Safer space: Being able to create a safer space for yourself, between yourself and others, within your community or at an event or a workshop, makes it hard for oppression to thrive. It stifles stereotypes, shrinks bias, expands perspective, opens communication, and creates an open learning environment.
The Speak for Wolves Conference strives to create an inclusive conference for everyone to share and learn regardless of national origin, ethnic background, race, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical ability, mental ability, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status, or age.
The Speak for Wolves Board of Directors has a responsibility to advise and provide a copy of the safer space policy to all participants, volunteers, and presenters. This policy extends to the various spaces occupied by the Speak for Wolves conference.
Speak for Wolves organizers acknowledge the right for attendees to address concerns related to inclusivity and our safer space guidelines below and to have that concern addressed in a respectful and timely manner.
Please read and adhere to the safer space guidelines below:
1. Speak for Wolves has a Zero Tolerance policy for discrimination. If an incident is reported, Speak for Wolves organizers will take immediate action, which may include ejection from conference and/or a permanent ban from all Speak for Wolves conferences.
2. Presenters with a known history of sexual or discriminatory violence and/or abuse will not be booked to present unless they have participated in a demonstrable rehabilitative counseling or community accountability process, as directed by the survivor and/or victim. Speak for Wolves reserves the right to cancel any presenter upon discovery of any presenter history that is in violation of our policy.
3. Volunteers with known history of sexual or discriminatory violence and/or abuse cannot volunteer for Speak for Wolves conference or subsequent events organized by Speak for Wolves unless they have participated in a demonstrable rehabilitative counseling or community accountability process. Speak for Wolves reserves the right to dismiss any volunteer upon discovery of any presenter history that is in violation of our policy.
4. Speak for Wolves will try to provide a safe space at each venue where a person can recover from any incident that happens at the venue. If a safe space is unavailable, Speak for Wolves organizers will work with the participants to identify ways to make them feel safer.
5. Respect your own physical, mental and emotional boundaries. Stay attuned to your own needs and remember that you are welcome to take space away from the group should you feel that you need time alone or away from the group. If something doesn’t feel right to you, please speak up. You may not be the only one who feels that way. If you don’t want to talk or answer a question, say so—don’t wait for someone to “get the hint.” Try to vocalize what you need. Be assertive if possible. If you have a concern with someone, be direct.
6. Respect others’ physical, mental, and emotional boundaries. Always ask for explicit verbal consent before engaging or touching someone. Never assume consent. It is important to remember that consent is not always implied, even with folks to whom you are very close. Don’t assume the race, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, gender, history with violence, etc. of others. Instead, ask if someone is open to engaging in dialogue. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t want to answer a question. Respect the confidentiality of others. Respect the privacy of information, narratives, and experiences that others share with you. Be aware of the effect your behavior has on others and accept responsibility for it.
7. Assume positive intent. We are all here to learn, and we all have something to offer. Clarifying questions are encouraged. Respect diverse opinions, beliefs, and points of view. Share ideas rather than judgements.
8. Being able to advocate for wildlife is both noble and a privilege. It is critical to understand the history of colonialism when working on conservation issues. There is a direct and highly correlative connection between the extermination of native wildlife and the extermination of native peoples and FIrst Nations and their ways of life. Please be mindful when speaking about “public lands” and the management of wildlife and other public resources by native peoples on their lands. Colonialism is ongoing today and must be acknowledged in our work to protect wildlife and wild places.