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ABA Code of Conduct (adopted May 2018; updated October 2021)
ABA values the engagement of everyone involved in ABA’s work, including in-person and virtual events. We are committed to ensuring safer events and a safer community and workplace, as well as an enjoyable experience for everyone. ABA is also committed to being more inclusive, and we value the dignity and diversity of everyone in our community. We use the terms “safer” and “more inclusive” to indicate that these conditions are not perfectible but a continuous effort.
To that end, ABA is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience and environment for everyone, regardless of race; sex; national origin; religion (or lack thereof); age; ethnicity; color; gender; gender identity and/or expression; neurodiversity; sexual orientation; marital, civil union, or domestic partnership status; past or present military service; physical, mental, or sensory disability; national, social, or ethnic origin; pregnancy; family or parental status and/or genetic information (including family medical history); physical appearance; or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or other unwelcome or unlawful behavior on the basis of any of these characteristics. Harassment includes but is not limited to:
ABA also takes every precaution to make our virtual events safer and harassment-free for participants by requiring registration, using passwords, monitoring chats, and/or using best safety practices for the platforms we utilize.
All ABA virtual and in-person event attendees and organizers, including but not limited to booksellers, ABA staff, exhibitors, vendors, speakers/presenters, guests, sponsors, volunteers, and hotel/venue staff, as well as third parties directly related to our events, are expected to refrain from all forms of harassment, as outlined above, and to show respect and courtesy to everyone involved in ABA events. This same expectation is part of all ABA interactions and working relationships.
ABA takes any violation of this policy very seriously. Accordingly, participants who violate this policy can, in the judgment and discretion of ABA, be blocked or expelled from an ABA event, without refund if applicable; can be prevented from attending future ABA events; and can have ABA membership revoked after notification to the member, opportunity for the member to respond, and review by the ABA Board.
If you are being harassed, observe someone else being harassed, or have concerns about potential violations of this policy, please notify ABA staff immediately. In the case of an in-person emergency, call 911, hotel/venue security, and/or a community safety alternative as provided by ABA for each event, whichever feels safest for you. In all other cases, whether virtual or in-person, if an appropriate ABA representative is not readily available, email email@example.com, or text that email address, and ABA will respond to you as soon as possible. ABA will take all appropriate action to protect anyone affected by violations of this policy.
All reports are confidential. If ABA staff takes a personal report from you, they may need to involve other event staff to ensure that your report is properly managed and that the appropriate action is taken to protect you or others, but all efforts will be made to keep your report confidential. We will only involve law enforcement or security at a victim’s request.
Since this ABA Code of Conduct also protects ABA staff, staff members may choose these same avenues to report violations they experience themselves, or they may choose to contact ABA board members or ABA’s HR vendor at John@bookweb.org.
ABA also recognizes that although some behavior may not be intended as harassment and may not be considered harassment by some, comments or actions that subtly and often unconsciously and unintentionally express a prejudice against a marginalized group or a bias towards groups with the most power, also known as microaggressions, can still have a negative impact and may prevent an event from feeling inclusive to all.
ABA will treat these incidents as educational opportunities rather than violations, following up with the person who committed the microaggression to discuss the impact of their actions with the goal of ensuring that everyone is supporting an inclusive environment. Only repeated microaggressions after discussion and education may be considered harassment. Examples of microaggressions may include statements such as the following. This list, provided by diverse individuals in the ABA community, is in no way exhaustive but offers specific examples to illustrate the point:
Code of conduct violations as well as microaggressions may be reported to anyone on the ABA team directly, or via email or text to firstname.lastname@example.org. ABA will respond to you as soon as possible.
Again, ABA staff may choose these same avenues to report violations and microaggressions, or they may choose to contact ABA board members or ABA’s HR vendor.
The ABA team will enforce this code of conduct in all areas of ABA’s work, including at in-person events, virtual events, and ABA work spaces. We appreciate your assistance in making ABA welcoming to all and supporting ABA’s commitment to antiracism, inclusion, representation, and diversity.