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Community Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is committed to maintaining a safe space for all persons regardless of age, gender identity and expression, sexuality, disability, body size, race, religion, or ethnicity. To ensure that not only our workplace but all of our public gatherings, such as events, fundraisers, and meetings, are free of harassment and bias, we ask that all of our members and attendees to abide by our Community Code of Conduct. Participants that violate NIAC’s Community Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from all NIAC gatherings. 

Forms of Harassment

Harassment is defined as actions that threaten, intimidate, alarm, or put a person in fear of their safety. Below is a list of actions that are considered forms of harassment and will not be tolerated at NIAC events and activities:

  • Verbal or written comments that are targeted against a person based on age, disability, ethnicity, race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, physical appearance, or religion
  • Verbal or written comments that are sexually graphic or sexually suggestive
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, either verbal or physical
  • Unwelcome physical contact 
  • Unwelcome photography or recording
  • Intimidation such as stalking or disregard of personal space
  • Violent threats made against another person
  • Advocating for, encouraging, or intentionally concealing any of the above behavior

Expectations

All participants in NIAC activities, whether including staff, board members, leadership council members, volunteers, or an attendee at an event, are expected to treat other participants with respect. Keep in mind that something that was not said with the intent of harassment, i.e. something said as a “joke,” may still be considered harassment. Participants are asked to stop any harassing behavior immediately, whether or not the request is given by someone in authority. Failure to cease offending behavior after a request to do so will result in immediate expulsion from an activity. 

Participants at NIAC activities and events that believe that they are either witnessing or experiencing harassment are encouraged to directly ask the offender to stop the behavior. This is, however, not a requirement as we also encourage participants to immediately report the behavior to a member of NIAC staff to intervene. 

NIAC recognizes that not everyone that experiences or witnesses harassment is likely to report or call out the offender immediately, so if this occurs, we still encourage participants to report any incidents even after the event has concluded.   

Anyone who experiences or witness harassment, regardless of how they initially chose to handle the situation, is encouraged to report the incident to NIAC (See “Reporting and Enforcement). Even if the behavior stopped, it is possible that the behavior is part of a larger pattern of harassment. Reporting said behavior is an important part of NIAC staff identifying and ending the pattern.

Policy Application

NIAC’s Community Code of Conduct applies to all members of the NIAC Community. This includes staff, board members, leadership council members, volunteers, donors, event attendees, speakers and guests, consultants, and contractors. 

This policy will be enforced at all NIAC activities. This not only applies to public events, such as happy hours and panels, but also volunteer and board meetings, and fundraisers. The policy also applies to remote activities in non-physical spaces, such as video conferences, teleconferences, group messaging and emails, general social media posts, and online comment threads. 

Reporting and Enforcement

Again, we encourage reporting an incident of harassment either during or after an event, regardless of how you initially chose to handle the situation. To report an incident, please contact NIAC’s Organizing Director, Donna Farvard, at dfarvard@niacouncil.org. Those who wish to report may also contact NIAC’s Director of Finance & Administration, Nicole Ataei, at nataei@niacouncil.org or (202) 386-6325 at any time. 

When reporting, we ask that you do so as soon as possible. Enforcement is most effective when an incident is identified and intervened early. Timely reporting helps NIAC to take immediate action to prevent future harassment. 

After an incident is reported, it will be investigated by NIAC. We value the privacy of those involved in an incident of harassment, including witnesses that report an incident. We will do our absolute best to respect confidentiality.

Those that are found to have violated NIAC’s Community Code of Conduct will be immediately reprimanded. This includes, but is not limited to, expulsion from an activity or event, temporary or permanent exclusion from future NIAC activities, suspension or expulsion from NIAC membership, and/or suspension or termination of their role such as volunteer, Captain, board member, leadership council member or staff. If escalation is necessary, NIAC reserves the right to report behavior to the appropriate authorities. 

Questions about NIAC’s Community Code of Conduct? Please contact NIAC’s Organizing Director, Donna Farvard, at dfarvard@niacouncil.org or Director of Finance & Administration, Nicole Ataei, at nataei@niacouncil.org.