Community Guidelines

Growing Room requires staff, volunteers, artists, moderators and guests of all kinds to adhere to community guidelines. Community guidelines act as a framework with which all Growing Room events will be conducted.

Be mindful and respectful of boundaries. 

Examples of boundaries to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Participation in activities
  • Movement throughout the space (being mindful or physical disabilities, chronic pain, and/or injuries)
  • Sensitivity to content (warnings should be included where possible)
  • Introvert/Extrovert social considerations

Always practice consent. 

Examples to be mindful of include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical touch, including hugs or pats
  • Disclosure of personal details or experiences
  • Requesting personal details or experiences
  • Taking photographs

Prioritize the use of respectful call-ins in favour of call-outs that intend to shame.

Rather than alienating folks and instilling fear of mistake-making, call-ins invite folks in to a community of collective-knowing. 

If behaviour is discriminatory and in violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy (see below), call-ins are not expected. Growing Room staff are responsible for intervention. 

Validate and affirm one another’s identities, including names, pronouns and self-identifications.

Employ an ethic of non-interference, except in the case of invitation or necessity. 

This ethic preserves the notion that marginalized folks, who have been denied space to fully express themselves, deserve to fully articulate their thoughts and interpretations.

Be mindful of your privilege; recognize the emotional labour you expect of others and the space you’ve been socialized to take up.

Act with strategy, thought, and care. 

Attendees are encouraged to devote extra time to digest information and formulate thoughts prior to sharing. Attendees should maintain mindfulness of the effects of all contributions.


Zero Tolerance Policies

In adherance with the BC Human Rights Code and Growing Room’s own intersectional feminist values, discriminatory, oppressive or harassing behaviours are not tolerated at any event or space within the Growing Room Festival.

Discrimination

Growing Room has zero tolerance for discrimination of any form including but not limited to racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, misoygyny, transmisogyning, biphobia, fatphobia, ableism, audism, ageism, classism, Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, anti-Semitism, anti-sex worker rhetoric or bigotry of any kind. Discrimination may appear in the form of, but is not limited to

  • Verbal or written slurs
  • Exclusion or denial of entry based on identity
  • Cultural appropriation or mockery of sacred traditions
  • Invasive, overly personal or inappropriate questions
  • Stereotyping
  • Microaggressions

Harassment

Growing Room has zero tolerance for harassment of any kind. This includes but is not limited to

  • Physical harassment 
    • Direct threats of intent to inflict harm
    • Physical attacks (hitting, shoving, kicking)
    • Threatening behaviour (shaking fists angrily)
    • Destroying property that belongs to another person
  • Sexual harassment 
    • Sharing nude or sexual photos of oneself or others
    • Sexual comments, jokes, questions
    • Inappropriate touching
    • Inappropriate sexual gestures
  • Emotional or psychological harassment
    • Isolation or exclusion
    • Belittling or trivializing
    • Discrediting, defamation or spreading rumours 
    • Gaslighting
  • Verbal harassment
    • Unfair or inaccurate criticism
    • Unwanted heckling
    • Slurs or unwanted cursing
    • Yelling
  • Online harassment
    • Sharing humiliating images or stories 
    • Spreading lies or gossip on social media
    • Sending harassing emails or messages
    • Creating memes or images with intention to mock or harm
    • Posting non consensual digital material
    • Intentionally misquoting 

Cultural Appropriation

Growing Room has a zero tolerance policy for cultural appropriation which hereby refers to the non consensual theft of a sacred garment, phrase, language, accent, hairstyle or tradition from a culture that is not your own. 

Examples of cultural appropriation may include but are not limited to:

  • A non-Black person wearing their hair in braids or cornrows;
  • A non-Indigenous person performing a smudging ceremony;
  • A non-Jamaican person performing a poem in a Jamaican accent;
  • A non-South Asian person wearing a Sari

Microaggressions

Growing Room considers constant use of microaggressions to intimidate, belittle, exclude or annoy another person as a form of harassment that will not be tolerated. Microaggressions, over time, result in a toxic environment for those who frequently experience them.

Microaggressions may include but are not limited to:

  • Constant comments about a person’s appearance, clothing, race, ethnicity, lifestyle or identity
  • Constant violation of personal boundaries
  • Comments that are belittling, demeaning or patronizing
  • Touching of someone’s hair, clothes or personal items

TERF and SWERF Behaviour

Growing Room recognizes that our world, and sometimes our small communities are sometimes infiltrated by SWERFs (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical ‘Feminists’*) and TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical ‘Feminists’*). 

TERFs

Growing Room has zero tolerance for anyone who perpetuates or supports TERF ideology and reserves the right to remove and ban them from any Growing Room event or space. 

TERF behaviour may include, but is not limited to;

  • Exclaiming or implying that trans women are not women and/or trans men are not men
  • Threats of verbal or physical violence towards trans and/or non-binary people
  • Denying trans women access to women’s spaces
  • Denying trans men access to men’s spaces
  • Intentionally misgendering or deadnaming a trans or non-binary person
  • Transmysoginistic language or intent
  • ‘Outing’ a trans or non-binary person without their consent

SWERFs

SWERF behaviour may include, but is not limited to;

  • Threats of verbal or physical violence towards sex workers or people who have been involved in sex work at some point
  • Denying current or former sex workers access to spaces
  • Slut-shaming and whorephobia
  • Perpetuating negative stereotypes about sex workers
  • Nonconsensually exposing personal details about someone’s relationship to sex work

*Although TERF and SWERF are the commonly used terms, Growing Room does not view these people are feminists. TERF and SWERF behaviour does not align with our intersectional and inclusive version of feminism at Growing Room.


Accountability

Growing Room strives to provide a space where people feel safe to engage and participate. 

  • In order to resolve conflict, Growing Room reserves the right to establish the following consequences for behaviour that does not adhere to the community guidelines:
    • A verbal warning
    • A written warning
    • A temporary or partial ban from Growing Room events and/or spaces
    • A permanent ban from Growing Room events and/or spaces.

Removal From The Event

Growing Room staff and volunteers reserve the right to ask anyone to leave an event. An individual may be asked to leave a space or event in one of the following circumstances:

  • If they are displaying behaviour that is evidently toxic and breaching the zero tolerance policy
  • If they are putting themselves or others in harm’s way
  • If they are behaving contrary to the space rules or community guidelines 
    1. For example, if they are drunk in a sober space, wearing cologne in a scent-free space or being loud in a quiet space
  • If a reader, moderator or attendee asks for them to be removed 
  • If the person is identified as an abuser, threat or risk by someone else present
  • If they are intentionally disrupting the event and refuse to stop

Restorative Justice

Growing Room endeavours to resolve conflict in a way that ensures those who have been harmed have their voices and experiences centered. To this end, those who report or raise concerns will be involved, where possible, in the resolution. 

Follow Up

Growing Room believes it is important to support people who have been harmed or impacted by discrimination, harm or oppression in a Growing Room space. As such, Growing Room is committed to following up with individuals who come forward with a complaint.