Emerge Code of Conduct
Emerge is committed to the proliferation and longevity of the socialist movement through the development of the political and organizational capacities of its socialist organizers. As such, this entails creating a culture deeply invested in our organizers’ mental and emotional health, as well our organizational cohesion through honest, principled, and transparent political engagements.
- We will use welcoming and inclusive language.
- We will prioritize honest and principled political struggle as a tool to build positive cohesion over negative peace.
- We will be honest and transparent about political commitments.
- We will prioritize radical honesty in our struggle as vital to both the political development of our members and to the health of a pluralistic formation such as DSA.
- We will strive to always be forthcoming with what is happening in the struggle, with what we are planning to do at any given moment.
- We shall not pursue political struggle by rehashing line struggles (disputes over inflexible ideologies or dogmas) but through emergent political assessments.
- We will always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits.
- We will not overstate difference for the sake of creating comparable, yet imaginary, lines of political division.
- We will endeavor to prioritize building consensus, as well as avoid schemes and maneuvers that undermine our comrades’ ability to properly debate their ideas and thus impair the political development of our organizers.
- We commit to being open-minded to our comrade’s concerns and criticisms.
- We will not indulge in irresponsible criticism in private over active and collective engagements in political struggle.
- We will avoid publicly sharing unsubstantiated information.
- We will not indulge in irresponsible criticism in public that gives pride of place to one’s own opinions while not advancing political struggle.
- We will not indulge in personal attacks, pick quarrels, vent personal spite or seek revenge.
- We will resolve conflicts not originating in political disagreements through deescalation and mediation.
- We will strive to not engage our comrades with condescension, intimidation, or dismissiveness.
- We will not overstate harm when experiencing the different, and possibly alien, expressive registers (tone, gesticulation, etc) of others.
- Always prioritizing positive political cohesion, we will also agree to be called-in when our expressive registers have the potential to do harm to our struggle.
- We will engage in political struggle even when it does not affect our own personal interest.
- Our political struggle will be oriented by the interests of the socialist movement.
- We will strive to call in our comrades for unacceptable behavior in ways that hold them collectively accountable.
- We will focus on the proactive by offering to help others act better in the future, and will help mediate their reconciliation with those aggrieved.
- Where these methods are insufficient, instances rising to a grievance should be handled through official DSA grievance procedures.
- We will take responsibility for collective experiences in political struggle.
- We will always acknowledge and validate the experiences of our comrades even, and especially, when they diverge from our own.
- We will avoid making assumptions about identity or experience.
- We will get explicit consent for all forms of interpersonal contact and communication, including when sharing personal information, photographs, or information about event attendees.
- We will acknowledge and be held accountable for harm.
- We will endeavor to ensure the political development of our comrades by, amongst other things, making our spaces accessible to the masses.
- Disagreement should not become demeaning, discriminatory, or include harassing behavior and speech.
- We avoid the impulse to ‘decontaminate’ the political from the social.
- We will endeavor to normalize political life for the masses.
- As political formations cannot be stripped of their social character, we endeavor to politicize the social spaces we inhabit.
- Members will take the social character of their formation seriously, conscious of their responsibilities, thoughtful about carrying them out, and with a comradeship based on work and solidarity.
- We endeavor to make the social character of our formations accessible.
- We will tell no lies and we will mask no difficulties.
- We will not engage in nor tolerate any harassment or discrimination relating, but not limited to, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical appearance, age, disability, race, color, national origin, religion, class, or any profession that does not uphold the carceral state; Any of the following actions described in 13-15 constitute discrimination or harassment when such conduct:
- Creates a hostile environment;
- Interferes with (a) members well-being or capacity to organize within Emerge; or
- Is recurrent and/or on-going
- We will we not tolerate nor make unwelcome, offensive, or derogatory remarks, jokes or slurs.
- We will we not tolerate nor engage in intimidation, harassment, or stalking of anyone.
- We will not engage in nor tolerate abusive verbal or physical conduct.
- Emerge prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. This means we will not act on complaints regarding the following:
- “Reverse”-isms, including “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” and “cisphobia”
- Criticism for racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
- Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you”;
- Communicating in a “tone” someone does not find congenial
Members of Emerge and guests in our spaces must adhere to and uphold this Conduct so that we can build a healthy, safe, and sustainable community. Any activity that creates a hostile environment, even if not described above, is a breach of the Code of Conduct.
This Code of Conduct shall pertain to all in-person and online spaces, both internal to Emerge and external in all other spaces, including, but not limited to, general membership meetings or events; committee and working group meetings or events; Emerge hosted or co-hosted events; all Emerge communication channels; all forms of social media.
Members shall adhere to Community Agreements when engaging in discussion or debate at general membership, committee and/or working group meetings.