Anti-harassment policy

Shorter version

The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religionWe do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. We also expect all volunteers to respect the space we are in, which includes cleaning up after themselves, being aware of the language around the people of that space, and respecting the values and rules of the space

This code of conduct applies to all The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick spaces, including rented spaces we use and social events, and applies both online and offAnyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the RESPONSE TEAM.

Some of The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick spaces may have additional rules, which will be made available to participantsParticipants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Longer version

The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyoneWe do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. We also respect any space the community has kindly volunteered to use and the staff of that space

This code of conduct applies to all The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick spaces, including rented spaces we use and social events, and applies both online and offAnyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the RESPONSE TEAM.

Some of The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick spaces may have additional rules, which will be made available to participantsParticipants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, religion, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g., textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • A pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick prioritize marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfortRESPONSE TEAM reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia.’
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial.
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions.

Reporting:
If a member of The Alphabet Project or Midwest Nerd Chick is harassing you, you notice that someone else is being harassed, or you have any other concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the RESPONSE TEAM at If the person harassing you is on the team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incidentWe will respond as promptly as we can.

This code of conduct applies to The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick spaces, but if a member outside our spaces harasses you, we still want to know about itWe will take all good-faith reports of harassment by The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick members, especially LEADERSHIP TEAM, seriouslyThis includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that occurred at any timeThe abuse team reserves the right to exclude people from The Alphabet Project based on their past behavior, including behavior outside of The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick spaces and behavior towards people not in The Alphabet Project.

To protect volunteers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe made in bad faithReports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

We will respect confidentiality requests to protect victims of abuseAt our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints or privately warn third parties about them if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick members or the general publicWe will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Consequences:
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the RESPONSE TEAM may take any action they deem appropriate, including expulsion from all of The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other The Alphabet Project and Midwest Nerd Chick members.

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