WUSC brings together a diversity of people from across the country (and the world!) and we often have sensitive issues to discuss. Here are some inclusivity tips and guidelines* to consider to help build a safer and more positive space for everyone!
*Inspired by the Canadian Council for Refugees “Tips for an Inclusive Consultation”
What is your social location? Do you have certain privileges not enjoyed by others as a result? If so, how can you help mitigate the power imbalance between yourself and others?
Who speaks the most often in group discussions? Are there individuals whose opinions are expressed or reflected more often than others? How can you help to make the space more participatory?
Have you been involved with WUSC for a long time? How can you encourage and support those newer to the organization to be leaders?
Keep in mind that there are many ways to participate in discussions. If people are quiet, it does not mean they are not engaged.
Keep track of how often you speak in a group discussion. Take into account how your social location could contribute to this (i.e. your comfort with the language, your gender, culture, etc.)
If you are speaking on behalf of the people you work with (i.e. do not belong to the group being discussed), be aware of the line between their experience and your interpretation of their experience.
Avoid making assumptions about who is taking part in the discussion. Don’t assume that members of a group being discussed are not present to speak for themselves.
Wait for others to finish speaking before jumping in.
Pay attention to the kind of language you are using. Is it empowering? Respectful? Accessible and easy to understand?
To counterbalance the power dynamics between SRP students and Local Committee members, don’t use any possessive pronoun to refer to the SRP student(s) on your campus (e.g. "our", "my")
When participating to WUSC gathering, respect the privacy of your Local Committee members and please don’t mention any names in public.