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BLOGTuesday, May 11, 2021
The Scala community must be a safe and welcoming place for everyone. Therefore, the Scala Center condemns behaviors that may hurt our members or that are not in line with respect for our common values of equity, diversity and inclusion.
In our current society, these values are challenged every single day. We believe that it is very important to stand up for the ones that we believe in. This is why we take any report seriously, including those that have shaken our community in the last weeks.
This highlights the role that the Scala Center, in collaboration with everyone within the Scala community, must take to prevent and correct inappropriate behaviors, as well as any kind of harassment and discrimination.
A joint responsibility of stewardship
We are a worldwide community of people from very different social, cultural, ethnical, linguistic, religious and gender identity backgrounds, across all generations. This diversity is a core strength of our community, and to keep it we must lay down clear lines that should never be crossed.
The first framework is the Scala Code of Conduct (CoC), which we ask every person to acknowledge and follow to ensure a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all.
Those who have a key role in or are the public face of our community stewardship, such as speakers, organizers, teachers, mentors, or program committee members, can have a huge impact on introducing and supporting these values, especially for newcomers.
We need everyone’s commitment to take care of our community by preventing any traumatic personal experience from happening, be it online or in person.
The Scala Center specific actions
We believe the most important thing is to offer to all of our members a safe and reliable way to report issues and decide how we are going to assess those cases and take action.
In that regard, and amongst others, we have identified that, in order to create truly safe spaces for anyone who engages in the Scala community, we must collaboratively establish:
- A clear and well-defined governance model
- A strong, well-defined reporting process
- A permanent reporting commission
- An official channel of communication for Scala event organizers and other Scala stewards to share and coordinate
Aiming to finalize by the end of 2021, we will start by:
- Leading talks within the community on various levels to identify areas of improvement and map out the needs. We will start with a Scala Community Leaders Summit in June/July 2021.
- Building stronger online and in-person policies, developing trainings, and provide resources to support stewards to implement the Scala CoC.
- Proposing a safe and trustworthy reporting process and commission. In case members need help before any reporting process is implemented, they can already contact us at Scala-CoC@epfl.ch
Moreover, the Scala Center will actively support all the people who want to act as agents of change. If you are interested in sharing your practices and concerns, as well as participating in building safer spaces in our communities, please fill in this form.
We have faith that our community, standing united, will make all the necessary changes happen, and we thank everyone for welcoming this initiative.
The Scala Center team
Disclaimer (scope of the statement)
We recognize that events and issues that allegedly occurred at and around various Scala conferences are connected to larger social issues which touch many individuals and can be triggering.
For legal reasons, this statement does not:
- mention specifics
- refer to details of the alleged abusive behavior
- link to external communication channels
- pass judgment regarding the concrete case
The following statement does aim to:
- express empathy and understanding
- call for participation in creating a better community
- propose immediate and long-term actions
The text in its entirety is created by the Scala Center organization, in consultation with the Scala Center advisory board and with the input of many community contributors who generously invested their free time to help us make it right.
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