Code of Conduct
- Be Friendly And Welcoming
- Be Respectful Including Being Mindful Of How Much Space You’re Taking Up
- Be Careful In The Words And Actions You Choose – Physical, Sexual And Verbal Harassment Are Unacceptable
- Help Create Welcoming, Inclusive, Safe(r) Space For People From Diverse Backgrounds – Don’t Discriminate Against Others Because Of Their Identity (Race, Gender, Sexuality, Age, Class Background, Ability, Religion And More)
- Be Present
- Try Your Best
- Have Fun
What makes this organization so special is our community.
The Canada Learning Code community is made up of a combination of professionals and volunteers from all over the country, working on every aspect of our mission – including designing experiences, mentoring, teaching, and building local communities.
Diversity is one of our huge strengths, but different perspectives can sometimes lead to communication issues, misunderstanding, and disagreements. And as our community continues to grow, evolve and thrive we think it’s important to be clear about our values for everyone who is currently part of or will join our community.
To that end, this code of conduct sets out the core values and behaviours that govern Canada Learning Code spaces. When we demonstrate these values and behaviours, we build a community that does incredible work and supports people of all backgrounds and identities.
This code of conduct is built on the understanding and commitment that we can and we should uphold ourselves to the highest standards that are designed to strengthen community trust and confidence in our work and the experiences we deliver and participate in. The principles set out in the Code of Conduct guide the work we do.
This code applies equally to employees, contractors, Chapter Leads, instructors, mentors, volunteers and anyone that participates in our Canada Learning Code community. This code of conduct does not answer every question that is going to come up. Rather, to be interpreted in the spirit in which it’s intended – a guide to make it easier to enrich all of us and the national community in which we participate. This code of conduct applies equally to all spaces managed by Canada Learning Code. This includes all in-person and online spaces such as workshops, meetups, mailing lists and Facebook communities.
Nothing in this code is meant to conflict with Canada Learning Code’s organizational obligations to its team under its employment contracts. Similarly, some team members may have professional obligations and should seek clarification from both their manager and their professional associations in the case of a perceived conflict.
Our Shared Values & Expected Behaviours
Be friendly and patient
Most of the learners who attend our experiences are complete beginners wanting to learn a new skill and for some, that can be daunting. We value creating a positive learning environment based on friendliness and patience with learners who might struggle with the learning the content, navigating their computer or dealing with technology failures.
We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, colour, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability. Some of our programs (ie. Ladies Learning Code, Girls Learning Code, and Teens Learning Code) specifically prioritize women, girls (cis and trans) and non-binary individuals because these groups are currently underrepresented in the tech industry. Those who identify outside of these groups are welcome to attend, but should be aware that our effort has gone into meeting the unique needs of each program’s target community
Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect others, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Also, remember that we’re a national community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language. Some of our programs (ie. Ladies Learning Code, Girls Learning Code, and Teens Learning Code) specifically prioritize women, girls (cis and trans) and non-binary individuals because these groups are currently underrepresented in the tech industry. Those who identify outside of these groups are welcome to attend, but should be aware that our effort has gone into meeting the unique needs of each program’s target community.
Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Members of the Canada Learning Code community should be respectful when dealing with other members as well as with people outside the Canada Learning Code community. Being respectful includes:
- Respect others when they are speaking including when an instructor is leading a workshop and we might be mentoring
- Be mindful of how much time and space you’re taking up. Have others had a chance to ask questions or share their perspectives?
- Ensure that all property (including cash or cheque donations, documents, inventory and equipment) in our care as part of our role is properly secured and protected at all time
- Handling sensitive and confidential information/situations with care and disclose only in accordance with the law
Be careful in the words and actions that you choose
We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Violent threats or language directed against another person.
- Discriminatory jokes and language.
- Posting sexually explicit or violent material.
- Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
- Personal insults, especially those using racist, sexist terms, ableist (ie. stupid), homophobic (ie. that’s gay), transphobic, or classist
- Unwelcome sexual attention.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
- Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.
- Misgendering someone intentionally when provided pronouns
- Not making assumptions about a person’s pronouns based on their perceived gender expression. If an pronoun assumption is made and you are corrected, humbly apologize, but do not dwell, as this can also make individuals feel uncomfortable/unwelcome.
When we disagree, try to understand why
Disagreements happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Remember that we are different. The strength of Canada Learning Code comes from its varied community, people from a wide range of backgrounds. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes. We take an action-oriented and forward looking approach. We are reminded to look at our own role in a minor disagreement and work towards solutions wherever possible.
Be honest and transparent
We must be open, honest and transparent in the work we do. Where there might be a conflict between our personal interests and those of the community we disclose that fact immediately and seek guidance from our managers. We abide by the laws and organization policies.
Creates spaces free from violence, abuse and harassment
Canada Learning Code believes in the prevention of violence, abuse and harassment and promotes violence-free physical and online spaces in which all people respect one another and work together. Unwelcome words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating or demeaning or behaviour that intimidates isolates or even discriminates against the a member of our community will not be tolerated. Canada Learning Code will terminate the participation of any individual who admits to, is convicted of, or is otherwise found to have engaged in such conduct. Behaviours that are not acceptable and will not be tolerated include:
- Harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, class, gender identity, sexuality, religion, or ethnic background is not tolerated
- Making remarks, jokes or innuendos that demean, ridicule, intimidate, or offend
- Mistreatment of a young person by use of physical contact intended to cause pain, injury, or other physical suffering or harm
- Incidents in which an adult uses fear, humiliation, or verbal assaults to control the behavior of a young person in their care.
- Verbally abusive behaviours, such as yelling, insults, and name-calling
- Engaging in implicit or explicit sexual acts or forcing or encouraging a person to engage in implicit or explicit sexual acts alone or with another person of any age of the same or opposite sex
- Sexual epithets, jokes, written or spoken references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, and comments about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature
- Display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or drawings
- Sexual leering or whistling, any inappropriate physical contact such as brushing against or touching, obscene language or gestures, and suggestive or insulting comments.
- Spreading malicious rumours
- Excluding or ignoring someone
- Sabotaging someone else’s work
- Making false allegations about someone in memos or other work-related documents
- Displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in print or electronically;
- Repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or e-mails
- Even if no one is being directly targeted, words or actions can negative impact the community environment, making it a hostile or uncomfortable place in which to work.
Reasonable action or conduct by an employer, manager or supervisor that is part of their normal work function would not be considered workplace harassment. This is the case even if there are sometimes unpleasant consequences for an employee. Examples could include changes in assignments, work location, scheduling, job assessment and evaluation, having work monitored or checked, workplace inspections, enforcement of a dress codes and disciplinary action. Accidental situations – such as an employee tripping over an object and pushing a co-worker as a result – do not constitute workplace violence within the meaning of this code.
What happens if someone violates the Code of Conduct?
Our intent is that the anyone in the community can stand up for this code, and direct people who are unaware to this document. If that doesn’t work, or if you need more help, you can contact email@example.com or submit anonymously at bit.ly/clcreporting. Canada Learning Code’s Code of Conduct Committee will review and respond to all reports. All reports will be kept confidential. Please consider including the following in your report:
- Your contact information
- Identifying information of who has violated the code of conduct
- The behavior that was in violation
- The approximate time of the behavior
- If possible, where the code of conduct violation happened
- The circumstances surrounding the incident
- If there is a publicly available record (i.e. Facebook post), please include a link
- Any additional helpful information.
If you believe you or anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them. If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is covered by this Code of Conduct, we encourage you to still report it. We will not look negatively on you if we find the incident is not a violation. Knowing about incidents that are not violations, or happen outside our spaces, can also help us to improve the Code of Conduct or the processes surrounding it.
Code of Conduct Committee
The Code of Conduct Committee is comprised of at least three members of the Canada Learning Code team and overseen by the Board of Directors. The board will review membership on a regular basis.
How the committee will respond to reports
When a report is sent to the committee they will immediately reply to the report to confirm receipt. This reply will be sent within 24 hours and may ask for more information. The working group must agree on a resolution by consensus. If the group cannot reach consensus in a week, the group will turn the matter over to the board for resolution. Possible responses may include:
- Taking no further action (if we determine no violation occurred) and consider:
- Revise the CoC to include the reported action (if action was deemed inappropriate)
- Arrange for a conflict-resolution session with a committee member and all parties involved (if parties are willing to do so)
- Any other actions that might make an individual feel safer in the community
- A private reprimand from the working group to the individual(s) involved. In this case, the group chair will deliver that reprimand to the individual(s) over email, cc’ing the group.
- A public reprimand. In this case, the group chair will deliver that reprimand in the same venue that the violation occurred. The group may choose to publish this message elsewhere for posterity
- An imposed vacation (i.e. asking someone to “take a week off” from a mailing list or volunteering at programs). The group chair will communicate this “vacation” to the individual(s). They’ll be asked to take this vacation voluntarily, but if they don’t agree then a temporary ban may be imposed to enforce this vacation
- A permanent or temporary ban from some or all Canada Learning Code spaces. The group will maintain records of all such bans so that they may be reviewed in the future
- A request for a public or private apology
Any of the parties directly involved or affected can request reconsideration of the committee’s decision. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and dedication to our organization and the important work that we do. Thanks to Speak Up! Project, Django and Dames Making Games for inspiration for this Code of Conduct and some original text.