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Code of Conduct

General Code of Conduct

Open Austin is committed to broad community participation, and making our events enjoyable and rewarding for everybody who participates. We provide this Code of Conduct in the interest of facilitating a positive, nurturing experience for all.

We expect participants at our events and activities to:

  1. Keep a safe and respectful environment for all other participants.

  2. Act to ensure other participants are free to fully express their identities.

  3. Recognize that participants have different backgrounds and levels of experience. Everybody should be welcome, questions encouraged, and mentoring opportunities sought.

  4. Bring positive efforts and skills to bear, and prefer language such as “yes/and” to “no/but.”

  5. Strive to listen as much as they speak.

  6. Strive to build tools that are open and free technology for public use. Support efforts to prioritize activities that aim to foster public use, not private gain.

  7. Support efforts to prioritize access for and input from those who are traditionally excluded from the civic process.

  8. Work to ensure that the community is well-represented in the planning, design, and implementation of civic tech. This includes encouraging participation from women, minorities, and traditionally marginalized groups.

  9. Actively involve community groups and those with subject matter expertise in the decision-making process.

  10. Ensure that the relationships and conversations between community members, the local government staff and community partners remain respectful, participatory, and productive.

  11. Provide an environment where people are free from discrimination or harassment.

Event organizers reserve the right to take action, up to and including expulsion, in response to violations of these policies.

Anti-harassment Policy

All Open Austin events and their staff, presenters, and participants are held to an anti-harassment policy, included below.

In addition to governing our own events by this policy, Open Austin will only lend our name and fund groups that offer an anti-harassment policy to their attendees. For information on how to offer an anti-harassment policy to your group, see this guide.

Open Austin is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, nationality, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of staff, presenters, and participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any Open Austin event or network activity, including talks. Anyone in violation of these policies may be expelled from Open Austin events or network activities, at the discretion of the event organizers.

Harassment includes but is not limited to: offensive verbal or written comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; unwarranted exclusion; and patronizing language or action.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the event organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from Open Austin events and network activities.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of Open Austin leadership immediately.  You may email [email protected], or submit the anonymous form at the bottom of this page.

Our leadership and event staff will help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.  If you cannot reach an event organizer and/or it is an emergency, please call 911 and/or remove yourself from the situation.

We value your attendance and hope that by communicating these expectations widely we can all enjoy a harassment-free environment.

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This code of conduct and anti-harassment policy are based on Code for America’s Code of Conduct, which in turn is based on the Geek Feminism wiki.

Deep thanks to:

  • The Ohio LinuxFest anti-harassment policy, written by Esther Filderman and Beth Lynn Eicher

  • Con Anti-Harassment Project

  • Mary Gardiner, Valerie Aurora, Sarah Smith, and Donna Benjamin, who generalized the policies and added supporting material

  • Many members of LinuxChix, Geek Feminism and other groups who contributed to this work

This code of conduct was adopted by 11-0 vote of online participants, October 23, 2014.

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