Safer spaces

Recently, Mandy and I attended ‘Safer spaces’ training put on by our funders and partners InternetNZ and delivered by Rebecca Fraser, Trustee of the Kotare Trust. It was a useful opportunity to reflect on our own privilege and how this is influencing our work.

To quote Vanisa Dhiru, Acting Community Programme Director at InternetNZ:

“InternetNZ is doing this training to help us maximise the ability of any and everyone to participate in our events and our work. Our activity plan seeks to build a stronger membership base, and attract more people to our events – we want to attract Māori, young people, women, people with disabilities, queer, trans, and non-expert tech folk.

“However, we know we have a high risk of people speaking out of turn at these events, leading to our community members being disrespected and hurt. This is incredibly detrimental to our brand, our organisations, and our team, which is why we have Codes of Conduct and Safe Space kaupapa in place.

“In order to address any -isms or phobias as they arise, we need to be able to identify that something offensive has been said and to be able to address inappropriate behaviour. Developing the skills necessary to do this can take a long time, but the first step is to develop an understanding of oneself in relation to other people, within a society that is structured to provide different experiences of privilege and inequality.”

As part of the session we brainstormed ways to make NetHui a safer space. Lots of great ideas came out of that and I look forward to seeing how they are implemented.

Closer to home, as we re-evaluate what CCANZ is and how we operate in light of the changes afoot, we are critically evaluating who our CCANZ spaces are including and excluding, and what we can do to make our place as welcoming and safe as possible. Let us know if you have any suggestions.

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