This set of principles articulates the values of the Capital Area Archivists and lays out the ways that we want to treat each other. This evolving document not only expresses expectations for our interactions, systems of accountability, and means of care; it is also a space for us to aspire to make our small part of the archival community just and inclusive.
We acknowledge that the CAA, our affiliated institutions, and the profession is predominantly white. We also recognize that we must actively work against the intersecting structures of white privilege, misogyny, patriarchy, ableism, heteronormativity, and other forms of oppression that are prevalent in all of the spaces where we work. We acknowledge that this work is hard, that we don’t always have all the answers, that progress is uneven, and that some of our aspirations (including centering disability justice and racial justice in our work and membership) are at the moment not explicitly part of the work of our group. We do, however, commit to doing the work of equity and justice not only by interrupting oppressive individual behaviors but also by fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment that supports our values and goals: making archival resources, knowledge and the profession accessible, and building a vibrant, inclusive, and supportive community that collectively develops, and improves archives and the archival profession. We acknowledge that our work and stewardship is critical to preserving a wide array of cultural heritage and scholarly materials.
The following code of conduct applies to our interactions across many online and interpersonal/face-to-face spaces and encounters, including our Archives Dinner annual event, discussions, and conferences or other events where we are representing the CAA or related projects. This code of conduct governs how we want to relate to one another as well as how we want to treat and be treated by collaborators external to the CAA. We commit to iterate on this code as we grow, revisiting and revising it periodically. The CAA Governance Group will review these principles yearly, consider any new suggestions, and vote on any additions, changes, or deletions.
CAA Code of Conduct
The CAA conducts its work via online spaces as well as in-person meetings. We are dedicated to providing collaborative experiences that are free from all forms of harassment, and inclusive of all people no matter what the platform or physical space. We expect that our members and collaborators will:
- Be humane and welcoming in all forms of communication, especially remote communication, where opportunities for misunderstanding are greater.
- Listen as much as speaking and remember that colleagues may have expertise of which others may be unaware.
- Encourage and yield the floor to those whose viewpoints may be under-represented in a group.
- Respect pronouns (making sure also that there is space to provide pronouns) and favor gender-inclusive collective nouns (“people,” not “guys” or “ladies”).
- Encourage and make space for those who want to acknowledge indigenous land and current indigenous communities.
- Accept critique graciously and offer it constructively, and give credit where it is due.
- Avoid and interrupt microaggressions.
- Ensure that our online and physical meeting spaces, activities, and shared content are universally accessible (rooms, audio/video setups, presentation material, publications).
- Document meetings and decisions thoroughly and communicate decisions in a timely manner.
- Pay attention to religious observances when scheduling events.
Harassment of any kind within a CAA activity space (virtual or physical) is forbidden; harassment can include “unwelcome or offensive verbal comments (including jokes) or nonverbal expressions related to: age; appearance or body size; employment or military status; ethnicity; gender identity or expression; individual lifestyles; marital status; national origin; physical or cognitive ability; political affiliation; sexual orientation; race; or religion. Harassment can also include use of sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online); deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; bullying behavior; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.” (DLF Code of Conduct, https://www.diglib.org/about/code-of-conduct/)
Methods of Accountability
We are all (everyone in CAA, working with CAA, or attending one of our events) responsible for upholding the Code of Conduct and interrupting abuse, microaggressions, harassment, and other violations of the Code. In many cases we can shift behaviors in this way, and victims may not feel the need to make a formal report (although you are always welcome to do so). You can always ask anyone in the CAA to support you in shifting the behaviors of colleagues and interrupting harassment.
Within the CAA community, each member of the Governance Group is responsible for ensuring that community members adhere to and respect the Code of Conduct. During CAA events, the event organizers (who will clearly identify themselves) are responsible for ensuring participants are safe. Formal reports of violations can be taken by any member of the Governance Group or event organizers during CAA events. Reports must be taken in accordance with the CAA Procedures for Responding to Violations of the Code of Conduct.
Attendees and/or CAA members within virtual or in-person meetings who violate these rules may be asked to leave the event/space or online activity by either the event organizer or the CAA Governance Group Members.