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Equity, Access & Inclusion

Lark's Discussion Guidelines

Adapted from the work of many including artEquity, Theatre Communications Group, and Everyday Democracy

The Lark holds discussions with the goal of creating an organization where everyone in our community feels welcome, heard and whole.  It is important for us to have communication guidelines that help to create a safe environment that encourages the sharing of differing perspectives and opinions.

The following guidelines may be helpful:

  • What is said here stays here, but what is learned here leaves here
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Active listening is essential
  • Listen for understanding, not in order to debate
  • Acknowledge power dynamics and imbalances inside and outside of the room
  • Be aware of your privileges
  • Be present
  • Be honest
  • Assume good intentions but acknowledge impact
  • Ask clarifying questions if something is not clear
  • Educating others is a choice.  We encourage self-education
  • Agree to disagree, but please do not disengage
  • Use I statements and avoid generalizations
  • Acknowledge that communication differences may be cultural (or may not be)
  • Address conflict directly if it arises – see it as a learning opportunity
  • Recognize everyone has different levels of comfort speaking in groups and be mindful of creating room and space for others to engage
  • Feel free to pass
  • Discomfort often precedes learning.  Take risks
  • Note your emotional response and take care of yourself accordingly
  • If you need a moment, take a moment
  • Affirmations are encouraged