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Agreement and Practices for Online Content & Discussion

General Assembly is the largest annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists. It provides us with the opportunity to build deep connections, worship, engage in faith development, participate in innovative learning and collaboration. This year, General Assembly will be completely virtual; with this in mind, it’s important that we uphold agreements that support a compassionate, respectful and anti-oppressive environment for all.

As a participant in General Assembly and/or the online platforms designed to enhance communication between participants, I hereby agree to the following:

Behave Respectfully – I will engage with others in a way that honors the personhood and experience of all. I will both listen and contribute to conversations. I will make space for others to participate and avoid disruption or distraction by honoring the agenda and topics for discussion.

Self Care and Community Care – I will take care of myself and my needs. I will also take care to engage with our Unitarian Universalist communities in an empathetic, understanding and thoughtful manner.

Practice active and anti-oppressive engagement – I will make a conscious effort to engage with and understand what others are sharing. I will be attentive to how my interactions may impact others. Words and actions have been used to historically oppress people and therefore certain words and actions can be triggering of traumatic or hurtful experiences. I will be mindful of this and participate in ways that are respectful and considerate.

Show Up – Understanding that we are in a time of global pandemic and global uprising against state sponsored violence and that these crises disproportionately impact some of us based on our identity and social location, I will cultivate grace and practice patience. I will be mindful to side with love by showing up for others in this time.

Be present to truth – We hold multiple truths gleaned from our lived experiences. None of our experiences, especially those of us who have been historically marginalized, are up for debate. I will be mindful of this during my interpersonal interactions during virtual GA.

Our Unitarian Universalist values call upon us to avoid the following harmful forms of expression:

  • Offensive language related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, pregnancy status, veteran status, political affiliation, marital status, body size, age, race, national origin, ethnic origin, immigration status, language, religion or other identity marker.
  • Threats of violence or aggressive behavior of any kind toward any individual or group.
  • Online Trolling; deliberate provocative, offensive and/or disrespectful posts (commentary, images, GIFs) intended to derail conversation
  • Stalking or following - online (or in the physical world.)
  • Sexual harassment in any form, including sexual images, GIFs, sexual language, virtual contact without consent, and inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Revealing any aspect of the identity of a person who experiences marginalization without their consent.
  • Humor that evokes any of the above.

As a registered attendee of virtual General Assembly, I understand and agree that the content available in the GA participation portal (i.e. worship, speakers, workshops, etc.) shall not be recorded or distributed for private or public viewing.

We will not be complicit when observing activity that is deliberately antagonistic and harmful. Violations of this Agreement and Practices will prompt any/all of the following action steps:

The participant will be contact privately with a warning about their offense and given the opportunity to improve their communication for the benefit of all.

The participant will be contacted and their content (i.e. chat dialogue, app or social media post) may be turned off.

The participant will be removed from the space.

Sources:
Community Covenant: A Code of Conduct for Online Communities
Harriet’s Apothecary Safer Space/Healing Agreements
Allied Media Projects
Enforcing Your Code of Conduct: effective incident response