Safer Spaces Agreement
Leeds Creative Timebank (LCT) seeks to enable members to operate in the network without fear of prejudicial or offensive behavior – which will not be tolerated – and our safer spaces agreement is an opportunity to prompt discussion and raise awareness amongst the members.
By becoming a member of LCT, it means that you understand and are committed to our Ethics Statement, and our safer spaces agreement. We understand that this is a working document and procedure, and that we will return to the agreement to review it annually.
At LCT we do not have a permanent physical venue, but we apply this agreement to any space we inhabit – virtual or physical. This includes, but is not limited to transactions, socials, meetings, social media and other forms of communication that regard or involve LCT.
We want Leeds Creative Timebank to be an autonomous space where everyone can feel safe.
The Safer Spaces agreement recognises that:
- Everyone has an equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen (people who are used to talking may feel the benefit of listening more, and vice versa).
- Respect and look after network of people as a social and cultural space and a resource for all.
- However strongly you feel about a particular topic, resist abusive discussions.
- Any behaviour – physical or verbal – that harms others, or makes existing power imbalances worse, is not welcome.
- Identify your own privileges – the things that sometimes give you an easier ride than others – and actively challenge them.
- Be aware of the range of different identities (gender, race, orientation, class etc.) that people may have, and avoid making generalisations, or assumptions about people. *(see list below)
- Be aware that anyone in the space could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, for example, violence or racism.
- If someone is feeling uncomfortable, do not hesitate to raise this, if you think it would be appropriate to do so.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge prejudice and oppression, and if we ignore it we are allowing it to happen.
- This list does not cover everything and it is up to all of us to help create a space where everyone feels safe and included.
What is prejudiced behavior?
Prejudiced behavior is any kind of behavior that exhibits prejudice whether or not it is directed at any specific person. This includes making assumptions about people, implying their inferiority or treating them with less respect on the basis of a characteristic associated with marginalization, oppression or discrimination.
*This includes: discrimination of individuals due to their age, disability, body shape/size, gender history, marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy/maternity/paternity status, race, religious or philosophical belief, gender, sex, sexual orientation, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, social class/caste, asylum/immigration status, mental health, political affiliations, viral status, health status, care responsibilities or criminal convictions.
What is considered unacceptable behavior
1) Violent or aggressive behaviour
This includes physical violence and attempted physical violence, any kind of nonconsensual sexual behaviour, aggression and intimidating behaviour.
Any behaviour that disregards others’ boundaries or aims to make them feel threatened and unsafe, including (for example) verbal abuse or threats, bullying behaviours, use of derogatory language to insult or undermine, deliberate unwanted intrusion into someone’s personal space, and willful misinterpretation of someone’s desires or behaviour (such as not leaving them alone when they clearly want you to do so).
How we will respond?
To uphold the Safer Spaces Agreement, there is a procedure that recognises conflict resolution as a key means of resolution. This process is three staged and as follows:
- If an incident occurs where you feel that prejudiced behavior has occurred either directly to yourself or indirectly to another, the issue should be raised through the presentation of a formal complaint and lodged with any member of the LCT Management Group that you feel safe approaching* or by email at LeedsCreativeTimebank@gmail.com
- A procedure will be instigated as specified in the attached document that will seek to bring the parties together for negotiated resolution. Issues of anonymity and confidentiality are observed within the process.
- In extreme cases of violent or aggressive behavior, as a last resort, the member who has been accused of such behaviour will be removed from the membership of LCT.