Program Planning Policies and Guidelines

There are several important policies you should be aware of when organizing programs for events involving Sarcastabitches LLC (SB). These policies are meant to ensure the safety and comfort of all members of the eventing community.

Please make yourself familiar with the relevant policies. If you have any questions about any of the contact, please contact Brooke Knutzen (Newman) for clarification and/or support.

Programs with Sensitive Subjects

Our events are a place to explore issues of critical importance in our community.  With these complex issues come varying ideas, perspectives, and opinions. Engagement in these issues is encouraged when it is rooted in a place of inquiry and respect. However, discussions that threaten the safety or security of a person or an identifiable group are not accepted.

When organizing programs with that touch on sensitive or controversial subject matters, the following guidelines for planning and facilitating these programs serve to ensure that they can take place respectfully and maintain the values of our community.

Program Planning

  • Ensure that you and all members of your organizing team are willing and prepared to host and facilitate a program that will be accompanied with opposing views and potential dialogue and debate.
  • Set clear goals and intentions for your program and ensure that these goals have a commitment to respectful dialogue.
  • As you select the individuals who will be involved in your program, do some research into their background and ensure that they are also committed to engaging in respectful dialogue.
  • Set clear expectations all involved with the programming and ensure that you have a sense of what the everyone plans to communicate and if that content fits with the intentions/ goals of the program.

Program Promotion

If a program touches on a topic that is controversial in nature, it is helpful to provide a generic statement on all advertising that acknowledges this and invites all members of the community to participate, even if they hold opposing views. A sample statement is provided below:

“The organizers of this program recognize that this is a sensitive topic and there are strongly held opposing views on the topic. We welcome all to attend and engage in a respectful dialogue.”

Welcome the entire community to attend the program, specifically if you are aware of other groups that hold opposing view, consider:

  • Approaching them to partner with you with the program. It may be helpful and productive to do explore the subject with someone who holds an opposing view to engage in a respectful dialogue/ debate on the subject.
  • Inviting them to attend the program and participate in a respectful manner. If you invite community members with opposing views, make sure you let the program facilitators know in advance.

Program Structure

  • Set the tone for your program from the beginning – have an opening message that outlines the expectations to ensure that the event remains respectful and inclusive.
  • If necessary/applicable, have a neutral moderator to facilitate the program.
  • Ensure that there are clearly paths and opportunities for participants to if they feel uncomfortable at any time.
  • Think through your approach for handling questions to ensure that individuals of all views have an opportunity to speak and engage with facilitators.
  • At the end of the program, reiterate expectations of attendees and encourage them to continue dialogue in a positive and respectful manner.

Event Safety

If you are hosting a controversial program, it is highly encouraged that you coordinate with the Managing Directors and Programming to review safety and make Event Constab and Medics aware of the details of the program in case their assistance is required.