Safer Space Policy, Rainbow Café
As defined by the Coalition for Safer Spaces, a Safer Space Policy strives to create “a supportive, non-threatening environment that encourages open-mindedness, respect, a willingness to learn from others, as well as physical and mental safety.” Thus, the Manager and Board of Directors of the Rainbow Café implement this policy to create a supportive, nonthreatening environment for all who participate. This organization is committed to creating a culture which is free of all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment. It is the policy of this organization to regard any harassment of youth, employees, volunteers, donors, members or applicants for employment as a very serious matter. Harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment at the Rainbow Cafe, or any space used by the organization for any event, by any person is strictly prohibited.
This policy is not intended to create needless intrusions on the freedom of speech or expression of individuals, or to regulate personal morality. Rather, it is intended to prevent any form of harassment in any space deemed safe by Rainbow Cafe. We want this place, or any space used by the organization, to be welcoming and engaging, and we encourage everyone – visitors, event presenters, volunteers and collective members – to be proactive in creating an atmosphere where the safety of others is validated. In this spirit, verbal harassment, violence, abuse, sexual assault and discrimination will not be tolerated. Further, conduct which causes a person to feel unsafe in regards to their person or mental well-being which is repeated after being addressed as unwanted conduct, or conduct intended to shame or lower the self-worth of an individual or individuals as part of a group is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
This policy shall be available for viewing online by anyone involved in a space or event hosted by Rainbow Cafe, included in Rainbow Cafe volunteer training, and reviewed by youth attending the Rainbow Cafe.
Everyone entering a Rainbow Cafe space or event is asked to be aware of their language and behavior, and to think about whether it might be harmful to others. We define oppressive behavior as any conduct that demeans, marginalizes, rejects, threatens or harms anyone on the basis of ability, activist experience, age, cultural background, education, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, language, nationality, physical appearance, race, religion, self-expression, sexual orientation, species, status or other such factors.
By entering the Rainbow Cafe, and/or participating in Rainbow Cafe events and activities, you agree to abide by the following guidelines:
- Respect people’s opinions, beliefs, experiences and differing points of view.
- Respect everyone’s identity and background, including pronouns and names. Do not assume anyone’s gender identity, sexual preference, survivor status, economic status, background, health, etc.
- Respect everyone’s physical and emotional boundaries. Check in before discussing topics that may be triggering (e.g. sexual abuse, physical violence or encounters with police), and use trigger warnings during presentations and events.
- Physical and/or verbal threats will not be tolerated at Rainbow Cafe or any of its events, under any circumstances. Disruptive individuals may be asked to leave the space.
- Be responsible for your own actions; be aware that your actions have an effect on others, despite what your intentions may be. Listen and change your behavior if someone tells you that you are making them uncomfortable.
- Be aware of your prejudices and privileges and the space you take up at Rainbow Café and its events.
- The collective members and staffers at Rainbow Cafe are empowered to enforce these rules. If you cannot abide by the guidelines mentioned above, Rainbow Cafe reserves the right to ask you to leave.
- If you experience harassment, abuse, or sexual assault, or if a perpetrator of sexual violence is interfering with your participation or presence at an event or in a space, please approach a Rainbow Cafe collective member or staffer whom you feel comfortable talking to in person or via email. They are here to help with any conflicts arising from the violation of our policies.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT HARASSING CONDUCT
As noted above, please inform a Rainbow Café collective member or staffer of violations to this Safer Space policy. In the event that a Rainbow Café collective member or staffer is made aware of a violation or potential violation of this policy, they will inform the Board of Directors and Board Chair as soon as possible. A prompt investigation will be conducted of each and every complaint and appropriate action will be taken. Complaints will be handled confidentially, to the extent possible. The Board of Directors has the responsibility for investigating and resolving complaints of harassment.
CONSEQUENCES OF ENGAGING IN HARASSING CONDUCT
This policy applies to all individuals involved in any Rainbow Cafe sponsored event, meeting or space. Any individual, including any supervisor or agent, who is found to have engaged in harassing conduct will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including the termination of their relationship with Rainbow Cafe. Anyone engaging in harassing conduct in any space deemed safe by Rainbow Cafe will be immediately asked to leave by the manager, a member of the board, or a volunteer if the board is unavailable. Any and all ejections from a space will be made to err on the side of the safety and wellbeing of the youth, volunteers, and members of the board of Rainbow Cafe.
NO RETALIATION OR REPRISALS
Employees, volunteers, and board members have a duty to report any harassing conduct they either experience or observe. Under no circumstances will a person be retaliated against because of a bona fide report of what they perceive to be harassing conduct.
To acknowledge and respect the voices of the youth of Rainbow Cafe, we include the following, as written by the youth of Rainbow Cafe:
Rainbow Café Youth Safe Space Policy
All youth age 13-19 are welcome at Rainbow Café, regardless of their identity. In order to protect all identities, we have established Rainbow Café as a safe space. Any non-consensual harassment against any person or identity at Rainbow Café will be immediately handled by the manager or a volunteer. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, any non-consensual, repeated physical, verbal, or nonverbal action against any body, bodies, or identities present. Repercussions for breaking the safe space policy will be determined at the time, up to and including removal from the space.
We welcome the continuing discussion about and improvement of this policy.