Safer Spaces

Objectives 


The objective of this policy is to guide Kingston Pride Inc. in fostering conditions for spaces that are accessible, inclusive, welcoming, and free from oppressive behaviour, where all persons are treated with respect and dignity, and can contribute fully. 

Scope


This policy applies to all persons attending meeting and community discussions run by Kingston Pride Inc. (i.e. the Board Members, staff, team leads and volunteers). 

Policy


This policy recognizes that the dynamics of hierarchy, power and privilege exist within our community and within Kingston Pride Inc.; 
This policy further recognizes that individuals experience spaces in different ways; 
This policy may not meet the requirements of everyone; 
This policy further recognizes that everyone who enters a safer space has a responsibility to uphold the values of that space;
This policy further recognizes the right to feel safe and be free from oppressive behaviour overrides an individual’s ability to behave in an oppressive or harmful manner; and
A safer spaces statement, developed under this policy, must be read prior to meetings and community discussions run by Kingston Pride. 


Safer Spaces Statement


Kingston Pride is committed to encouraging conditions for safer spaces at our community gatherings. Our goal is to create an environment where everyone can feel safe, comfortable, respected, and valued for who they are, able to express themselves, regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, race, age, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation. 

Kingston Pride commits to and encourages all those who gather with us to: 

Speak from personal experiences and avoid speaking on behalf of others; 
Try to use “I” statements to share reactions or experiences “I feel…” “I am affected by…”; 
Not make assumptions about others’ identity or experiences; 
Be mindful of how long and often we speak so that everyone has a chance to contribute; 
Consider the impact of privilege and intersectionality on discussions; 
Listen to each other so we understand the various perspectives; 
Present clarifying questions; 
Share beliefs, opinions, and points of view rather than judgements; 
Allow others to speak and refrain from side conversations; 
Maintain confidentiality. Information shared should stay inside these walls;
Notify a meeting organizer with specific concerns about being identified or photographed; and 
Understand we are all here to learn and all have things to offer the space.