Safer Space Agreement - Bike! Bike!
- We enter with a commitment to mutual respect, mutual aid, anti-oppression advocacy, conflict resolution, anti-violence, and community building.
- We respect everyone's names, preferred gender pronouns, expressed identities and experiences.
- We support the empowerment of each person and group.
- We commit to making spaces as accessible as possible; physically, socially, and personally.
- We are peaceful and honest.
- We respect each others bodies and spaces.
- We commit to hearing each other and creating opportunities for all voices to be heard.
- We accept a shared responsibility to hold ourselves and one another accountable for these agreements’ intent.
- We encourage open minds and open hearts.
- We promote inclusive learning spaces and questions in the spirit of personal growth.
Why have a Safer Space Agreement?
In order to set a common ground, we state our shared beliefs and desires for the space which is Bike!Bike!. We rally around these ideas for inspiration and to ensure that if there is behaviour which does not make us feel safe, we have something to point to. By agreeing to a commitment of mutual respect, we hope that if conflict does arise, we will remember what we have agreed to, and act accordingly.
How is it enforced?
The host city has the responsibility of mediating safer space issues. They will decide what constitutes a warning and what constitutes expulsion from the conference.
Safer Spaces at W&T/etc. nights
For many of us on this wiki, this conversation is old hat. For anyone joining in and being curious about the why of WTF/FTW/W&T/Women's safer spaces, this space will serve as a means of understanding the need. Even if every single moment in a bike collective was filled with people striving toward a safer space as best they could, there would still be a need for WTF night because the people who show up couldn't be expected to know that.
the more you do to make a space accessible to more people, the less it will be exclusively the default demographic that shows up and sticks around.
A good page with an okay primer as to why one might need/want safer spaces for folx with marginalized genders/identities is Patriarchy and Bicycle Repair.
Naming this sort of event can be challenging, and you'll want to think carefully about who you may be including or excluding.
Suffice it to say that every bicycle space unless otherwise stated is a de facto "boys club" and many femme / trans folks report feeling more comfortable in safer spaces designed specifically for them.
Ideally, the goal is for an entire collective to participate in a safer space agreement at all times.
Video made by grease rag in Minneapolis about the need for W&T nights:
Online Discussion and Resources:
- Comprehensive Gender 101
- The Metafilter Thread Condensed PDF on emotional labor
- cognitive bias hiding sexism
- Example experiences of Women & Trans Night (click "next message" to read through the conversation)
- language for trans-inclusive events
- Code of Conduct
- Emotional Labor
- Implicit Bias
I sent an email on the Think Tank recently that only barely made a mention of safer space programs, but a lot of what I talked about was based on years of thinking about how to make bike collectives more accessible to a wider variety of people, and probably a fair bit of wheel reinvention. To summarize, a tautology: the more you do to make a space accessible to more people, the less it will be exclusively the default demographic that shows up and sticks around.
Off the top of my head, and I'm happy to expand on any of these bullet points:
- access to basic food
- if music, multicultural music
- pedagogically-oriented learning environment
- value all work, including admin work
- safer space training for core volunteers
- upholding clear shop guidelines and boundaries for appropriate behavior
- providing an option for clearly defined volunteer tasks
- informative, accessible website
- have contact info for a mediator available
- physical shop safety
- being predictably and punctually open
- having a functioning, physical land line telephone in the shop