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RFR Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

I’m excited to announce the RFR Diversity & Inclusion Task Force! RFR may not have events coming up soon, but during this downtime we can still work towards making our community and future events accessible and inclusive, and I’m heartened by the conversations I already see folk having in some of our virtual spaces around the internet. It is wonderful to see this community taking care of each other and thinking of ways to care for folk joining us in the future. Let’s do this!

  • Kep, RFR Ombuds

Purpose

The RFR Diversity & Inclusion Task Force is a group of volunteers from the Red Feather Roleplaying community, lead by the RFR ombudsperson, and committed to proactive engagement with how to support diversity and inclusion at RFR events and, by extension, within the LARPing hobby.

The group engages this work in order to support core RFR values, in particular those of community, open dialog, and fellowship.

Who participates?

Members of the RFR community, including Board members, other RFR officers, game staff, and players.

The conduct standards we expect at RFR events apply.

Engaging in trolling or harassing behavior during these discussions, or engaging in bad-faith arguments, may result in Conduct Committee followup or removal from the Task Force meeting at the discretion of the Ombuds.

How do I sign up?

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/Wqv9PS263Wn8SvWW8

If you have other questions, comment here or email kep@redfeatherroleplaying.com.

What does the D&I Task Force do?

  • Discussion groups - deliberately holding time for engaging with these topics and generating feedback, rather than waiting for particular incidents to prompt reactive responses.
  • Generate and refine proposals to the Board for concrete actions - We can draw on the broad creativity and inspiration of our community here.
  • Learning - Reading materials written on diversity & inclusion in LARP and sharing resources that center the voices of marginalized people to better understand areas for improvement.
  • Outreach - Contacting other LARPs to exchange information on successful strategies and best practices for promoting diversity & inclusion, finding ways our community can support other LARP creators, and helping to promote Red Feather events to new audiences.

Current projects

  • Replacing remaining Witchwood dream tokens with ones that do not resemble dreamcatchers
  • Identifying a scope of work for hiring paid consultants, assembling a list of possible consultants, coming up with a budget estimate, and submitting those proposals to the RFR board prior to the Winter 2020 board meeting. (Timing may be slow due to the pandemic, given that we have no Fall 2020 games scheduled.)

When and where?

There is a pandemic underway and we are geographically distributed even under regular circumstances, so we will meet on the internet.

Initially, I propose to hold one meeting per month as we begin to shape our goals, agenda, and patterns of operation.

Meetings will take place during times suitable for participants primarily distributed between the East Coast and West Coast time zones of the USA.

The first meeting will be 7-9pm on Thursday, July 30th.
Additional agenda information will be forthcoming.

Why?

Board members, RFR officers, game directors, staff, volunteers with the Mark of the Red Feather, and players at our games are already expected to uphold the values of Fellowship that make our community welcoming and strong, and we remain committed to open dialog and receiving feedback about when and how our games fall short and how we could do better.

The Task Force is intended as a venue for discussing and exploring policies in support of diversity and inclusion during times deliberately set aside for this work, when we are not preoccupied with running or playing in a particular event, giving these matters focused attention and helping our community to be proactive rather than reactive.

Anti-racist work and planning for accessibility requires learning and work, particularly for those of us who do not experience oppression, discrimination, or disregard along these lines. We do not want this work to fall exclusively or disproportionately on those who already experience these barriers.

A group task force helps us share responsibility for staying informed about matters impacting the LARP hobby by having community members actively seeking, reading, and listening to what is already being written and said about challenges with racism, inaccessibility, emotional safety, gender dynamics, etc. in the LARPing world.

The task force is also intended to create avenues for feedback to the RFR board and game directors that may be more accessible to community members than committing to staffing or running games, and holds space for collaborative engagement.

Finally, the task force is intended as a venue for keeping one another both supported and accountable in ongoing commitment to this work.

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As a reminder, this is tonight, 7pm - 9pm EDT!

We will focus on identifying initial goals, hashing out how to coordinate our efforts, and identifying small tasks for folk to follow up on even if they can’t make major time commitments. We’ll also start writing out a description of work so we can contact an initial set of sensitivity readers for rate quotes.

Again, this meeting is not the only way to get involved, and will not obligate you to other meetings, but it’s an opportunity to brainstorm and shape our work going forward.

If you’re interested in this meeting or future efforts, please sign up here so I have your contact info for circulating a video call link and followup notes: https://forms.gle/Wqv9PS263Wn8SvWW8

As part of our Inclusion and Diversity efforts, I recommend taking a look at the Bystander Intervention Training events at the link posted below.

These events are focused on Anti-Asian and Asian American harassment, which has been especially bad over the past year. Many of the techniques should apply to all kinds of harassment. Anyone who attends a seminar should let me know, and I’ll give you a CP.

I’m signed up for the one on May 14th. (I’m also happy to give CP for similar seminars / training. Message me if you think something fits.)

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