Creating Conference Community
Our conference is a space for learning, collaboration, growth, and supporting one another as we work to create change. We invite you to be part of a culture of respect that acknowledges and honors the differences we bring in terms of our identities and our politics, without marginalizing or tokenizing each other. We can all do this by speaking from our own experiences and being respectful of differences. Our differences can be points of strength and the many diverse identities and perspectives we hold make for a stronger and more vibrant reproductive justice movement.
All of us—conference organizers, speakers, and participants—bring our varied identities to the conference. Collective Power for Reproductive Justice tries to provide the accountable and accessible spaces necessary for everyone to be able to participate in conference events. We ask that all participants help us create these accountable spaces by upholding both Collective Power’s guidelines and Hampshire College’s community norms, as our host for the conference weekend. For Collective Power, creating accountable spaces where we can learn and collaborate includes the following:
- Striving to engage in open and constructive dialogue with each other
- Using “I” statements and speaking from your own experience
- Expressing curiosity about and being open to a viewpoint that is different than yours
- Asking genuine questions for understanding
During the Conference
If you are concerned about a violation of community norms or you feel uncomfortable with another participant’s actions, please notify Collective Power staff (who are wearing staff t-shirts and name badges) with your concerns. Comments can also be shared with us via conference evaluation forms. We are invested in making sure that participants feel respected and welcome in our space at all times, and we welcome your feedback on your conference experience.
If members of the conference community feel that participants are not upholding these community norms, those participants may be asked to leave the conference. Thank you for joining us this weekend and helping us build this movement together!
Collective Power for Reproductive Justice is striving to center Disability Justice in our conference. We need your help to diminish access barriers at the conference and continue to work and build with us so that the conference is more accessible to more people each year.
Please be smoke and fragrance free to the extent that you are able to, so that beloved community members with chemical sensitivities can attend the conference.
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over even as our government is radically reducing COVID-19 precautions and aid. We are setting up expectations and requirements for our conference to reduce the spread and risk of COVID-19 which everyone will need to follow as we care for our community in this way.
- As our event is held on the campus of Hampshire College, we will follow their COVID-19 policies and safety measures, intended with care for the most vulnerable among us. This includes that masks are required in indoor events open to the public, and we are requiring all participants to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, unless they qualify for religious or medical exemption.
- We ask that you do not attend if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
- We will also have antigen (rapid) COVID-19 tests available for everyone to self-administer when you arrive at check-in.
Please register for the conference as soon as possible to reserve language and ASL Interpreters. We will organize and pay for all of these accommodations. There will be Closed Captioning at the opening and closing plenaries. Please be in touch if you have any questions or concerns – contact Al Rosewood at Al@collectivepowerrj.org
To make the space accessible for families we are working to plan onsite child care. Please register for the conference as soon as possible so we can accommodate your needs. The registration form is at the bottom of this page.
CREATING SCENT SAFER SPACE
We know that scented products, including essential oils, perfumes, and hair products, can be an important part of one’s identity, and we will not be policing anyone’s use of them. However, we ask all participants who will be in shared conference spaces over the weekend to recognize how using certain products can create access barriers in those spaces for folks who cannot tolerate exposure to chemicals and fragrance.
Here are a few preparations that you can do prior to and at the conference:
- Use fragrance free laundry detergent
- Refrain from using dryer sheets or fabric softener as they are often heavily scented
- Use fragrance free body care products (e.g. soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, sunscreen, etc.) the week of the conference, and even before that if possible.
- If you smoke or hang around people who smoke, please do so in campus-designated smoking areas, away from walking paths and building entrances, and wash our hands often to reduce residue.
You can learn more about why this is important at these resources:
- Making Space Accessible is An Act Of Love for Our Communities by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
- Fragrance free femme of colour genius by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
- Changing the Framework: Disability Justice by Mia Mingus
We invite you to read and contemplate on the concept of “Brave Space” through the poem below by Beth Strano while we are in community together:
Untitled Poem by Beth Strano
There is no such thing as a “safe space” —
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars and have caused wounds.
seeks to turn down the volume of the world outside,
and amplify voices that have to fight to be heard elsewhere,
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
It will be our space together,
and we will work on it side by side.
Written by Beth Strano