Nibana Checklist for Creating Safe & Inclusive Spaces
Version 1.1. Last updated: 9 December 2019
Purpose of this document
Nibana is a place where everyone should be able to feel safe and welcome. We want to stimulate team members as well as participants to actively contribute to this. When facilitating a workshop or activity, or when holding space in a certain area, there are many aspects that contribute to safety and inclusion. Some things merely require consideration by the workshop facilitators beforehand. Other things should be communicated during the workshop. We expect the team to take responsibility when it comes to creating safe and inclusive spaces and provide this document in order to support that effort.
- Workshops have a clear purpose, beginning and end.
- The general outline of the workshop is made clear at the start.
- It is clear to all participants who the facilitators are and what each person’s role is.
- It will be communicated if a workshop runs late, so everyone has the choice to stay or go.
- Workshops are experiential in nature. Most of the talking by the facilitator is meant to introduce and support the participant's experience.
- Everyone is responsible for their own experience, should take care of themselves and reach out when they need help. This applies to both participants and team members.
- Participants can leave at any moment, but should communicate this to the facilitator. Especially if they’re not OK.
- Every ‘instruction’ given by a facilitator should be perceived as an invitation. Participants only do what's right for them, while respecting the rules and the boundaries of others.
- The facilitator should know beforehand what to do when someone crosses someone else’s boundaries.
Physical safety and hygiene
- Workshops are at the participant’s own risk. Everyone is responsible for any injury or loss to them or their belongings.
- Awareness should be created around risks that come with a workshop, such as mental or physical health risks.
- The facilitator should think about how to minimize risks, such as doing a warming up before physical exercise, having the right materials available or communicating beforehand what materials are needed.
- Everyone should take care of personal hygiene, especially in interactive workshops, such being clean and having fresh breath.
- Team members have a good understanding of the Terrain Guide & Rules.
- Everyone should live up to the Nibana Consent Guidelines, which means actively checking for consent with others and voicing their own boundaries.
- Team members should live up to the Guidelines for Intimate Interactions between Team Members and Participants.
- A workshop facilitator should get consent whenever their workshop includes physically touching a participant, or give participants the opportunity to “opt out” of being touched physically at the start of the workshop.
- Whenever touch is invited between participants, participants should be given an opportunity to indicate their boundaries.
- When including exercises where participants work in couples, consider working in groups of 3 or 4 instead, to create more safety.
- Everyone should speak English in order to be inclusive of people of all languages. Especially when the majority in the space is sharing one language. Use language that’s easy to follow for people who have a different primary language. Inserting words of a different language in sentences should be avoided. If people communicate to the group/facilitator in a different language, it should be translated to the group, so everyone can keep up.
- Making assumptions about other people should be avoided. Unless they have explicitly shared it, don’t assume their gender identity, which pronouns they use, what their sexual preference is, or anything else.
- Workshops should work for people with different gender identities. If gender plays a role in your workshop, think about its role and how to be inclusive to various genders.
- Be aware that not everyone will be physically able to do everything you invite them to do. Everyone is differently abled. Respect that and facilitate for that.
- If a workshop is likely to trigger emotions in participants, this should be pointed out beforehand.
- The (physical) release of emotions, such as shaking, tears and laughter, should be welcomed as a natural and important part of working with the body.
- Whenever this happens everyone can continue with their own process. Workshop facilitators should be supportive and available, but don’t need to be overbearing.
- Everyone should know and agree that whatever happens within the workshop is confidential. We can share about our own experience, but not about others’.
- If, after the workshop, someone wants to talk about someone else’s sharing or experience (to that person or to other people), they should get their consent first.
- Room for inquiries/sharing during or at the end of the workshop can support participants in integrating and digesting their experience.
- Exercises in which projections are actively used (such as constellation work) should be ended in a way there the bubble is broken, such as firing each other out of the given role.
- Participants of intense workshops should be invited to take good care of themselves afterwards, through silence, grounding, hydration and/or other beneficial activities.
- Facilitators should check in with participants that had an intense experience during the workshop.
- Participants should be aware that facilitators and the light team can be contacted when they need extra support.
Support during or after the festival
Had an experience you want to reflect on or need help with? Have questions about safety, diversity, inclusion or consent? At Nibana there are various ways to reach out for support. Please use them if you feel you could benefit from it. There’s a Light Team that always offers a listening ear without judgement (fully confidential). There’s a daily Q&A in the center camp. And always feel free to reach out to any team member.
You may adapt and share this document
Spreading awareness about safety and inclusion is important to us. We hope that these guidelines help more people than just those that are attending the festival. Therefore, you have permission to adapt and share this document to use in your own community, under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons licence:
Attribution: You must give appropriate credit to Nibana Festival, provide a link to the version of this document on the Nibana Festival website and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
ShareAlike: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
We want to constantly improve these guidelines and very much welcome your feedback. So don't hesitate to get in touch with us and send us your suggestions.