Safe Space Agreement

This is our current working safe space agreement that applies to our collective, meetings and to the library itself.

We want the collective, open meetings and library to be a space in which all people can feel safe sharing their experiences and knowledge, without being the target of any form of oppression, such as discrimination against people who identify within the MOGAI (Marginalised Orientations, Gender Identities and Intersex) spectrum, ableism, ageism, racism, and prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, language, asylum status or religious affiliation.

We recognise that all of us make use of and benefit from some forms of oppressive structures, and that it is important to acknowledge and reflect on these privileges.

To make the collective, open meetings and the library itself as safe as possible we ask all participants (facilitators, volunteers, attendees and zine-makers) to agree to abide by the following guidelines, remembering that we are all here to participate and learn.

Guidelines

These guidelines are a continuous work in progress. The term ‘expression’ in the guidelines refers to a person’s active or passive expression, be it within language, gestures, behaviour, an action or non-action.

We agree to:

1. Give trigger warnings and learn when to give trigger warnings. In the context of the Library zine makers do not need to provide trigger warnings, but the Library is responsible during cataloguing to provide trigger or content warnings as appropriate

2. Become aware of our own privilege and the power dynamics within the group, for example by assessing how much space we take up with our gestures and voices and paying attention to others who might take up less space but have something to contribute.

3.Stay aware of the dynamics of the collection including representation of oppressed or marginalised voices and maintain a clear collection development policy in line with this safe space agreement.

4. Don’t make assumptions about other people’s experiences; listen to them and give them the space to articulate their point of view if they would like to but do not assume that they owe us a justification of their person.

5. When bearing witness to an account of violence, abstain from apologism, victim-blaming and gaslighting.

6. Be sensitive towards discussion topics that might deal with a traumatic subject. Only share what we feel comfortable sharing; pay attention to our own self-care and make use of support available to us.

7. Invite questions rather than speak in an absolute manner; use accessible language. When creating resources make them as accessible as possible and consider diverse learning needs within the group/library users.

8. Refrain from oppressive or offensive language including but not limited to language that is sexist, transphobic, racist, xenophobic, ableist, ageist, homophobic, bi-phobic or anti-queer. Refrain from cultural appropriation and from judging a person’s religious identification.

9. Be aware of our own role in the room’s layout and accessibility. Be aware of the responsibility of the collective, meetings and Library to be accessible.

10. avoid making assumptions about people’s pronouns; ask rather than guess.

11. Treat all information with confidentiality and do not discuss them anything raised in meetings without the person’s consent.

12. Cultivate a positive call-out culture where individuals can learn from the experience without being shamed, humiliated or excluded, and where the burden of responsibility for calling out does not lie solely with the affected party.

13. Learn from our mistakes and become aware of our expressions and the way they influence others.

14. Respect an individual’s original work, and their preferred copyright. Do not reproduce another’s work without permission and attribution.

15. Continue to contribute to this agreement and regularly reflect and review as the collective and library progresses.