Family Week Equity Statement
This year at Family Week, we invite everyone to engage with us, one another and as a family on the Equity Statement. Engagement and discussion come in many forms. Family Equality Council and COLAGE invite you and your family to -
- Read the full Equity Statement online, in both organizations' Program Books, or in the Family Week app.
- Discuss and reflect on the guiding principals and best practices outlined in the Equity Statement. You can do this individually, as a family, or with peers.
- Read our abbreviated Equity Statement poster and sign your name! The poster will be at events throughout Family Week.
Family Equality Council and COLAGE affirm all people and celebrate our different and intersecting perspectives and identities including, but not limited to, age, culture, ability, ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and citizenship status. We are continually taking steps to become more supportive and accessible organizations that value diversity and incorporate anti-oppression into all of our actions and policies. We know that such an effort takes intentionality and feedback, and that it is an ongoing process. Thank you for your patience and support.
Family Week is a time when we celebrate, value, and respect the diversity of our community and our families. In the spirit of equity and accessibility for all participants, we encourage attendees to consider the following guiding principles:
- Respect personal boundaries, and do not ask unnecessary or potentially intrusive questions. If someone wishes to end the conversation, respect them, and honor their request.
- Recognize the role that language plays in marginalization, and be intentional in how you speak to and about other people.
- Be a supportive member of our community by attending workshops, seeking out resources, and speaking out if you see racism, classism, ableism, misogyny, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, or other forms of oppression.
- Do not make assumptions about anyone's identity or assume that one person is representative of an entire group.
- Use caution with flash photography, as it can trigger seizures or other medical and emotional symptoms.
- Ask people of all ages for permission before taking their picture or including them in your video. "Photo-Shy" badges are also available at registration for any attendee, including those for whom having their photo taken may be unlawful or unsafe.
- Engage one another in dialogue, honor consent and bodily autonomy, and use nonviolent and restorative practices for conflict resolution.
- Assume best intention for everyone’s actions, and understand the difference between intent and impact.
- Do not assume racial, ethnic, or national backgrounds.
- Keep in mind that not all racial and ethnic identities are visible.
- Respect people's right to self-identify.
- If you are light skinned, be mindful of your light skinned privilege, and use your privilege to support black and brown attendees.
- Be cognizant of and refrain from cultural appropriation in fashion, language, hairstyles, and customs, such as, but not limited to, non-indigenous people wearing headdresses, blackface, non-black individuals using black slang and African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), non-black folks with dreadlocks and cornrows, and non-indigenous individuals practicing indigenous traditions and ceremonies without an indigenous guide or support.
- Do not assume that English is the primary language for all attendees. Be supportive of people who speak other languages and/or have an accent by engaging in conversations with positive body language and confirming information shared with a goal to seek understanding and support differences.
- Do not assume economic status or class.
- Be respectful of all families attending Family Week. Families come from a wide range of backgrounds and social classes. Do not assume that everyone can afford all expenses at Family Week. For those interested, you can support the Family Equality Council and COLAGE scholarship programs at registration or online.
Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity/Expression
- Do not assume anyone's sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Respect individuals’ right to self-identify or not identify with any label.
- Do not assume anyone's sexual orientation on the basis of their current relationship or the gender expression of their partner.
- Ask people their name and pronouns, and address them as such until they inform you otherwise. If you don’t know a person’s gender pronoun, use their name until you confirm with them.
- When addressing a large group of people, use gender-neutral language (ex. “Welcome, everyone!”)
- Recognize that in bathrooms, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals have historically faced harassment or violence. Respect everyone's right to choose the bathroom they feel most comfortable using.
- Listen to transgender and gender nonconforming people’s needs and stories when they are volunteered, but respect privacy and boundaries by avoiding unnecessary questions.
- Remember that not all levels of ability are visible. Everyone has a right to use the accommodations that they need without being criticized or questioned.
- Do not pet, offer food to, or interact with service animals such as guide dogs in any way, including questioning their use or purpose.
- When speaking to someone using a sign language interpreter, address the person you are speaking with, not the interpreter. If an interpreter is not present, you can use pen and paper or a cell phone to communicate through text to ask the person their preferred method of communication and use it.
- Refrain from using words that contribute to systems of ableism which have historically been used to harass and oppress people with disabilities. Understand that the best practice is to put the person first and use the term "person(s) with a disability". However, be mindful that others may have different preferences. If you are not sure what words to use, ask.
- If you have questions, concerns, or need assistance regarding access, please contact a Family Equality Council (in orange) or COLAGE staff member (in blue).
- Do not assume anyone’s age.
- Recognize all people’s opinions, experiences, and autonomy, no matter their age.
- Recognize that religious identities are not always visible. Do not assume someone's religion based on perceived ethnic identity, clothing/garb, or any other factor.
- Religious identities are valid and personal. Feel free to share information about your faith or non-faith as you feel comfortable, and be open to learning something new.
- Do not assume a specific level of observance or adherence to faith.
- Do not assume that a person has a specific political belief based on their religious identity.
- Be aware of the distinction between religious groups and acts of hate performed by religious extremists of any faith.
This statement cannot possibly be all-encompassing and, as such, we encourage you to check out our website for more information and to engage in more conversation throughout the week. Share feedback in the post-Family Week survey or talk with Family Equality Council or COLAGE staff.