This statement was drafted together on unceded and occupied Coast Salish territory (Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh nations) by members of Downtown Eastside United’s capacity building committee as a first step in creating anti-oppressive and safer spaces in committee meetings and general membership meetings and has been altered by viet* collective for community justice and The Anti Oppression Network.
We live in an oppressive society that is set up to purposefully divide us by giving power and privilege to some people and at the expense of everyone else. Because there are many kinds of oppression, we are all participating in some form of oppression and perpetuating it. This means that when we get together to organize, we also must work together to diminish the effects of oppression in everything we do (for example: committee work, general membership meetings, community actions/events, etc.) and includes what we say and how we behave around each other. We will actively work on this by acknowledging that all our meeting spaces are intentionally safer spaces as well as by having at the least two anti-oppression workshops a year. The first workshop will take place as soon as an official steering committee/board is formed. We all bear a responsibility in upholding a safer space, and we are all accountable to each other. However, we are not here to exclude each other or abandon each other. As long as we are willing to learn, we are here to help each other through the process of unlearning oppression through restorative justice.
Conflict Resolution Process:
If a member experiences a violation (emotional, physical, verbal, and/or sexual) of the constitution and/or the anti-oppression statement, then a conflict resolution process involving third party mediators experienced in mediation is formed and spearheaded by the person who experienced the violation. The group of mediators (conflict resolution committee) should be no less than three people and no more than five.
The process for conflict resolution is as follows:
- The conflict is brought to the steering committee/board by any general member
- If needed, the person who experienced the violation has a right to speak to (request) the immediate suspension of the person who committed the violation, which will be enforced by the steering committee/board, until a resolution involving the conflict resolution committee has been reached
- The steering committee/board will strike a conflict resolution committee by nominating three to five members who are not involved in the conflict and are experienced in mediation. The conflict resolution committee has a week to ten days to form and begin a conflict resolution process.
- The conflict resolution committee will create a conflict resolution process with the leadership of the person who experienced the violation
- The conflict resolution committee will inform the person who committed the violation of what the conflict resolution process will look like and who will be involved, as well as update them on the progress in a timely manner
- Once a resolution has been reached, that has been agreed on by the person who experienced the violation, the resolution is reported back to the steering committee/board and general membership
- Personal information is not shared on camera
- Phone numbers and email addresses are not shared without consent
- Passwords for websites and emails are held in trust by those assigned by the steering committee/board
- Conflict resolution progress kept confidential to those uninvolved
- Paper contract must be signed by members of the steering committee/board and general membership
- Contravening the confidentiality policy calls for an immediate removal from group and/or a suspension of 3 – 6 months; a year to indefinite at the discretion of steering committee/board and membership and is ratified by the membership.
** This is not an exhaustive process and is meant to serve as a sample, suggestion, and/or stepping stone for a more robust, sustainable, and relevant process developed by any individual, group or organization who wishes to use this as a starting point in developing conflict resolution processes which meets their specific needs. **
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