Community Participation Guidelines
July 2020
The Vancouver CoLab is a collaborative workshop space with industrial scale tools with which the community can work in wood, metal, and textiles. Our organization and workshop is entirely volunteer-run. The community is made up of members willing to share their knowledge and those seeking to learn new skills. Each member is expected to contribute to the community. Peer-learning, open communication, personal accountability, and self-initiative are highly valued qualities of the membership.

The Vancouver Colab welcomes contributions from everyone who shares our goals and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner within our community. As such, we have adopted this code of conduct and require all those who join to agree and adhere to these Community Participation Guidelines in order to help us create a safe and positive community experience for all.

These guidelines aim to support a community where all people should feel safe to participate, introduce new ideas and inspire others. Openness, collaboration and participation are core aspects of a healthy community. We gain strength from diversity and would like to seek participation from those who enhance it. These guidelines exist to enable diverse individuals and groups to interact and collaborate to mutual advantage. This document outlines both expected and prohibited behaviour.

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When and How to Use These Guidelines
The Colab is a community where everyone should feel welcome.  These guidelines outline our behaviour expectations as members of the Vancouver Colab, both in person and online. They are applicable to all members as well as visitors.
Your participation is contingent upon following these guidelines in all Vancouver Colab interactions, including but not limited to:

·     The physical space

·   Monthly meetings

·   Special events: onsite + offsite (Eastside Culture Crawl, Maker Faire…)

·     All communication channels: Email, Loomio, Zoom, phone calls
Expected Behaviour
The following behaviours are expected of all members:

Value each other’s ideas, styles and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for treating others poorly. Be open to different possibilities and to being wrong. Be respectful in all interactions and communications, especially when debating the merits of different options. Be aware of your impact and how intense interactions may be affecting people. Be direct, constructive and positive. Take responsibility for your impact and your mistakes – if someone says they have been harmed through your words or actions, listen carefully, apologize sincerely, and correct the behaviour going forward.

Be respectful of the common areas as well as semi-private spaces. Only use tools in a manner for which they were intended. If you are not sure how to use a tool, ask another member. Respect other people’s projects and work space, don’t touch without consent. This is a shared space, so help take care of it. Clean up after yourself plus a little bit more. Label your work & material - so people know whom to ask if they think it’s awesome or need to move it.

We are likely to have some discussions about if and when criticism is respectful and when it is not. We must be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We cannot withhold hard truths. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful.

Varying perspectives only strengthens a community. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives be heard and listen actively. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, it is especially important to step back and encourage other voices to join in. Be aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. Provide alternative ways to contribute or participate when possible.

Be inclusive of everyone in an interaction, respecting and facilitating people’s participation whether they are:
·   New or long-standing members of our community

·   Use English as an alternative language

·     Remote (on video or phone)

·   Deaf or Hard of hearing

·     Facing other challenges to participate

Think about how you might facilitate alternative ways to contribute or participate. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, step back. Make way for other voices and listen actively to them.

We endeavour to be a community of members from varying cultures and backgrounds. Cultural differences can encompass everything from official religious observances to personal habits to clothing. Be respectful of people whose cultural practices, attitudes and beliefs may differ from your own. Work to eliminate your own biases, prejudices and discriminatory practices. Think of others’ needs from their point of view. Use appropriate titles, names, and pronouns and a respectful tone of voice. Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Be open to learning from and educating others, as well as educating yourself.

Match your actions with your words, and try to be a positive influence. Your behaviour can be a positive influence on how others behave and feel welcomed to the space. Hold yourself and others accountable for inclusive behaviours.

Behaviour That Will Not Be Tolerated
The following behaviors are considered to be unacceptable under these guidelines.

Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable – in person or online. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm. This also includes posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxxing”) online.

Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs and ideas is not acceptable. It is important to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve, but such discussions must be conducted respectfully and professionally, remaining focused on the issue at hand.

Vancouver CoLab is dedicated to providing a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone regardless of:

·       Background

·       Family status

·       Physical appearance

·       Gender

·       Gender identity or expression

·       Body size

·       Marital status

·       Sex

·       Sexual orientation

·       Immigration status

·       First language

·       Age

·       Ability

·       Race and/or ethnicity

·       Caste

·       National origin

·       Socioeconomic status

·       Religion

·       Geographic location

·       Level of experience with tools, workshop environments, creative process

·       Other attributes
The Colab does not tolerate any form of harassment of people in our space, at events or in our online communications.
·      Offensive words or actions related to the identities, traits, and characteristics stated above. This includes imposing someone to gratuitous imagery.
·      Physical contact or sexual attention without consent. Unwelcome sexual attention or unwelcome physical contact is not acceptable. This includes sexualized comments, jokes or imagery in interactions as well as inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual advances. This includes touching a person without permission, including sensitive areas such as their hair, pregnant stomach, mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, etc) or tattoos. This also includes physically blocking or intimidating another person. Physical contact or simulated physical contact without affirmative consent is not acceptable. This includes sharing or distribution of sexualized images or text.
·      Intimidation: Making someone feel uncomfortable or afraid by using words, looks, gestures, body language, menacing behaviour, smashing things, destroying property
·      Stalking.
·      Photographing or recording someone without their consent.
·      Continued one-on-one contact or communication – either online or in person – after requests to cease.
·      Deliberate outing of a sensitive aspect of a person’s identity without their consent.
·     Deliberate misgendering. This includes dead-naming or persistently using a pronoun with which a person does not identify, and/or questioning the legitimacy of an individual’s gender identity. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. This also includes repeated subtle and/or indirect discrimination. If you are asked to stop, then stop the behavior in question.
Meetings are to be professional, courteous, and respectful spaces. Sometimes they can become contentious. Please do not act in a way that would discourage others from voicing their opinion. Sustained disruption of meetings or presentations will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to:

·      Talking over or heckling speakers.

·   Negative or ad hominem comments

·   Swearing

·   Rude gestures

·   Inappropriate banter between members

·      Otherwise influencing crowd actions that cause hostility in the session
We will treat influencing or leading such activities the same way we treat the activities themselves, and thus the same consequences apply.
Consequences of Unacceptable Behaviour
Violation of our policies, including those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated. Intentional efforts to exclude people (except as part of a consequence of the guidelines or other official action) from Vancouver CoLab activities are not acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately.

Reports of harassment/discrimination will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the people responsible for the safety of the space, event or activity. Appropriate measures will be taken to address the situation.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately. Violation of these guidelines can result in you being asked to leave the physical or online space, either temporarily or for a specified duration, or being banned from the membership permanently.

If you believe you’re experiencing unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated as outlined above, please continue to our Complaint Resolution procedure.

Please also report to us if you observe a potentially dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of these guidelines, even if the situation is not happening to you.

If you feel you have been unfairly accused of violating these guidelines, please follow the same reporting process.

I have read the Community Participation Guidelines and agree to conduct myself in accordance to these policies. Please add your first and last name below. *
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