A Statement of Our Values

The AADHum Initiative aims to create and hold space for all learners and thinkers exploring the intersections of African American history, culture, and digital humanities. As such, AADHum is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone regardless of academic status, age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, origin, physical appearance, sexual orientation, race, or religion. By attending the AADHum conference and any affiliated events, including social gatherings, you signal your commitment to contributing to a safe and inclusive experience for all. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form.

It is important to understand the range of behaviors that may constitute harassment. Harassment can include, but is not limited to: derogatory verbal comments; sexist, racist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language; unwelcome or offensive nonverbal expressions related to physical or cognitive ability, age, appearance, or body size; sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces; bullying behavior; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; questioning someone’s right to use the restroom of their choice; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.

This policy is not intended to constrain responsible scholarly or professional discourse and debate. We welcome engagement with difficult topics, practiced with respect and care.

Additionally, AADHum recognizes that codes of conduct such as these often function to accuse Black people–especially Black women–of “threatening” and/or “intimidating” behavior in public spaces. AADHum’s effort to value the contributions and participation of all of conference attendees means that the weaponization of this code to deride, silence, and police Black people will too be considered a violation of this policy.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the organizers may take any action they deem appropriate. Participants at any conference event, including social events, violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference (without refund for conference registration or accompanying events) at the discretion of the conference organizers.

Reporting Guidelines

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the AADHum staff immediately. AADHum staff can be identified by their name badges and can always be reached by email at aadhum@umd.edu or via direct message to the @UMD_AADHum Twitter account.

All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases we may determine that a public statement will need to be made. If that’s the case, the identities of all victims and reporters will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.

If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them.

In your report please include:

  • Your contact information (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up).
  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred.
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other pertinent information you believe we should have.

What happens after you file a report?

You will receive a message from the AADHum staff acknowledging receipt of your report. We promise to acknowledge receipt within 24 hours (and will aim for much quicker than that).

The AADHum staff will meet immediately to review the incident and determine:

  • What happened.
  • Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation.
  • Who the bad actor was.
  • Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone’s physical safety.

If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the organizers’ immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an “official” response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is physically safe.

Once the organizers have a complete account of the events they will make a decision as to how to respond. Responses may include:

  • No action (if we determine no violation occurred).
  • A private reprimand from the working group to the individual(s) involved.
  • A public reprimand.
  • A permanent or temporary ban from some or all AADHum events
  • A request for a public or private apology.

We’ll respond within one week to the person who filed the report with either a resolution or an explanation of why the situation is not yet resolved.

We value your presence and constructive participation in our shared community, and thank you for your attention to the comfort, safety, and well-being of fellow AADHum collaborators and attendees.

Sources of Inspiration