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"Working Our Way Home:
'We are the people we've been waiting for'"

Accountability Statement
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Accountability Statement

 

We subtitled the conference with a reference to June Jordan’s quote “We are the People We’ve Been Waiting For” to remind ourselves that we have to be accountable for supporting each other and ourselves to build our communities. In order for WOWH to be successful, we must have community interests in mind in addition to our personal interests as conference attendees and organizers. The conference centers around people of African descent who would welcome a conversation of our sexualities and genders that are as complex as the rest of our lives. The conference also welcomes those who do not identify in these ways. We hope everyone enjoys participating fully in WOWH, and we expect that participants will not make assumptions about how other participants identify. Regardless of how we know individuals identify, everyone at WOWH is part of multiple communities that overlap and intersect. Participants are expected to allow people to bring all of their identities and complexities, and recognize our differences and privileges. As Audre Lorde wrote: “Difference must be…seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” Part of the goal of the conference is to find both the ways we are distinct and the similarities in our work. Supporting our whole communities and the people within them helps us work toward a more socially just society.

 

Participants are accountable for upholding the mission. If participants, volunteers, or organizers create such a negative disruption that they disturb the conference community or people’s ability to participate in and enjoy the conference, they will be asked to leave for the sake of community health.

 

There are many ways to be accountable in our actions. Some of them may include:

s       Maintaining an awareness of how we engage with each other, how we’re communicating, how much we speak compared to other participants, and who isn’t speaking and what issues aren’t being addressed – and considering why.

s       Being willing to put ourselves out there while also setting our own limits and expecting that other people will respect them.

s       Recognizing that we are all surviving multiple kinds of violence – physical and non-physical, personal and institutional – and treating each other with the respect and sensitivity that demands.

 

Working_Our_Way_Home@yahoo.com / 440-775-6466