Code of Conduct

Our Pledge

In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as members of the Brooklyn community pledge to making participation in our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, class, housing status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

Our Standards

Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language.
  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences.
  • Gracefully accepting constructive feedback.
  • Focusing on what is best for the community.
  • Showing empathy and kindness towards other community members.

Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:

  • Using racist, sexist, derogatory, or otherwise discriminatory or exclusionary language.
  • Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks.
  • Making light of/making mocking comments about trigger warnings and content warnings.
  • Public or private harassment, deliberate intimidation, or threats.
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without explicit permission. This includes any sort of “outing” of any aspect of someone’s identity without their consent.
  • Publishing of non-harassing private communication.
  • The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances, including when simulated online.
  • Any of the above even when presented as “ironic” or “joking”.
  • Any attempt to present “reverse-ism” versions of the above as violations. Examples of reverse-isms are “reverse racism”, “reverse sexism”, “heterophobia”, and “cisphobia”.
  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional or community setting.

Scope

This Code of Conduct applies both within community spaces and in other spaces involving the community. This includes Brooklyn Action Corps email lists, meetings, private email communications in the context of the community, and any events where members of the community are participating, as well as adjacent communities and venues affecting the community’s members.

Depending on the violation, the Conduct team may decide that violations of this code of conduct that have happened outside of the scope of the community may deem an individual unwelcome, and take appropriate action to maintain the comfort and safety of its members.

When Something Happens

If you see a Code of Conduct violation, follow these steps:

  1. Let the person know that what they did is not appropriate and ask them to stop.
  2. That person should immediately stop the behavior and correct the issue.
  3. If this doesn’t happen, or if you’re uncomfortable speaking up, contact the Conduct team.
  4. As soon as practical, a Conduct team member will take further action, starting with a warning, then temporary suspension, then long-term exclusion.

When reporting, please include any relevant details, links, screenshots, context, or other information that may be used to better understand and resolve the situation.

The Conduct team will prioritize the well-being and comfort of the recipients of the violation over the comfort of the violator.

Enforcement Process

Once the Conduct team gets involved, they will follow a documented series of steps and do their best to preserve the well-being of Brooklyn neighbors. This section covers actual concrete steps. For further information/details on values and practices that Conduct team members will generally apply when enforcing the Code of Conduct, refer to the full enforcement philosophy.

The Conduct team

The Conduct team is a small group of volunteers which includes at least 1 BAC board member. The team will strive for a diverse makeup of the team to reflect the numerous populations and intersections of our community.

If the Conduct team is not fully staffed, the BAC’s Executive Committee (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) may act as interim Conduct team or supplement the team as needed.

Contacting the Conduct team

You may get in touch with the Brooklyn Conduct team through any of the following methods:

Further Enforcement

If you’ve already followed the initial enforcement steps, these are the steps the Conduct team will take for further enforcement, as needed:

  1. Repeat the request to stop.
  2. If the person doubles down, they will be temporarily suspended from participating for 48 hours and given an official warning.
  3. If the behavior continues or is repeated later, the person will be suspended for 14 days.
  4. If the behavior continues or is repeated after a temporary suspension, a longer suspension will be used (6 weeks or longer). If the offending party is a Brooklyn Action Corps board member, this will be considered “cause for removal” in accordance with BAC bylaws.

On top of this, the Conduct team may remove any offending messages, images, contributions, etc, as they deem necessary and are able.

The Conduct team reserves full rights to skip any of these steps, at their discretion, if the violation is considered to be a serious and/or immediate threat to the health and well-being of members of the community. These include any threats, serious physical or verbal attacks, and other such behavior that would be completely unacceptable in any social setting that puts our members at risk.

Members expelled from events or venues with any sort of paid attendance will not be refunded.

Who Watches the Watchers?

Conduct team members and other leaders who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good faith may face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other members of the community’s leadership. These may include removal from the Conduct team.

Enforcement Philosophy

Introduction

No matter how kind or nice people think they are, at some point, something’s going to happen and things are going to go awry. This document is meant as a writeup and guideline holding core values about what this community considers the best approach to resolving these conflicts in a kind and positive way, as much as possible. It is paired with the community’s Code of Conduct, which includes the concrete enforcement steps.

It is a living document, informed by new problems, new conflicts, and always strives to help make the Brooklyn community successful while including the voices of those who are too often not heard.

Guiding Principles

This guide is opinionated, and it considers the following to be core values that guide the specific conflict resolution procedure, and future changes to it.

  1. Be Kind: This is not necessarily the same as being nice. There is a justice involved in being kind. It involves genuine consideration for the situation, and understanding one’s own, and others’, roles both in this community and in larger society. It involves empathy and education.
  2. The amygdala makes conflict resolution hard: When a conflict starts, people often enter fight-or-flight mode, which reduces their ability to look at what’s in front of them with a kind lens, and reduces the context they’re able to reach for in order to understand what’s actually going on.
  3. Inaction is Oppression: Taking too long to take action when someone is hurt by default benefits the person who did harm. While it’s important to be kind, and to understand the situation, things must be handled in a timely manner, and at least some measures must be taken right away to prevent those who were harmed from being the ones who are actually punished.
  4. We All Screw Up: Mistakes happen. Not everyone has had a wide enough range of cultural and personal experience to understand what is seen as unkind or outright hurtful by folks they may not have had access to. This means that it’s important to prioritize education, and conflict resolution processes that focus on improving and moving forward, instead of making examples of people.
  5. Intersectionality is Important: The way we relate to each other, specially in greatly diverse communities, is often complex and complicated. This means that often, conflicts between people who belong to different intersections require care and consideration in handling, and being informed about those complex relationships.
  6. The Safety of the hurt takes priority over the Comfort of the ones causing harm.
  7. Trust the Ouch: It’s more likely that if someone says they’re hurt, they really are hurt, and you should listen and trust them on it, even (and especially if) you don’t understand why or how.
  8. Education is Emotional Labor: The one who was hurt does not owe you an explanation or a 101. It’s OK to expect people to do their own thinking and research when told there was a wrong, and correct the behavior, instead of placing undue burden on someone who’s already been hurt or who is already frustrated with the situation.
  9. Support is something we can promise – not Safety: We don’t believe safety, as a general thing is something we can reasonably promise members of a community. Harm comes suddenly, often unexpectedly. Instead, we believe it’s a more worthwhile endeavor to try and prevent harm from happening through education, documentation, and policy, and build trust with the community that when something happens, they won’t have to fight tooth and nail for even basic fairness.

Attribution

This Code of Conduct is adapted from the WeAllJS Code of Conduct and WeAllJS Enforcement Policy.

Last updated

This version was adopted April 13, 2022.