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SAFER SPACES

 

HALIFAX POP EXPLOSION (HPX) SAFER/BRAVER SPACES POLICY AND GUIDELINES

During all HPX events, organizers and volunteers will be present to help make the space as safe, anti-oppressive, and accessible as possible and to address any concerns attendees may have.

Safer Spaces team members can be identified with glowsticks and patches and are available to help all folks attending the event. The Safer Spaces Team will take action to address violations of consent, violations of HPX safer spaces guidelines, and other harmful incidents that might occur at the event. We will be available to help mediate conflicts, provide support/solidarity, intervene in harmful situations and/or remove individuals if necessary to maintain the safety of the space. The Safer Spaces team will prioritize the safety of individuals regularly made to feel unsafe due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability, age and/or size over the comfort of those acting in harmful ways.

Harmful behavior includes but is not limited to: making racist, classist, transphobic, homophobic, fat antagonist, ableist comments; catcalling or sexual harassment; failing to respect the physical/emotional safety of others; cultural appropriation; being too intoxicated to monitor your behavior and your impact on others, and being generally disrespectful of other attendees’ right to participate and have an enjoyable time.

We are hopeful that participants and community members will remind each other of ways we enact and/or perpetuate harmful behaviors and to call each other back in when we stray (and to call out oppressive practices when we witness them). We want to create a culture of care, openness and learning in which generative conversations can be had without the fear of imminent alienation and/or expulsion.

Having said that, we would also like to state explicitly that we believe survivors’ accounts of harm without question. We are not a community court and are not here to pass judgment, but in order to support survivors we will be centering their experiences and will do our best to create spaces in which they feel safe, supported and comfortable. This may mean asking people to leave the event or asking to have conversations with folks present.

We expect everyone who is engaged in Halifax Pop Explosion activities to take it upon themselves to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. We understand that intimate partner violence, sexual violence and other forms of gender based violence are prevalent in our communities, and if there are concerns raised about someone engaging in these behaviours we’ll believe the person coming forward and take appropriate actions, which sometimes includes asking the perpetrator to leave.

  2. Any individual or group engaging in violence or threatening the safety of others will be automatically excluding themselves from the space and asked to leave.

  3. Respect the physical and emotional boundaries of others. Feel free to move, dance, thrash - but be mindful of the safety and comfort of others. Share the space.

  4. Take responsibility for your actions and realize that your actions have an impact on others.

  5. Try not to use oppressive language. If you make a mistake (and we all sometimes do), be open to being called in and/or apologizing.
    *Oppressive language includes language that uses an identity or trait belonging to a certain group as a negative quality, or that trivializes experiences of violence or marginalization.

  6. Respect everyone’s pronouns and try not to make assumptions regarding gender and sexuality.

  7. Be mindful of how you are impacting the accessibility of the space, i.e. keep the accessible seating area clear, try not to create tripping hazards by leaving stuff on the floor, be mindful of allergies by not wearing strong scents, etc.

  8. If something is making you feel uncomfortable or you need help, please feel free to seek out a Safer Spaces volunteer for assistance.

  9. Take an active role in the collective responsibility of maintaining a safe and inclusive environment by looking out for each other, leading by example and prioritizing the comfort and experience of those who are rarely given priority (because of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability, age, size, etc).

If you have questions about this policy, want to volunteer with this program, or generally have comments, feel free to reach out to our Safer Spaces Coordinator Bree Gardner at bree.gardner@gmail.com

Download a copy of this guide below.