With this pledge, I actively distantiate myself from racism, discrimination, fascism, ableism, any form of shaming (including immunoshaming and fat-shaming), homophobia, climate denial, anti-vaxx, and the denial of science when it comes to a pandemic.
I welcome differences of opinions in people. We live in a world that has created the idea of ‘normal’, and with that the possibility to deviate from that normal. I strive for a world in which diversity is acknowledged and celebrated as a constant, not as an occasion. Normal is nothing but an idea – an idea that can be used to suppress those who are not whatever that normal is.
We live in a turbulent time, where many of us experience a certain degree of fear, or limitations of our whereabouts. This makes us more prone to extreme ideas and actions. Uncontrolled social media and people in positions of power are using this momentum.
There is a lot of polarization happening. Under the idea of ‘freedom’, folks turn to ideologies that present themselves as that freedom, but that spread messages of racism, antisemitism, homophobia, shaming, climate denial, and the denial of the pandemic instead.
The communities that I have been part of for years seem to be very susceptible to these ideologies. A meditation leader uses his platform to spread antisemitism. Organizers of dance events I love now call on their followers to vote extreme right. Colleagues create ‘churches’ to be exempt from Dutch government measures for c0vid, and give secret concerts, touch/consent workshops or plant medicine circles.
It is my belief that when we don’t speak up against racism, discrimination, fascism, ableism, immunoshaming, fat-shaming or homophobia, we are part of the problem. Suppression and hurting will continue. To be an ally, we need to speak up and take an active stance against these issues.
As a professional with a platform reaching thousands of people, I want to speak up. I want you to know that I want you to feel as safe as possible in my spaces, and I promise to do what is in my power, both online and in real life, to ensure that.
I cannot teach about consent and integrity when I’m not walking my talk.
These are some things I am doing and will continue doing:
– I will speak up when I see people in positions of power using their platforms or communities for spreading hate, fear, abuse, and disinformation.
– I will prioritize co-creating with folks who actively speak up against mentioned things.
– I will not co-create with folks who practice mentioned things.
– I will not tolerate any form of mentioned things in my workshops and events, and speak up to participants who, intentionally or unintentionally, practice mentioned things in my spaces. (Note: your difference of opinion is absolutely welcome. I don’t intend to be discriminating in a reversed way.)
– I will continuously strive to make my events and products as inclusive as possible, including making continuous efforts towards representation of minority groups, accessibility for disabled folks, folks with a disease, folks with specific needs.
– I am working on an accessible feedback and peer-supported accountability system on my website.
I know I will make mistakes as I barely start to understand the dynamics in the world at play. I invite you to tell me when you see I am lacking, off track, or uninformed. I promise I will listen, take your feedback seriously, and make changes.