Safer Space Policy

By their very nature, zine events bring together people of all ages from different ethnic, gender, socio-economic, educational, religious, language and cultural backgrounds as well as a wide range of states of physical and mental health. In order to welcome all who wish to participate in Milwaukee Zine Fest (MZF) events and minimize potential conflict, we offer this statement as a means of providing suggested responsibilities for all in attendance and voicing the expectations we have for resolving conflicts and preventing future ones not only at this event but in the broader zine community.

MZF organizers (who can be identified by their «Organizer» buttons) are willing to assist in mediation of any situation brought to their attention. We assume the positive intent of all participants and will not censor any work or materials distributed by tablers nor
can we anticipate potential problems. Instead, we encourage all MZF participants to take active responsibility in directly challenging oppressive situations, aggressive behavior, or use of language that intentionally or inadvertently serves to demean, marginalize, ridicule or harm anyone in attendance at MZF events. Our suggestion is to be as assertive as possible through use of ''I'' statements to express your feelings and reactions while engaging in dialog to challenge questionable intent or actions. If your words or actions are called into question, we expect you to listen thoughtfully to the concerns of all parties and respond with appropriate respect and abide by decisions made through mediation by consensus.

Our aim is not to directly expel anyone who participates in oppressive behaviors, rather our intent is to diffuse any problematic situation and create teachable moments where organizers and participants can deconstruct the incident that caused distress to insure they are not repeated and that offenders are aware of the consequences of their words and actions and play a role in ending oppressive conduct. We also call upon everyone to share freely of their own experiences and wisdom in methods to end oppression by expressing opinions and contributing to any mediation or workshops designed to foster ongoing discussions about effective strategies toward creating safer spaces for all.


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