This winter, the RHAP team developed a brief list of guidelines to help us hold safety, equity, and support at the forefront of our meeting spaces, online activities, and community. These guidelines are just a few examples of the values that we strive to uphold as we continue to grow our community and push for reproductive access and justice for all.
We are excited to present these Community Guidelines, listed below and on our website, and welcome your feedback as we continue to reflect on our positionality, both as individuals and an organization. If you have any questions or other thoughts on our community agreements, please feel free to share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. By entering this space, attendees agree to uphold RHAP’s values.
- Reaffirm our organizational statement on Black Lives Matter
- Recognize the historical and ongoing influence of white supremacy in the medical field, and acknowledge our power and participation in this structure as a primarily white-led organization
- Center the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) clinicians, patients, and advocates
- Commit to ongoing reflection and growth, as well as calling in and supporting others in this process.
3. Use gender-neutral and inclusive language. We recognize and celebrate reproductive health care as an essential part of health care for people of all genders, including– but not limited to– cisgender women.
- Don’t assume someone else’s gender or pronouns, whether they are a colleague, patient, or anyone else connected to the space.
- When in doubt, use gender-neutral language or ask. Click here to learn more about why using the correct pronouns is important, and how to get started!
4. Avoid using physician-centric language and exclusionary professional acronyms
- Unless a topic is specific to physicians, use intentional language (“clinicians” in place of “doctors”) to be inclusive of the nurses, physician assistants, midwives, students, and other clinicians who are an essential part of this work.
- When in a space with clinicians from different geographic and professional backgrounds, strive for clarity and inclusivity by using full phrases like Continuing Education instead of CE, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine instead of STFM, and so on.
5. Be mindful of ableist terms and phrases
- American culture and language have long excluded and othered people with disabilities. Though often inadvertent, the use of ableist language can be extremely damaging. It is important to find alternatives to words and expressions with roots in ableism, such as these.
6. Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements
The Reproductive Health Access Project’s office and the majority of its full-time staff are located on the unceded land of the Lenape peoples (Lenapehoking). We acknowledge and respect the Lenape peoples, elders, and ancestors past, present, and future. As much of our work takes place beyond the Homeland of the Lenape peoples, we also acknowledge and pay respect to all the Indigenous communities who have stewarded the land, and to their ongoing cultural, spiritual, and intellectual contributions. The Reproductive Health Access Project was founded upon the exclusion and erasures of many Indigenous peoples and we are committed to collaborating with and centering the needs of Indigenous communities as we work toward dismantling the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism. Learn more about the Lenape peoples and donate to the Lenape Center here.
- We encourage you to educate yourself on the history of genocide and mass displacement by white colonialists, and the ways in which white supremacy continues to oppress Indigenous peoples within and beyond their place of work and residence. Land acknowledgements should be motivated by a genuine respect for Indigenous nations and communities. Learn more here.
7. Respect the tech!
- Mute yourself when you are not speaking, and listen to those who are with patience and respect.
- For those comfortable, we encourage you to change your Zoom display name to: Name, pronouns, location during calls. Example: Lily Trotta, she/they, New York
- While we appreciate when attendees keep their cameras on during video calls, please be respectful of the privacy of those who prefer not to do so.