual harassment or harassment of any sort, at our events or in our community.  We welcome an open dialogue and are committed to maintaining a safe and responsive space to address these concerns.
  • When a Person of Color speaks to us about their experience of racism; or when a person speaks to us of their experience of sexism, unwelcome advances, or harassment — they are deserving of our utmost respect. It is time to let down our defenses, to listen, and work to understand.

We are guided by compassion

  • We work to keep an open mind and an open heart.
  • We assume the best about one another. We assume good intentions; and that we are all trying our best at any given moment with the tools we have.
  • We have compassion for and honor people’s unique and varied journeys. Everyone has not had the experiences you have.

 We are respectful

  • We define oppressive behavior as any conduct that demeans, marginalizes, rejects, threatens or harms anyone on the basis of ability, age, cultural background, education, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, language, nationality, physical appearance, race, religion, self-expression, sexual orientation or other factor.
  • We focus on “what we can learn” rather than “who is to blame”.

We value and communicate about Consent

  • We respect everyone’s physical and emotional boundaries.
  • Consent is an affirmative, enthusiastic, informed, sober, freely given “Yes!”. Consent is not the absence of “No”. This is not limited to sexual or physical contact. We understand consent can be revoked or changed at any time. We encourage each other to communicate clearly and often about our boundaries and desires, practicing awareness and respect.

We embrace a culture of appreciation and honesty;

  • We strive to understand new ways of viewing things.  We believe that all perspectives have the right to be heard and acknowledged, especially during disagreement.
  • We are all in some way the products of our environments and of America’s history, past and present. We did not choose this history, but we can shape the future.
  • Conversations about centuries-old oppressions are difficult and messy! We will not unravel systemic and internalized oppression on a social media thread, but we will get closer if we are willing to be uncomfortable.

We take time to debrief and to express our gratitude

 And, During Community Meetings:

We stay present and engaged

  • Check cell phones only during breaks.
  • Avoid side conversations

We respect and share time

  • Move up / move back.  Allow openings for those who have not spoken much before calling on those who have.
  • Keep “Stack” to identify who speaks next, and those wishing to speak.
  • Keep discussions on topic and succinct.  “Focus” and “Land the Plane”.
  • Let others finish before we speak.
  • Slow down to the speed of wisdom.

FAC Leadership reserves the right to remove ANY comments, or ask anyone to leave when they violate the Community Agreements. If a comment is removed or a member is banned, the person can request an explanation by emailing fac@fremontartscouncil.org

Adopted by the Fremont Arts Council Board: February 25, 2018

 
See Also: FAC Commitment to Racial Equity and Inclusion

 

{Photo J. Tym, 2017}

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