COMPASS Network Guidelines

Community Agreement

COMPASS is committed to providing community spaces and learning environments that are safe and supportive for everyone. We each contribute to creating those safe and supportive spaces. The following guidelines apply across COMPASS Network events, programs, platforms, and communications—online and offline—and for all parties involved, including COMPASS staff and board, associated partners, contractors, community members, and participants. By choosing to enter a COMPASS Network space or introducing yourself to someone else as a COMPASS Network member, you are agreeing to interact with others in supportive, safe, and healthy ways, as outlined below. This document is not exhaustive, and will continue to evolve as we learn in community with each other. If you have suggestions or feedback on this document, please contact us at

Value-Aligned Behavior

Core Values

These values guide our efforts and interactions. There are many ways to model these values in action; ultimately, it comes down to committing to work together with kindness, respect, and dedication to get things right (rather than getting stuck trying to be right).

We put relationships at the heart of our work.
We are generous collaborators and follow through on our commitments. We value both personal relationships and building connections across and between communities, because respectfully and compassionately bringing diverse voices and perspectives together to find common ground leads to transformative change.

We strive to continuously learn and improve.
We create an inclusive culture that welcomes new ideas and seeks out knowledge that challenges our assumptions, so that innovation can thrive. We are committed to creating spaces, conditions, and opportunities for new insights that lead to informed decisions and creative solutions.


Unwelcome Behavior

Unwelcome behaviors are damaging to our community. Unwelcome behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Judging, shaming or humiliating others (whether they are present or not).
  • Talking over or interrupting others.
  • Ignoring or diminishing others’ work, perspectives, or lived experiences.
  • Providing unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, alcohol, health, parenting, drugs, education, attire, and employment.
  • Excluding others from community-wide conversations, events, and communication channels.
  • Disrupting an event or the community in a way that prevents or inhibits the learning and engagement of others.
  • Not sharing credit or citing/attributing resources correctly and appropriately.

Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behaviors are dangerous for our community. Unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Participation, facilitation, or promotion of offensive, disrespectful, or harmful comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, ethnicity, class, income, education, professional experience, religion, or other aspects of identity and background.
  • Deliberate intimidation, assertion of dominance or power, stalking, inappropriate contact, and unwelcome sexual attention (whether virtual or in-person).
  • Violence or threats of violence. Weapons of any kind, including guns and knives, are not permitted at any COMPASS event.
  • Recording or sharing of private communications or information, including contact information, research in progress, and photographs, without the written consent of all parties.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names, or questioning the legitimacy of someone’s gender identity.


Reporting Code of Conduct Violations

If you are the subject of unwelcome or unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately report such behavior to COMPASS staff or partner organizers, depending upon the situation.


Contact us by electronic report to provide a description of the behavior. When submitting an electronic report, you have the option to either self identify or report anonymously. Anonymous reporting may impact our ability to follow up on the incident, so we encourage self-identification if you feel safe doing so. All reports will be kept confidential unless/until legal action is required. All reports will be reviewed by the COMPASS Network Hosts.


Enforcement of Code of Conduct

A participant engaging in unwelcome or unacceptable behaviors is expected to comply immediately with requests to stop, whether those requests are from COMPASS staff, partner organizers, or other participants/Network members. Reports of unwelcome behaviors do not necessarily lead to disciplinary response, but are important for community learning and improvement, and for supporting those impacted. Reports of unacceptable behaviors require disciplinary response to ensure the safety of all members of the community. The response to unacceptable behavior will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the COMPASS Network Hosts, in consultation with those impacted by the unacceptable behavior (including the broader community when appropriate). Should a participant engage in illegal activity as part of the COMPASS Network, we will immediately report it to and cooperate with the appropriate authorities.

When a report of unwelcome, unacceptable, or illegal behavior is received, it will be reviewed by the COMPASS Network Hosts, who will identify next steps, including whether further investigation is needed and what options there are for repair. The Network Hosts will involve additional colleagues, community members, or specialists as necessary and appropriate (such as legal counsel).

Currently, the COMPASS Network Hosts are:
Sarah Sunu
Paola Estrada
Nicolle Etchart
Christina Hoenow

This list will be updated when changes are made. (Last updated: September 30, 2022)


This code of conduct is inspired by and draws on documents including:

The CSCCE Community Participation Guidelines – with special thanks for language around ‘unwelcome’ behaviors.

‘Building Support for Community Justice: Principles and strategies’ by Kay Pranis