We offer the following guidelines in hopes of supporting a positive experience.
Keep in mind that while these guidelines are meant to support the container for the overall We Will Dance with Mountains experience, they specifically apply to how we interact with each other on the Mighty Networks platform.
This experience will call for you to share your stories, dreams, questions, failures, ideas, and challenges. Speak what needs to be spoken. Speak with an awareness of the impact of your contributions on the group. Please share openly and honestly while trying to stay connected with heart, mind, body, and spirit.
Stay with the trouble.
Sit with the possibility that we don’t know what’s needed and we don’t have the answers. Can we soften the urge to fix, solve, or transform our reality? Try to observe, listen and honour what is shared without trying to explain, advise, or offer solutions.
If you strongly disagree with a position, can you inquire what’s at stake for you if the other person maintains their opinion? How would it be for you if this difference could not be resolved? Does responding serve your well-being and the well-being of the whole? Does letting go feel like an option and why or why not?
If you do choose to respond, how can you do so in a way that best serves you and the whole? Are there ways of responding that invite everyone to think bigger, reframe the situation, or bring attention to something that might have been missing?
Also, keep in mind that conflict is not abuse. If conflict arises and/or someone expresses something you don’t like, consider if there are constructive ways of engaging.
Be aware that various cultures have different ways of communicating and engaging in conflict. Some may be more passive, quiet, or avoidant while others may be more direct, expressive, or assertive.
Take responsibility for yourself, your wellbeing and your boundaries.
We, the community moderators and Care Team, have no control over what is said in this space (although we reserve the right to remove any content that is hateful). We do not want anyone to be traumatized from this experience and yet, we have limited power to prevent negative interactions in this online space. We ask that you please take exquisite care of yourself and to exercise caution and discernment if you feel unsafe or hurt. You’re welcome to bring up a concern with a Care Team member and/or ask for emotional support if you feel triggered (firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s also fine to step back, redirect your attention, or even to decide that this course is not suitable for you.
Meet cultural / identity differences without making them the enemy or idol.
We don't want to use our time during this course to debate if oppression and systematic inequity exist in the world. We, as the organizers, are creating this space fully mindful of these realities, complex as they are. At the same time, we may have different language for, understandings of, and experiences with oppression and inequity, especially as they manifest differently in different parts of the world and based on our social positions.
The fact that differences between groups of humans have been used to oppress and annihilate people does not mean ignoring our differences will make these violences go away. Doing so can further create an experience of marginalization or invisibilization. Let us make room to notice our differences, the ones we were born with and the ones that human society has constructed. Aim to be reflective of and sensitive to the differences in our social contexts, our legacies, our lands, and our material conditions. As we come from many different parts of the globe, be open and curious about each other’s worlds and the social, spiritual, political, environmental, economic, and historical forces that shape it.
Also keep in mind that romanticising or idolizing marginalized cultures, including treating Indigenous and/or First Nations peoples as the bearers of salvation, is another form of othering and dehumanization.
Speak as yourself, not as someone with authority to speak on behalf of a group of people.
Be careful about universalizing your experience or making universal statements about all humans, particularly in the use of “we”.
We don’t know what we don’t know.
However much we might think we’ve broken free of dominant culture or colonized mindsets or oppressive ideologies, we remain entangled in conscious and unconscious ways. Let us be kind with each other around our places of pain and ignorance. And let us stay open and gentle with ourselves when others shine a light on things that were previously outside our awareness.
Aim for kindness, settle for curiosity or even avoidance.
We do not need to come out of this experience as friends. Still, try to be kind and compassionate to one another. If that feels too difficult, try to stay respectful and curious. If that feels too difficult, then maintain a safe distance and carry on.
Honor the stories and the learning.
Consider the personal stories that anyone has shared in the course (both during live sessions and on Mighty Networks) to be anonymous to those outside this space, unless explicitly waived.
As we hope for this community to collectively generate new learnings and questions, please honor the relational aspect of learning. Do not take ownership of other people's ideas; acknowledge them as best you can. If someone's contribution has sparked a learning or insight in you, consider reaching out to them to thank them.
Because this is not a container in which we’re able to enforce this guideline, we still ask each participant to decide what levels of personal sharing and risk feel comfortable for them.
If it feels safe enough, leap!
This experience is more likely to feel rich, generative, and full of creativity if we individually and collectively take some risks. Assess what you may be risking; if you can accept the potential hurt, then go for it!
A few last words.
In case it needs to be said, any language published in the forum that is hateful or profane directed towards a person or a group of people will be removed from Mighty Networks and we will ask someone on the Care Team to have a conversation with the person who used the language. Trolling (internet bullying) and spamming (persistently promoting content, especially content that is irrelevant) are also not welcome. If someone demonstrates behavior that is destructive to the community and does not show willingness or ability to change after a conversation, we reserve the right to ask them to leave the course.