[Air-L] anti-harassment and safe spaces

Anna Lauren Hoffmann annalauren at berkeley.edu
Fri May 8 11:43:47 PDT 2015

Thanks so much for bringing this up! I agree that this is an important move
to consider - and it aligns with a number of issues that were raised by
members during the last Association General Meeting in Daegu. And double
thanks for pointing to the excellent TtW model.

Part of the value of our new inclusivity statement (prior to last year,
AoIR only had a non-discrimination statement) is its establishment and
codification of a sort-of mandate for considering these sorts of issues. I
think one could argue (or, at any rate, I would argue) that our inclusivity
statement makes it imperative that we consider adopting conference-specific
inclusivity and anti-harassment statements.

Part of the challenge here - not an insurmountable one, of course - is
identifying the most appropriate group of folks to put something like this
together. While the Exec is responsible for developing and approving
certain dimensions of the conference, much of the work of planning and
execution falls to local committees and volunteers (which may or may not be
members the Exec). In addition, we've got an awesome group of members to
help develop something like this (similarly, it was a small group of
energetic grad student members that helped us develop our inclusivity
statement). I think, given these factors and the fact that the location for
the conference changes each year, that we have an opportunity to produce
not only a blanket statement, but statements that might also be informed by
both local and membership-specific context and considerations. I'll be
happy to raise this issue with the Exec to see how we might best proceed on
this front.

In addition, I hope you'll bring this issue to the current elections
discussion. At least one person running has mentioned this issue explicitly
in their candidate statement and I think we'd all benefit from further
consideration not only this issue, but issues of diversity and inclusivity
broadly - especially from those folks currently running and eager to serve
on the next iteration of the Executive Committee. (Election discussion
forums are available at the AoIR member site: http://members.aoir.org.)


Anna Lauren Hoffmann
Postdoctoral Researchers and Instructor
School of Information
University of California, Berkeley

On Tue, May 5, 2015 at 8:46 AM, sky c <skyc at riseup.net> wrote:

> >
> > First, I’d like the AoIR executive committee to create and open for
> > member review a specific anti-harassment statement for its conferences
> > and other activities. I know we have a diversity and inclusivity
> > statement, but I’d like us to have a more formal policy regarding how
> > harassment will be handled if it happens either at the conference
> > proper, on the mailing list, and/or on Twitter, etc. (something,
> > perhaps like Theorizing the Web’s statement:
> >
> http://theorizingtheweb.tumblr.com/post/79357700249/anti-harassment-statement
> <
> http://theorizingtheweb.tumblr.com/post/79357700249/anti-harassment-statement>).
> This seems critical if we are going to make AoIR a safe space for everyone.
> >
> I recently attended the TtW conference, and while I think the
> anti-harassment statement makes a great start, I think there are other
> important steps that can be taken for thinking about conferences as safe
> spaces. I've written more about this here:
> http://skycroeser.net/2015/04/20/theorizing-the-web-and-conferences-as-technology/
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