Covenant: Live Your Truth; Shred Some Gnar

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Don't Be TRAAAAASH!

Transphobic
Racist
Ableist
Abusive
Anti-Black
Anti-Indigenous
Anti-Semitic
Sexist
Homophobic

#Stimpunks #SafeSpaces

The words above are superimposed over a chalkboard with the Stimpunks power wheelchair with rainbow umbrella to the left of the text.

NeurodiVenture : an inclusive non-hierarchical organisation operated by neurodivergent people that provides a safe and nurturing environment for divergent thinking, creativity, exploration, and collaborative niche construction.

NeurodiVentures | Autistic Collaboration

In Brief

  • We pledge to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open, welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and healthy community.
  • We use prosocial principles, restorative practices, transformative justice, and an advice process.
  • Don’t be TRAAAAASH (transphobic, racist, ableist, abusive, anti-Black, anti-indigenous, anti-semitic, sexist, homophobic).
  • No proselytizing.
  • In addition to speaking different languages, we have different neurotypes with different communication styles and norms of sociality. In the case of misunderstanding, assume good intention.
  • Tell your truth in such a way that you’re allowing others to tell their truths, too.
  • Maintain learner safety and remember what it is like to be a new contributor.
  • You can’t just open the door; you have to put out a welcome mat.
  • Stimpunks is created by all of us.
  • Live your truth.
  • Shred some gnar.

Punk Was Created by All of Us

Punk was created by women, people of color, and queers. And without all of us, it would be nothing.

Alice Bag
The Very Latinx History of Punk
Dr. Martens Presents: Women in Punk – LA

Maybe that is the punkness of being a woman.

Marina Muhlfriedel

There have always been, like, women in it, and queer people, and people of color.

That community is also something really cool about punk.

Eloise Wong of The Linda Lindas

When you’re black, you’re punk rock all the time, you’re a target all the time.

Sacha Jenkins

We have been pushed to the margins, but we create in those margins. It doesn’t get more punk than that.

Shawna Shawnté
The Very Black History Of Punk Musi
The Story of Trans Punk Pioneer Jayne County

In the early aughts of punk, queerness was actually inherently tied to the movement.

The Story of Trans Punk Pioneer Jayne County – YouTube

But before all of them, was a man who inhabited punk in all its definitions. A queer, Black man, who played his music loud and fast and with a defiantly masterful un-polish. Little Richard set the stage for everything that punk would become while inhabiting every sense of the word with pride. John Waters once declared Little Richard “was the first punk.”

QUEER PUNK HISTORY: 1575 – PRESENT
The Long Queer History of Punk

“I went through a lot when I was a boy. They called me sissy, punk, freak…”

Little Richard

Punk has never not been queer.

QUEER PUNK HISTORY: 1575 – PRESENT
“I told everybody I am GAY” Little Richard 1932-2020

I was gay. It’s nice to be happy. I was happy, and I wanted the world to know I was happy. And I wasn’t ashamed. I had been that way all my life, and I didn’t know nothing else but that. And so I told everybody that: I am gay.

“I told everybody I am GAY” Little Richard 1932-2020

Contributor Covenant

All Stimpunks agree to abide by the contributor covenant.

We as members, contributors, and leaders pledge to make participation in our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, visible or invisible disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, caste, color, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

We pledge to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open, welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and healthy community.

Contributor Covenant

Don’t Be TRAAAAASH

A tldr one-liner of the contributor covenant that often appears in the codes of conduct of online communities is, “Don’t be TRAASH.”

Don’t be TRAASH (transphobic, racist, ableist, abusive, sexist, homophobic).

At Stimpunks, we add three more As to TRAAAAASH for:

  • Anti-Black
  • Anti-Indigenous
  • Anti-Semitic

Jewish, Black, and Indigenous people are canary populations alerting us to our times and our history.

Don’t be TRAAAASH (Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Abusive, Anti-Black, Anti-Indigenous, Anti-Semitic, Sexist, Homophobic).

Don't Be TRAAAAASH Transphobic, Racist, Ableist, Abusive, Anti-Black, Anti-Indigenous, Anti-Semitic, Sexist, Homophobic
#DontBeTRAAAASH

No Proselytizing

Another good one-liner: “No proselytizing.” Consult this article and infographic from Chrissy Stroop on anti-proselytizing principles.

Anti-Proselytizing Principles
Prophylactic Protection against Evangelical Aggression
By Chrissy Stroop

- I am not your mission field.
- I don't owe you a debate.
- There are no shortcuts to being a good person, least of all "right belief”.
- Leavers are not a "crisis in the Church." Treat us as humans with moral autonomy.
- Proselytizing is always objectification. Let people follow their own consciences.
- Our stories are ours. Leavers are not believers' object lessons
Anti-Proselytizing Principles

Anti-Proselytizing Principles
Prophylactic Protection against Evangelical Aggression
By Chrissy Stroop

  • I am not your mission field.
  • I don’t owe you a debate.
  • There are no shortcuts to being a good person, least of all “right belief”.
  • Leavers are not a “crisis in the Church.” Treat us as humans with moral autonomy.
  • Proselytizing is always objectification. Let people follow their own consciences.
  • Our stories are ours. Leavers are not believers’ object lessons.
Empowerment against Evangelization: Countering Conversion Attempts by Asserting Moral Autonomy – Not Your Mission Field

Remind yourself that shared values, rather than shared beliefs, are what matter when it comes to interacting with others, and that there is no replacement for doing the hard work of making yourself better.

Chrissy Stroop

Five Words for Maintaining Inclusive Spaces

Don’t be TRAAAAASH.
No proselytizing.

Those 5 words distill the minimum requirements to maintaining inclusive spaces.

“Everything is politics”, but the code of conduct is not about an advance of progressive/left-wing politics. It’s about establishing a minimal level of civil and professional collaboration. Civil, non-discriminatory, and professional behavior should be a baseline and shared value held by people of all ideologies, regardless of political affiliation (with the obvious exception of hate groups).

Contributor Covenant: Frequently Asked Questions about Contributor Covenant

When social spaces are designed without concern for all groups of users, the space will become an echo chamber of ideas and perspectives from a narrower range of people.

ADL Social Pattern Library | Inclusive Social Spaces – ADL Social Pattern Library

Embracing pluralism is good citizenship. Democracy demands equal accommodation.

EMBRACING PLURALISM IS GOOD CITIZENSHIP Democracy Demands Equal Accommodation
By Chrissy Stroop

Embracing pluralism is...

- Genuinely listening with no agenda when others share about their beliefs Treating shared values as more important than shared beliefs
- Refraining from proselytizing, incl. for atheism
- Posting messages of inclusion in my place of business
- Baking cakes for everyone who comes to my cake shop
- Leaving healthcare decisions between patients and doctors
- Recognizing the rights of all to refuse participation in any religious activity
- Tempering my free speech by considering whether my speech will do more harm or good
- Participating in interfaith activities and aiding religious minorities who are in harm's way
- Tolerating those with whom I have substantive differences Seeking the common good first in public life

Embracing pluralism is not…

- Asking strangers what church they go to
- Aggressively alienating those who do not share my religion or my atheism
- Viewing others as potential converts
- Flying the Christian flag or posting religious content in my place of business
- Agitating for the legal 'right" not to bake cakes for people I don't like
- Abusing conscience clauses or the religious ownership of a hospital to deny needed care
- Coercing participation in prayer or demanding sectarian practice in my workplace
- Saying offensive things toward those who do not share my beliefs 'because I can*
- Offering aid to those who do not share my beliefs on my terms, without concern for their needs
- Tolerating intolerance
- Seeking domination for those who share my beliefs in public life
Embracing Pluralism Is Good Citizenship

Embracing pluralism is…

  • Genuinely listening with no agenda when others share about their beliefs
  • Treating shared values as more important than shared beliefs
  • Refraining from proselytizing, incl. for atheism
  • Posting messages of inclusion in my place of business
  • Baking cakes for everyone who comes to my cake shop
  • Leaving healthcare decisions between patients and doctors
  • Recognizing the rights of all to refuse participation in any religious activity
  • Tempering my free speech by considering whether my speech will do more harm or good
  • Participating in interfaith activities and aiding religious minorities who are in harm’s way
  • Tolerating those with whom I have substantive differences
  • Seeking the common good first in public life
A Personal Update and Some Thoughts on Pluralism – Not Your Mission Field

Embracing pluralism is not…

  • Asking strangers what church they go to
  • Aggressively alienating those who do not share my religion or my atheism
  • Viewing others as potential converts
  • Flying the Christian flag or posting religious content in my place of business
  • Agitating for the legal ‘right” not to bake cakes for people I don’t like
  • Abusing conscience clauses or the religious ownership of a hospital to deny needed care
  • Coercing participation in prayer or demanding sectarian practice in my workplace
  • Saying offensive things toward those who do not share my beliefs ‘because I can*
  • Offering aid to those who do not share my beliefs on my terms, without concern for their needs
  • Tolerating intolerance
  • Seeking domination for those who share my beliefs in public life
A Personal Update and Some Thoughts on Pluralism – Not Your Mission Field

Community Norms

We follow this advice from Human Restoration Project.

Express yourself: Be open in conversations, be willing to ask honest questions and engage with integrity. Be willing to disrupt and push the narrative.

Respond with positive intent: 
Avoid actions that would harm or hurt others, and ensure that all members of the community are invited to your discussions.

Listen and learn:
 Continue to remain open to new ideas, allowing yourself to hear full perspectives. Create a supportive community: Help prop each other up and build off each other’s ideas. Provide everyone with goodwill.

Channel joy through struggle:
 A lot of the work we do is difficult, especially in schools. Find time for joy, fun, and the thrill of learning.

Respect each other’s privacy
Please do not share any messages, photos, or videos without permission of those involved.

Further,

  1. We support justice and action.
  2. We are explicitly anti-racist.
  3. We resist white supremacy.
  4. We apply content warnings to traumatic conversations, but content warnings are never used to silence conversations about justice.
  5. We do not tolerate hate-speech. We allow swearing but we do not allow bigoted language of any kind.
  6. We do not allow misogyny of any kind, particularly trans misogyny.
  7. We do not perpetuate ableism in our actions or language, including refraining from use of ableist language.
  8. We are safe for work (no nudity or pornographic images of any kind). At the same time, we support sex workers and recognize sex work is work.
  9. We support LGBTQIA+ rights.
  10. We do not body shame.
  11. We are trauma-informed.
  12. We expect our secular/atheist/freethinking members and our religious members to show one another mutual respect. Avoid both blanket antitheist statements and religious supremacist statements. Religious conversion efforts and blanket religion bashing are both unacceptable community behavior. Do not proselytize for either religion or atheism. Failure to accept moderation in this regard will result in a ban.
  13. This is a diverse community with people from many different backgrounds. Be welcoming and respectful toward those who are different from you. Trolling, bullying, and harassment are grounds for banning.
  14. Please check and respect other users’ pronouns. If you misgender someone and are corrected, accept correction graciously and adjust going ahead. Willful misgendering will not be tolerated.
  15. Accept moderation. Passive-aggressive “vaguebooking” about moderator and admin decisions is a violation of community rules. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior in general.
  16. Spreading disinformation is not tolerated in this community. Posting baseless conspiracy theories, anti-vax sentiments, climate change denialism, or other harmful false information is prohibited. If your intention in bringing up such content is to discuss it critically with respect to its impact on society, you are expected to make that clear.
  17. The sharing outside of this community of DMs or any screenshots or content generated within this community, is only appropriate if all parties to the content consent. Also do not share content from locked channels on open channels or outside the server without the permission of all involved, and do not share DMs unless everyone in the DM agrees. An exception would be if you need to share the content of DMs with moderators or admins privately to demonstrate harassment.

The above list was inspired by and copied from Project Mushroom’s server rules and Chrissy Stroop’s server rules.

Language Acknowledgement

As an international company, we interact with users and fellow Automatticians whose first language is different than our own, and by improving our communication, we can improve the work we do. We avoid slang terms and idioms that may result in more confusion than clarity, and offer to explain and rephrase our words when needed. In the case of a misunderstanding, we always assume good intentions, and imagine how new possibilities can emerge.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Automattic

In addition to speaking different languages, we have different neurotypes with different communication styles and norms of sociality. In the case of misunderstanding, assume good intention.

Also, Stimpunks uses identity-first language (IFL). We are autistic, not people with autism. We’re disabled, not people with disabilities. Most people are taught to use the opposite, person-first language, despite the overwhelming preference of Autistic, Disabled, Deaf, and Blind people for IFL.

When it comes to the language of identity, we respect personal preference.

And if someone with ANY kind of disability or medical problem tells you they would rather be called disabled or diabetic or epileptic rather than be tiptoed around with awkward phrasing like “person with diabetes” or “person with epilepsy,” for heaven’s sake don’t ARGUE.

As soon as you ARGUE with a disabled person about how they refer to their condition, you put yourself in a position where you’re trying to convince them that their condition is shameful and they shouldn’t want to label themselves with it.

Does that seem like a good idea to you?

Keep in mind that the more culture there is around a disability, and the more that disability changes someone’s fundamental perceptions and interactions with the world, the more likely it is that identity-first language is probably a better bet.

Person-First Language: What It Is, and When Not To Use It » NeuroClastic

Very Grand Emotions: Tell the truth in such a way that you’re allowing others to tell their truths.

Many of us Stimpunks have very grand emotions.

Justice, equality, fairness, mercy, longsuffering, Work, Passion, knowledge, and above all else, Truth. Those are my primary emotions.

Very Grand Emotions: How Autistics and Neurotypicals Experience Emotions Differently » NeuroClastic

We can be an intense bunch.

There are a number of possible reasons for neurodivergent people experiencing emotions more intensely than others. Neurodivergent people often experience emotional labilityemotional impulsivity, and negative intent attribution.

We’re kind of an intense bunch sometimes.

But that’s okay, our intensity can be a positive thing too: Neurodivergents can be more creative and more passionate. That creativity and passion can drive us to take action where others may not, and our cognitive rigidity can give us a strong sense of morals. These features combined make us more susceptible to a variety of sensitivities, including justice sensitivity.

For example, in 2015, researchers found that participants with ADHD reported significantly higher justice sensitivity and greater perceptions of injustice than those without ADHD.

That same year, Schäfer & Kraneburg did an interesting study in search of a deeper understanding of why neurodivergents are prone to Justice Sensitivity, which is what I will discuss here.

According to Baumert & Schmitt, “justice-sensitive people’s information processing should be guided in a way that raises their probability of experiencing injustice compared with less justice-sensitive people,” and their “emotional reactions to injustice should be stronger the more justice is endorsed as a fundamental value.”

In other words, people who experience high justice sensitivity have a stronger tendency to notice and identify wrongdoing and have more intense cognitive, emotional, and behavioural reactions to perceived injustice.

Additionally, “justice-sensitive people should ruminate longer and more intensively about experienced injustice than less justice-sensitive people” and should have an “inclination to restore justice and undo injustice”.

Those of us with justice sensitivity have a harder time letting these things go and have a strong desire to make right that which we feel is unfair or morally wrong.

Neurodivergents are more likely to experience justice sensitivity, in particular children, but adults as well.

“Kids with ADHD tend to have a strong sense of justice, sensitivity, and of course, energy. When they feel wronged, disempowered, or unheard, they can become quite mad.”

— Dr. Sharon Saline
Neurodivergents: Justice Warriors! by Jillian Enright | Invisible Illness

We feel injustice as pain.

“Being autistic has always given me a strong sense of justice and fairness, and a burning drive to do the right thing and to fight for it, even when it seems like struggling against the weight of the world. This seems very related to my extreme empathy, which is also tied to my experience of being autistic.”

“Knowing that injustice or violence exist anywhere is deeply painful for me, whether it directly targets me or not, and I believe that I must do anything within my capacity to work for a world where none of us have to be afraid anymore. If I were not autistic, I am certain I would not have the same drive as I do now.”

7 activists tell us the best thing about living with autism

And that can lead to intense, escalating discussions that result in meltdowns.

These moments test our compassion and patience for each other.

Compassion Isn’t Coddling

People often mistake compassion for “being nice,” but it’s not.

The point of compassion isn’t to soften bad news or stressful situations with niceties. It’s to come from a place of kindness and understanding, rather than a place of judgment. It’s to tell the truth in such a way that you’re allowing others to tell their truths, too.

Design for Real Life

“To be compassionate requires decentering or stepping outside one’s own experiences in order to give priority to the experiences of others,”

The only way to save democracy from the Christian Right is by fighting for pluralism – The Conversationalist

This latter form of pluralism asks individuals with such truth claims to display mutual respect for conflicting worldviews not by abandoning the exclusivity of their truth claims, but rather by acknowledging that the reasoning they find sufficient for their beliefs may not be sufficient for others.

The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, Issue 17, Summer 2015

“It’s to tell the truth in such a way that you’re allowing others to tell their truths, too.”

When navigating each other’s very grand emotions, remember to respect each other’s truth and “to tell the truth in such a way that you’re allowing others to tell their truths, too.”

Prosocial Decision Making and Conflict Resolution

We use prosocial principles, restorative practices, transformative justice, and an advice process.

The tailored core prosocial design principles we use:

  1. ​​Trusted relationships within the group and strong understanding of purpose (to support an open and inclusive neurodiverse and creative team)
  2. ​​Fair distribution of costs and benefits
  3. ​​Fair and inclusive decision-making ​
  4. Fast and empathetic conflict resolution
  5. ​​Authority to self-govern ​
  6. Appropriate relations with other groups
  7. ​​Tracking agreed upon behaviours (a working advice process minimises the need for tracking)
  8. Graduated responses to transgressions to prevent a person or a subgroup from gaining power over others (appropriate focus on fair and inclusive distribution of resources minimises the need for coercion)
Operating Model and Backbone

Learner Safety

Maintain learner safety and remember what it is like to be a new contributor.

Psychological safety is a condition in which you feel (1) included, (2) safe to learn, (3) safe to contribute, and (4) safe to challenge the status quo—all without fear of being embarrassed, marginalized, or punished in some way.

All human beings have the same innate need: We long to belong.

The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation

The moral imperative to grant learner safety is to act first by encouraging the learner to learn.

The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety (p. 45)

You can’t just open the door; you have to put out a welcome mat.

The reality is that marginalized people experience discrimination in public spaces. As they move through their lives and through various spaces, they cannot predict if they will be treated with respect, let alone if they will be safe. When they attend a show or event at your space, they should be able to know what to expect, or at least what you intend to have happen—and not happen—within your walls. So, how can you let them know? You can’t just open the door; you have to put out a welcome mat.

Making Spaces Safer: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather

Our Rules of Punk: Living Your Truth While Shredding Some Gnar

  1. Be yourself.
  2. Reframe, so that other’s can be themselves.
  3. Live your truth.
  4. Shred some gnar.
NOBRO-LIFE IS A VOYAGE (acoustic shred session)

Live Your Truth; Shred some Gnar

Livin’ my truth (I gotta live my truth!) while shredding some gnar!

NOBRO

We’re Here Turning on the Light

Pluralism Rocks: Inclusion Songs
I know you think I'm not something you're afraid of
'Cause you think that you've seen what I'm made of
Well I am even more than the two of them!
Everything they care about is what I am!
I am their fury, I am their patience
I am a conversation!

I am made o-o-o-o-of
Lo-o-o-o-ove, o-o-o-o-ove
And it's stronger than you
Lo-o-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove
And it's stronger than you
Lo-o-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove
And it's stronger than you
Lo-o-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove, lo-o-o-o-ove

-- Stronger Than You
A rainbow doesn't choose to be a rainbow
It just shines in the sky

To all of you in darkness
We're here turning on the light

Now I stand with you for the world to see
My love, my dreams, and me
My love, my dreams, and me

-- Rainbow Connections

Fostering healthy pluralism, which democracy demands, means confronting intolerance.

Chrissy Stroop
Let love conquer your mind
Warrior, warrior
Just reach out for the light
Warrior, warrior
I am a warrior-ior-ior-ior-ior
Warrior, warrior
I am a warrior-ior-ior-ior-ior
Warrior, warrior of love

Underneath darkened skies
There's a light kept alive

Let love conquer your mind
Warrior, warrior
Just reach out for the light
Warrior, warrior
I am a warrior-ior-ior-ior-ior
Warrior, warrior
I am a warrior-ior-ior-ior-ior
Warrior, warrior of love
Warrior of love
Warrior of love

--Warrior by AURORA
Hostility is not the road
The proper basic human code
Chauvinist intolerance is what we loathe
Let's embrace diversity
By first rejecting bigotry
There’s no more room left in society for animosity

We refuse to look away
And ignore issues at bay
We will conquer the hurdles in our way (We are warriors)
(We are warriors)
We won't take shit anymore
A pebble cuts right to the core
All these excuses, what are they for? (We are warriors)
We are warriors

We are warriors
We are warriors
We are warriors
We are warriors
We are warriors

--Warriors by Bad Cop/Bad Cop

Let’s organize our lives around love and care.

Mission

We exist for the direct support and mutual aid of neurodivergent and disabled people.

We serve our loved people so we can keep on living through the onslaught.

Creed

I center the marginalized and the different. I center edge cases, because edge cases are stress cases and design is tested at the edges. I center neurodivergent and disabled experience in service to all bodyminds.

A disembodied arm with blue skin and a self-care tattoo flashes the sign of the horns

Covenant

We pledge to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open, welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and healthy community.

Two human side silhouette positioned Face to face overlaid with various semi-transparent line connected circular (network node) shapes.

Philosophy

We steer by these acquired phrases. They are compasses and stars that align us on our mission.

Rainbow woven cloth evoking our diversity and interdependence

Interdependence

It is time to celebrate our interdependence. Interdependence acknowledges that our survival is bound up together, that we are interconnected and what you do impacts others. Interdependence is the only way out of most of the most pressing issues we face today.

The many forms of difference. Adaptive Behavior Assessment (ABAS-3), Adult ADHD Self-report Scale (ASRS-v1.1), and Behavior Rating Inventory Executive Function (BRIEF 2) forms spread across a wooden table

Edges

Our designs, our societies, and the boundaries of our compassion are tested at the edges, where the truths told are of bias, inequality, injustice, and thoughtlessness.

Let's organize our lives around love and care
Let's write each other letters and call it prayer
Let's congregate in the place that isn't anywhere
At the temple of broken dreams