Code of Harmony and Accountability

Purpose

To establish expectations for building an inclusive and compassionate singing community.

 

Our Vision

By building a community of trans and nonbinary singers, we aim to foster an environment where changing voices are authentically embraced. Our vision is an inclusive and accessible singing community where intersecting identities are centered at all levels of the organization. Through our music, both singers and audiences are encouraged to find embodiment and connect to our full selves, physical and emotional.

Community Expectations

  1. Be respectful of each others’ time by being on time and present during rehearsals. 

  2. Be respectful of each others’ health by not coming to rehearsal if you are sick or have symptoms of contagious illness.

  3. Be respectful of each others’ identities by learning how to pronounce names correctly and using the pronouns (or lack of pronouns) that people ask for. 

  4. Be respectful of the building we are using by keeping it in good condition

Guidelines for Mutual Accountability

  1. This chorus is a place for any singer who considers themselves part of the Transgender and/or Nonbinary community. We don’t police identities or require anyone to have transitioned medically or experienced dysphoria. Trans “medicalism” is harmful to building inclusive communities and we choose instead to focus on promoting self-identification. 

  2. Social Justice is a path with many approaches and we’re not all at the same place on that journey. Please keep this in mind and bring fellow singers into community with you by focusing on improvement rather than perfection. Be open to changing your perspectives based on what you learn from others and recognize that we will all make mistakes. Accept that discomfort is necessary for growth. 

  3. People aren’t disposable. To build an inclusive community together, we recognize the value in each and every person around us. In practice, this means that it’s our responsibility to help each other understand how our actions have hurt, or have the potential to hurt, other chorus members. 

  4. If you see problematic behavior, we encourage you to kindly point out how that’s harmful and offer alternatives. Our goal is to help people improve and build a stronger community together rather than pushing people out. If you’re not comfortable addressing this directly with the person, please work with your section leader or a board member for a resolution. 

  5. Conflict is a normal part of any community and especially so in places where people may have experienced trauma. If you have a conflict with a fellow singer or leader, please attempt to compassionately resolve that conflict with the person or people involved. If you’re upset, it may be useful to take a step back and return to the topic at another time. You’re also encouraged to work with your section leader or a board member to discuss the situation prior to approaching the person or people in question. 

  6. Intention doesn’t negate impact. If you hurt others, even if you didn’t know that what you did could hurt someone, it’s your responsibility to apologize for your impact and strive to do better in the future. If you don’t feel like you have done anything wrong, we encourage you to take some reflection time in order to minimize natural defensiveness. If after reflection you still don’t understand the impact, we encourage you to work with your section leader or a board member on a path towards conflict resolution. 

  7. Intersectionality means recognizing that all of us have elements of privilege and marginalization. No one in our community is only privileged or only marginalized. Being trauma informed also means understanding that past experiences may impact how we experience and respond to a situation. Please be compassionate towards your fellow singers so that we can avoid replicating harmful “purity culture” within our community and further perpetuating trauma. 

  8. Leadership is accountable to the community but we are also members of the community ourselves. The Executive Director, Artistic Director, and Board Members are all learning along with you in our paths towards social justice. Please don’t hesitate to raise issues or identify problematic elements of the chorus with us but please do so in a compassionate manner to bring us into community with you. If you’d like to address concerns, you can speak with us in person at rehearsals or by emailing either Haven Wilvich (Executive Director) at haven@stanceseattle.org or the entire Board of Directors at board@stanceseattle.org. We’re here to listen to you. 

  9. Conflict is best resolved directly with the people involved or in conversation with mediators such as your Section Leader or a Board Member. However, we recognize that this is not always possible or accessible so we’ve provided a Complaint Form as a way to submit anonymous feedback and maintain confidentiality. If your complaint is about the board, you are welcome to request a listening session with an outside mediator.