KlezKanada values a diversity of participation and viewpoints, and equity in our actions. We aim to create safe environments at all KlezKanada events, not only at our annual Summer Retreat. While the 2020 Summer Retreat is virtual, we seek to uphold the same level of safety, inclusion, and equity in all virtual spaces we create. These are difficult times, with heightened tensions during a period of isolation where we may be less able and used to having respectful conversations in a diverse community. If issues come up during programming or informal moments that feel sensitive for you, we ask you to remember the fact that these issues can be complex and to stay respectful of others as well as your own emotions.
KlezKanada does not tolerate discrimination against any participant or staff member on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, religion, language, national origin, class, sexual orientation, gender or perceived gender identification, or levels of physical ability. Any programs geared towards specific age groups, such as the scholarship program, are done so in order to encourage participation by people that would otherwise be underrepresented in our programming.
KlezKanada has a zero-tolerance policy towards any acts of discrimination, harassment, or violence towards any festival participant or staff member that might be based on one of the above categories of personhood. Making KlezKanada safe is essential to us whether we are meeting in person or online, and online harassment (verbal or written) is considered to be as serious as in-person harassment. Participants or staff who discriminate against or harm others will be removed from KlezKanada and will not be allowed to return in subsequent years. In the event that this occurs, no reimbursement will be offered to participants who are removed from the program.
At KlezKanada’s Summer Retreat, if any participant or staff member experiences discrimination, harassment, or violence from a member of faculty or staff or another retreat participant, that person is encouraged to report the incident(s) to the ombudsperson (by email at firstname.lastname@example.org ) who, in turn, will relay the information to the management committee of the Board of Directors to investigate. If the complaint is confirmed, that person may be removed from the retreat at the discretion of the management committee and the Board of Directors. In the event that discrimination, harassment, or violence is conducted by a member of the management committee, the person who is targeted is encouraged to report the incident(s) to other members of the management committee and the Board of Directors.
In the event that a person wishes to file a formal police complaint, this must be done in the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred. The role of KlezKanada in such events is to act as a compassionate listener. KlezKanada does not have any influence or reach that extends to legal proceedings instituted by any persons for any incidents that occur during KlezKanada’s virtual Summer Retreat.
Please also check out our community guidelines where you can find some ideas for how we can all work together to make this event a kind, inclusive, and safe space for all.
Something Troubling You? Come Talk to the Ombudsperson
During the 2020 Virtual Retreat, Joanna Britton will serve at KlezKanada’s “ombudsperson”, someone to whom you can turn with any questions, concerns, difficulties, or other situations that may arise during the online retreat. Her role will be to offer a safe and neutral point of contact where anybody can feel free to speak in private. Joanna is a Freed Fellow at KlezKanada this summer, having previously attended KlezKanada as a scholarship student and summer staff. She is based in Brussels, Belgium where she has worked as a university teacher and translator, and is active as a singer and organizer in the klezmer community.
Contact should be made initially via the confidential email address email@example.com and can be followed up by a phone call or video call if necessary. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any and all questions or concerns.