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SHBC Code of Conduct

The Soft Heart Book Club is an online book club created to cultivate space for us to learn and grow together in an intentionally diverse space. In order for this to be effective, we need to come together with a shared intention to make this an inclusive book club. This is also a leftist book club where we believe in equity and justice for all which will be the baseline from which we expect to engage with each other. Disagreement and conflict are a natural part of engaging with difficult topics, learning, and growing, but this is expected to happen in a respectful way that centers marginalized folks and those with lived experience of the topic at hand.

To that end, here is a code of conduct that we can expect of ourselves and each other. If you see anything you think should be changed or improved, don't hesitate to reach out and bring it up. 

 1. Expected Behavior

  • Participate in an authentic and active way in conversations whether async in chat spaces or in video calls.
  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Attempt collaboration before conflict.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert the book club leader if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or any violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.

2. Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any book club member, at all related events and in one-on-one communications carried out in and out of the context of book club business.

Harassment includes: harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides); deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

In general, if you're making someone feel bad or uncomfortable and don't heed their request to stop, that's unacceptable behavior. 

3. Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any book club member will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to do so immediately. If a book club member engages in unacceptable behavior in or outside of book club, the book club leader may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the club without warning.

4. If You Witness or Are Subject to Unacceptable Behavior

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify the book club leader as soon as possible (see below for contact info).

5. Addressing Grievances

If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code of Conduct, you should notify the book club leader with a concise description of your grievance, so we can talk about it further.

6. Scope

We expect all book club members to abide by this Code of Conduct in all community venues—online and in-person—as well as in all one-on-one communications not just pertaining to book club business.

7. Contact Info

Riley Spicer,