Our Safer Spaces policy has been borrowed from our friends at Manchester’s OK Cafe. However, it relies on us all reflexively approaching our conduct towards one another as basic tenet of the Radical Librarians Collective‘s culture is respect. We need to ensure that we respect each other – our backgrounds, identities, ideas and bodies – and respect the space that we have created together, be that online or offline. So:
- Everyone has an equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen (people who are used to talking may feel the benefit of listening more, and vice versa).
- Respect and look after the building as a physical space and a resource for all.
- However strongly you feel about a particular topic, resist abusive discussions.
- Any behaviour – physical or verbal – that demeans, marginalises or dominates others, or perpetuates hierarchies, is not welcome.
- Identify your own privileges – the things that sometimes give you an easier ride than others – and actively challenge them.
- Be aware of the range of different identities (gender, race, class) that people may identify with, and avoid making generalisations, or assumptions about people.
- Be aware that anyone in the space could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, for example, violence or racism.
- If someone is feeling uncomfortable, do not hesitate to raise this.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge prejudice and oppression, and if we ignore it we are complicit in it.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. It is our responsibility to help create a space where everyone feels safe and included. If anyone would like the list to be amended, we encourage you to contact us help us to make our space safer for the collective good.
We encourage and support groups that may wish to create a temporary safe space, meeting space or workshop space for a particular group.
The safer spaces policy is copyright (all rights reserved) of OK Cafe Manchester. This is an exception to the RLC website content which is, as noted on each page, dedicated to the public domain (CC0 dedication).