Unity Statements

Michigan Women of Color Collective Unity Statements

These are principles that guide all M-WoCC spaces (tea circles, events, Facebook group, etc.). It is a living document so please feel free to add to it!

  1. Confidentiality
  2. This is a BRAVE space. Moving beyond a “safe space” in that we want to create a space where people are supported in being brave. “To be brave means being vulnerable, being authentic, and speaking our truth even when we aren’t sure it is our truth or even when it might reveal our own oppressive socialization AND being open to others bravely sharing their experiences of us and holding us accountable so that we all may learn and grow.”
  3. Sit with your discomfort. Don’t leave unless you feel unsafe. Work through your discomforts.
  4. Call people in, not out.
  5. 5 seconds first. Leave at least five seconds of silence after someone finishes speaking (to leave time for reflection, processing, and affirmation that we’re listening before potentially changing subject).
  6. Contribute. Give as much as you take. A lot of times when people share they are retriggering/victimizing themselves by discussing things difficult to speak about. Respect that others are opening up and try to share in the ways that you can too.
  7. Explore multiple perspectives of a topic. Don’t look at it or have a conversation be guided from one lens (especially when your identity is not directly targeted/impacted by the topic at hand).
  8. Only speak to your own identities and experiences. Do not speak on behalf of other individuals or communities.
  9. Preferred Gender Pronouns. Address people the way they want to be addressed (ask, don’t assume).
  10. Give trigger warnings. Do not say or post blatantly racist/sexist triggering things (even if the intention is to educate or condemn).
  11. Intent vs. impact–understand and address both.
  12. Don’t center yourself when someone is sharing/speaking. Allow for healing time. Allow for their story to be about them and not you.
  13. Your emotions are valid. All of you is welcome (your tears, your smiles, your loud laughter, etc.). 

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