Community Norms & Guidelines
- People need a safe place to risk the discomfort that arises as we work on these issues. Although safety is never guaranteed, our model is designed to promote as safe an environment as possible.
- Educating ourselves about diversity, culture, and social justice means learning and “un-learning” as we critically reflect on our beliefs and our experiences, especially in light of the experiences that others share with us.
- Racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and other discriminatory results of our socialization (related to religion, age, ability, language, education, etc.) exist within us, and are likely to surface from time to time.
- We have been systematically taught misinformation about ourselves and others, especially as it relates to members of historically oppressed groups.
- We assume of each another that we are always doing the best we can, both to learn and to behave in non-oppressive ways.
- Guilt immobilizes. Fixing blame helps no one, taking responsibility helps everyone. We are born into a social system and taught to accept it as it is. We will not blame one another for the misinformation we learned, but we hold each other responsible for repeating misinformation or offensive behavior after we have learned otherwise.
- Members of target groups will not be blamed for the oppression directed at them.
- We each have an obligation to actively combat myths and stereotypes about our own groups and other groups so that we break down the walls that prohibit group cooperation and group gain.
- Awareness, knowledge, skills and passion are needed to effectively manage the contradictions, dilemmas, and paradoxes involved in work across cultures.
- Effective intergroup communication is a critical skill in building multicultural communities and relationships among people who are share different identities.
- Confronting oppression benefits everyone. When people are oppressed based on their social identities, their talents and contributions are lost to all of us.
- Confronting social injustice is painful AND joyful. Facing the contradictions between what we have been taught and the real experiences of different social groups is difficult, but liberating, and can free us to act for justice in new and life-affirming ways.
Working Assumptions for Addressing Diversity and Social Justice →