Respect Access Needs
Access is not an add-on; it is essential to how we organize. On a practical level, this includes things like
- striving to secure wheelchair-accessible meeting spaces,
- asking folks to come to gatherings fragrance-free,
- offering emotional support and different ways to participate for neurodivergent folks or trauma survivors who might find traditional organizing or direct action challenging,
- accommodating people who need rides or childcare, and
- generally taking care of each other.
Please see our Commitment to Accessible Organizing page for more resources.
Speak for Yourself
All NNM SURJ members are asked to be aware of how they take up space and participate in meetings. It is essential that we all speak from our own experiences as white people and not on behalf of other groups.
If you usually talk a lot, make room for other voices!
If you usually do not talk a lot, try speaking up! We want to hear your voice!
Some people talk less while others talk more. Although sometimes this can be genuine, sometimes it is the effect of systematic oppression and power structures. While we assume everyone is doing their best to be inclusive and collaborative, communication styles are learned within oppressive power structures and cultural norms, and we aim to unlearn them. “Move up, move back” is a tool used to help remind us of this, mostly at meetings, and open space for those that haven’t been as included in the conversation to speak up if they’d like to.
Call-In Instead of Calling-Out
Calling-in is a term that is used as the opposite of the term Calling-out. Calling-out is a practice that tries to hold people accountable for their behavior and often shames and excludes them from groups. Calling-in also tries to hold people accountable for their behavior but encourages people to grow at the same time as maintaining a connection to the group. We recognize that we all come from different places with our own growing edges in this work and calling in emphasizes the use of compassionate understanding. Please see the SURJ National Shared Values page for a great explanatory graphic.
Use the Grievance Process When Necessary
The Chapter Organizing Working Group is currently working on establishing a grievance process. This process will be taken to the larger group for feedback to ensure we do everything in our power to provide inclusion and accountability in our work together.