AMIA Code of Conduct

Posted on August 1, 2015

The Association of Moving Image Archivists, through its core principles stated in its Mission and Code of Ethics, and Diversity, Inclusion and Equity statements, is an organization devoted to fostering cooperation and professional development among its members. AMIA is committed to providing its members and guests who participate in its activities with a welcoming, diverse and professional community, as well as help facilitate a harassment-free and discrimination-free environment.

Objective

The AMIA Code of Conduct is meant to ensure that within the Association, be it through conferences, events, meetings, committee or other volunteer work, mentoring relationships, and all online spaces including AMIA administered social media and listservs, no person will harass another for any reason.  We know that the best problem-solving and critical thinking happens when people with a wide variety of experiences and perspectives come together to work in comfort and safety as peers. We therefore expect participants in the AMIA community to approach participation in our events in helping to create thoughtful and respectful environments where that interaction can take place.


About the Code of Conduct

Because of the variety of experiences and perspectives in our community, we have outlined below a potential, but by no means exhaustive, list of factors for which harassment can commonly occur; this list is provided in hopes of facilitating greater awareness and in pursuit of facilitating a more productive and comfortable environment.

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Family relationship or marital status
  • Gender identity/expression
  • Individual lifestyle
  • Level of experience in the field
  • Military or veteran status
  • Physical appearance
  • Race, ethnicity, or national origin
  • Religious beliefs
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The following types of harassment are prohibited and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Abusive verbal comments and/or discriminatory images in public spaces, such as AMIA listserv e-mail, voice mail, chat rooms, social media, project management platforms or text messages
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Purposeful and repeated acts of misgendering (to include direct refusal to respect a person’s pronouns)
  • Pushing, hitting, inappropriate or unwanted physical contact, invasion of personal physical space and blocking behaviors, deliberate physical intimidation or gestures, stalking and unwelcome sexual attention
  • Slurs, epithets, derogatory comments or threats
  • Sustained verbal or physical disruption of talks at conferences, events, and meetings
  • Unwelcome jokes, visual depictions, teasing and/or whistling

 

Consequences for Violations of the Code of Conduct

Those who violate the Code of Conduct may be expelled from the conference, event, or meeting at the discretion of a member of the AMIA Board of Directors. Online participants who are asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately or may be denied access to the online space at the discretion of the list administrator or the AMIA Managing Director, or member of the Board of Directors. Persons who have been expelled or denied access may appeal to the AMIA Board of Directors. Board of Director contact information may be found here: http://www.amianet.org/about/board-members

From the AMIA bylaws[1]:

“…if the member has failed in a material and serious degree to observe the rules of conduct of AMIA, their membership in the association may be terminated or suspended through a good faith determination of the board.” More information may be found at Article III, Section 4(a)(iv) and 4(c).

 

About Content Presented at AMIA Conferences and Events

It is understood that content presented at AMIA conferences or meetings or in online forums may at times deal with sensitive subject matter, ranging from visually sensitive historical material (such as images related to acts of genocide) to sexually explicit language or images (such as in archival letters, nude photographs, or film or audio recordings). This policy is not intended to constrain responsible scholarly or professional discourse and debate. We welcome engagement with difficult topics, done with respect and care.

How to Report

At an AMIA event or conference: If you feel that you are in immediate danger at any time during an AMIA Annual Meeting or event, contact law enforcement by dialing the emergency number specific to geographical location (911 in the U.S.), or the facility front desk in order to obtain the emergency number without delay.  If you are not in immediate danger but feel that you are being harassed or that someone else is being harassed, or if you have other concerns, please contact the AMIA Managing

Director or an AMIA Board member immediately. AMIA Board member point person and staff contact information will be listed on the AMIA event website starting the day of the event. If neither staff nor Board members attend event, reports should be directed to the online form. Online reporting and in-person information relayed to your first point of contact may be shared with careful respect to confidentially with other AMIA Board of Directors and AMIA staff members. This sharing is for the sole purpose of facilitating next steps for follow-up. AMIA has adopted clear procedures to deal with discipline based upon CoC violations, which procedures involve an escalating level of discipline.  Specific follow-up and next steps regarding each complaint will occur in a timely manner based on the urgency of the situation, which is determined at the discretion of the AMIA representative.

Confidentiality:  All reports of CoC violations received by AMIA staff and Board will be treated confidentially. It is the policy of AMIA to protect those who communicate bonafide concerns from any retaliation for such reporting.  Any person who violates this prohibition against retaliation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include suspension or revocation of membership pursuant to Article III, Section 4(a)(iv) and/or 4(b) of the AMIA Amended and Restated Bylaws.   When reporting online, if you decide to provide your contact information, your complaint will not be anonymous to the AMIA Board and Staff, but your complaint will remain confidential to these parties.

Locating AMIA staff & Board: AMIA staff and Board members can be identified by name badges. They will assist participants by contacting hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, providing escorts, or otherwise helping those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. You can make a report either personally or anonymously through the online form found here: http://bit.ly/AMIAReport

Once a report has been received, the person who reported will receive an email acknowledging receipt, or a verbal confirmation that the report has been noted. If not anonymous, interviews with parties involved will be completed and follow-up, including a method for resolution or Board action will occur in a timely manner. All reports will be kept as a part of institutional and process history, for subsequent improvements and further review, however will remain confidential to AMIA Board members and staff.

Online Spaces

If you encounter violations of the Code of Conduct in AMIA online spaces, please use the link above to submit a report. The AMIA office staff will check the link above once a week. More frequent checking, once per day, will occur by AMIA Staff or Board members during any conference or event.

People will have different opinions about how the CoC is enforced. Some may argue that a particular decision was unfair, and others may say that it did not go far enough. We cannot stop people from having differing opinions, but what we can try to do is have constructive discussions that lead to tangible results (affirmation of decision, change in CoC, modification of a decision, etc.).

The AMIA Code of Conduct is subject to review based on need and continued implementation, as assessed by the AMIA Board of Directors. Any such changes will be subject to an AMIA Board of Directors’ vote and approval.

Acknowledgements

The AMIA Board of Directors wishes to thank Digital Library Federation (DLF), International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), Public Knowledge Project, Code4Lib, New England Archivists for discussion and CoC models drawn from for incorporation into our own Code.

We also wish to thank AMIA members Caroline Yeager, Travis Wagner and Kathryn Gronsbell for volunteer hours which contributed significantly to the project’s progression, as well as all AMIA members who contributed comments.

 

 

[1] In effect since 2010.