Anti-oppression principles for global internet freedom and human rights work
Date: Monday, March 5, 2018
Time: 02:30 - 04:30 PM
Skill Level: Intermediate
Duration: 2 hour(s)
Format: Healthier Networks and Organizations
Presenter: Dia Kayyali
Other Presenters: Kaustubh Srikanth, Sarah Aoun, and Elizabeth Rivera
Please note: the term "anti-oppression" does come from US theory, but I'm using it here as shorthand since I couldn't find anything better. Human rights and Internet Freedom work isn’t exempt from the very injustices that we fight against. Being from the “global north,” having white skin, being cisgender, able-bodied, and male….these privileges and more are at play in our community. In the current political climate it’s more urgent than ever that we address these problems- and “we” need to not rely on labor from affected people. This is starting to happen. Women and nonbinary people have watched with approval the few men in our field who have put their name on pledges not to speak on “manels”- all-male panels. Codes of conduct that acknowledge the very real problem of sexual harassment are slowly becoming the norm. And travel assistance for big conferences has enabled some to attend who otherwise would not be there. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a bigger conversation about these issues that is happening behind closed doors, and you might not be a part of it- with good reason. If you’re not addressing these issues head on, you might be perpetuating them. And “you” might not be a cis white male. It’s not just about manels. It’s about skin color, income, and country. A queer woman from the US with an advanced degree. or a cis, straight person of color from Europe can still experience a lot of privilege.. There are any number of ways in which some members of our community are privileged, have more access to resources, and are taken more seriously. But the good news is, there is something we can do. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the ways in which we recurringly see privilege exert itself in our community, from not addressing sexual assault to treating people from the "Global South" as extractable resources rather than experts that deserve respect. Workshop leaders will lay the ground for the discussion by talking about some examples. The goal of the workshop is to start coming up with a set of principles- some of which already exist, such as “don’t speak on all-men panels”- that is similar to a code of conduct and that will help individuals, organizations, and event planners do better.
This session is for anyone who wants to talk about addressing injustices in our own community, but it is especially for white people. I will write a very clear description of the goals and expectations should it be accepted.
I hope to get more white people from the US and Europe understanding and addressing these issues, and maybe even form a core anti-oppression collective that works together outside of conferences.