Speak Up, Rise Up Code of Conduct

Everyone participating in the Speak Up, Rise Up (SURU) is expected to abide by the following code of conduct. This includes all conference performers, audience members, crew, staff, and volunteers.

Speak Up, Rise Up is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of identified gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof). We will enforce this code during the event.

SURU is a storytelling festival aimed to celebrate everyone's voice. We are here to listen to one another, to laugh with one another, and to enjoy artistic expression and performance.  

Our Community Conduct Standards

We treat everyone – including performers, audience members, crew, staff, and volunteers – with respect.  

We all behave professionally. This is a gathering of professionals, whether in the audience, on the stage, behind the stage, at the concession stand, and/or at the front door.

We laugh when we find something humorous. We cry when we are moved to tears. We are ok with feeling vulnerable. We know this is a space to be open, honest, and real.  

We celebrate one another. We provide encouragement.

We welcome all gender identities, races, sexualities, body types, economic backgrounds, abilities, immigration statuses, religious beliefs, and overall ways of human being.

What Don’t We Do At SURU?

We do not tolerate discrimination, demeaning behavior or speech, or harassment.

What do we consider harassment and unacceptable within our community? Glad you asked.

  • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.

  • Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class, immigrant status, or disability.

  • Posting or displaying gratuitously sexually explicit or violent material.

  • Defying an attendee’s wishes with regards to privacy, including posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxxing”).

  • Stalking, following, or harassing photography/recording.

  • Inappropriate physical contact (always secure someone’s consent before touching them).

  • Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcome sexual advances.

  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online, or in person).

  • Sustained disruption of events.

  • Violence, threats of violence or violent language directed against another person.

  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

Exception: Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language, or similar is permitted if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • It is a personal sharing of the performer.

  • It is presented in a respectful manner.

  • No one other than the performer is called out for something they did not consent to being called out for.

How to Report a Code of Conduct Violation

 If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact Asher Novek or Sherry Hakimi (of genEquality) immediately. If you are unable to reach one of them easily, you may also go to the Help Table and ask a SURU staffer to assist you in contacting them. 

If you can’t or don’t wish to speak in person, or prefer to talk privately or communicate electronically to a third party, you may also submit an electronic report at bit.ly/SURUreporting. All reports will be handled in the strictest confidence.

What Will Happen in the Case of a Conduct Violation?

 Participants asked by SURU staff or a fellow participant to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in any of the aforementioned behavior and it is reported, SURU staff may take any action we deem appropriate, from warning the offender, to immediately expelling the offender with no refund, to banning them from future attendance.