Friday, November 4, 2011

Safety protocols

The #OccupyPortland Interfaith Guild of Chaplains
Safety Protocols

Preamble: As a group of clergy, religious workers, seminarians, and spiritual practitioners, coming from varied and diverse backgrounds, positioned to work among a unique, diverse and radical community, the Interfaith Guild of Chaplains requires flexibility, out-of-the-box thinking, innovation and abilities to address issues and propose solutions in manners that do not replicate the oppressive and divided social norms that create much of the ills of today’s world.  As a unconventional, radical group of chaplains embarking on a mission into a uncharted territory of the new world, we nevertheless have a duty to ensure that our sacred space is also a safe, inclusive space for all, and also acknowledge in humility that we too are humans with our own needs and limitations, and therefore self-care is an important part of what we do.  As such, we the member chaplains of the Interfaith Guild of Chaplains, in joint consensus, have established the following basic protocols for the safety of our chaplains, safety of the community, as for the safety of the movement.

1. We acknowledge that each of us possesses different types, areas, and levels of education and experiences.  Our capacities vary and we are engaged in this work as our capacities allow.  We do not pressure our fellow members to take upon more work than they are able.  We do not encourage behaviors that lead to burn-out of our members.

2. Our services, meetings, events and any other functions, whether facilitated, hosted or sponsored collectively, or by an individual member chaplain in her or his own capacity, are hereby declared a safe space:
This means that we do not tolerate
    1. use of narcotics, cannabis, or alcohol except for strictly religious, ritual use as recognized;
    2. smoking of tobacco products;
    3. intoxication or being under an obvious influence of narcotics;
    4. use of abusive, aggressive or degrading language;
    5. display of homophobic, sexist, classist, racist, ethnocentric, xenophobic, able-ist, age-ist or any other oppressive behaviors;
    6. use of physical or psychological violence;
    7. display of sexual behaviors and unsolicited touch, as well as sexual harassment;
    8. religious intolerance, including intolerance towards atheists and agnostics.

3. We do not work directly with children and adolescents under the age of 18 unless they are accompanied by their parent or legal guardian; or inside the Kids’ Camp under staff supervision.

4. Whenever possible we work in a “buddy system” in a group of more than two chaplains.

5. We do not work in a private area or in a residential tent.  All chaplain works are done in the public and common areas.  If this is not possible due to an emergency, ask a Safety, a Medical, a Legal, or a Mental Health committee member to accompany.

6.  We do not use violence or aggression as means to solve conflicts.

7.  Everything that is said to a chaplain on duty is considered confidential and privileged.  We do not divulge or violate confidential communications.
a. In pursuant to the Oregon law, we are required to report cases of child and elder abuses to the Oregon Department of Human Services.


Attestation of understanding

I, the undersigned, as a condition for my enrollment and registration as an active member chaplain in good standing of the #OccupyPortland Interfaith Guild of Chaplains (IGC), hereby attest that I have read and understood this document in its entirety, and affirm that I will observe and uphold the Safety Protocols as outlined herein, both while on my official duty and also while I am on the #OccupyPortland encampment grounds or while participating in any #OccupyPortland-related (whether or not officially approved by the General Assembly) event even while off-duty.  I understand that violation of the Safety Protocols may result in my suspension or termination of membership in the IGC.  I also affirm my understanding that, where applicable, I will conduct myself at all times in manners consistent with the professional standards established by my denomination, ordaining or licensing agency, church or any similar institution of my affiliation.  Furthermore, I affirm that I will hold no other parties liable for any incidents or damages caused by my misconducts, including the IGC and the #OccupyPortland.

Date: _____________________________

Signature: _________________________________

Print name: ________________________________

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