The Public Health Pledge Page

Background

We are committing to safer and more inclusive events. You can too.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world forever, including event and community organizing, and the climate crisis brings with it the likelihood of more pandemics.

While public health authorities helped us navigate acute stages of the pandemic, COVID remains a going concern. Attending an in-person event today brings with it significantly more risk than it did in 2019 when robust mitigations are not in place.

Those risks disproportionately harm communities who were already marginalized and underrepresented, and present a barrier to access for people with disabilities, chronic illness, caregivers, people who are otherwise at high risk, and those who live with them.

While organizers have worked hard to navigate the pandemic, the reality is that our collective practice around Health and Safety is inconsistent, and falling into atrophy as seen in current events.

In the 2010s, many people took a Geek Feminism entry on the Code of Conduct pledge Code of Conduct (CoC) pledge Opens in a new window (#CoCPledge select tweets on Ashe Dryden's blog Opens in a new window) to make events more safe and inclusive. Thanks to that and the work of dedicated community members, it became commonplace to have a CoC, we now know what makes a “good” CoC, there are templates to work from, and even experts who consult and train. Our events are better for that.

Today, we have a choice. We can either fall back on the bare minimum required by local regulations, and in so doing subject our community to devastating health impacts while calcifying the very inequities we’ve been working to resolve.

Or, we can do what we did in the 2010s, and raise the bar.

We, the undersigned, want to raise the bar. We are taking the Public Health Pledge (#PHPledge).

The Public Health Pledge

I am committed to diversity and inclusion, including people with disabilities, chronic illness, and caregivers, therefore I pledge to only participate in or organize events that have robust Health and Safety policies.

Events must meet these criteria:

  1. The event has a Health and Safety policy, and if the policy changes it is only strengthened – never weakened – between the event’s announcement and the event itself.
  2. The event actively communicates this policy by including it on their website, in the registration flow, and speaker proposal process, discussing the policy regularly during events, and including it everywhere important announcements are shared.
  3. The event’s policy includes active measures designed to minimize the number of participants who are infected with transmissible diseases like COVID-19, as well as mitigate transmission between participants.
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How to make events more safe and inclusive

There is no one size fits all solution that covers events small and large, public and private, nonprofit and for-profit. However, there is a suite of tools well established in public health.

We will be launching an initial Organizer Guide in the coming days, which we will iterate on in conversation with community leaders and experts. The goal is to co-create practices that speak to many different situations, and provide organizers with as much information and as many tools as we can to ease each other's work toward raising the bar.

However, this page would be incomplete without an overview of the types of active measures event organizers can take.

Minimize the number of participants who are infected with COVID-19

Mitigate transmission between participants

If you’d like to be informed about the launch of our Organizer Guide, or participate in the discussions to improve on it, please follow @PHPledge on Twitter.

Signatories

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