Trust is AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF AFFINITY GROUP WORK.
Group members need to:
trust the goals of what the group is trying to accomplish;
trust that each member in the group is committed to the shared endeavour of growing, learning, and supporting each other in our personal and professional development;
trust that everyone will abide by the the discussion ground rules; and
trust that their identity and experiences will not be shared without their consent.
Discussions are not recorded. It is also expected that participants will not record discussions in any way (video or photograph) and will ensure that others who are not part of the discussion cannot witness the conversation.
You may want to share your experiences in the group discussion outside of the group. However, all participants should respect the privacy of group members by not sharing names or stories shared by others with individuals who are not part of the discussion.
Meeting from a distance over Zoom offers the incredible potential to have conversations with people from across the country. However, it also means that we lose some of the intimacy of meeting face-to-face. In order to address some of what we lose in this format, we request that all participants have their cameras on during meetings. This helps us build trust and, when we are able, benefit from cues that can be read through facial expressions and gestures used in communication.
Respect that we all come to these discussions with a different set of experiences, expectations, and beliefs. OUR TIME TOGETHER PRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY to learn from each other by engaging in difficult and meaningful discussions. As we engage in this endeavor, it is likely we all may encounter challenges to our beliefs and opinions.
To the utmost of our ability we should try to respect perspectives that differ from our own when we engage each other and the topics for discussion. It is essential that we hold each other to account and address difficult moments as they arise. This is how we learn. It is helpful when doing so to be critical of ideas rather than the individual who expresses them. While we can acknowledge intent our priority is to focus on impact.
Social justice work is extremely rewarding and challenging, and it is work that takes a different emotional toll on each person committed to this endeavour.
Out of respect for the work each of us is doing every time we meet, it is essential that every member SHOW UP. This means that, to the best of our abilities, all members are prepared to engage in each session’s content and will attend all sessions for which they have registered.
We understand that, occasionally, unforeseen circumstances might make this impossible, but we ask participants to make this social justice work a priority in their life. We hope that this is the commitment being made when signing up for a discussion group.