Code of Conduct

YNPN Activate! Summit Code of Conduct

YNPN seeks to hold a space where everyone feels welcome and safe. This code of conduct is to establish and protect an atmosphere of inclusivity. It helps us all to understand our shared values and provides clear guidelines on how we should behave.

This conference should be a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof).

All attendees, speakers and volunteers must agree with this code of conduct. We must all cooperate to ensure a safe environment for everybody.

As organizers, we will enforce this code of conduct throughout Activate! Summit. Organizers will be designated with a ribbon on their name tag and accessible at the Registration/Information Desk throughout the conference. Anyone who breaks this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from the Activate! Summit without a refund, at the discretion of the organizers.


Expected Behavior

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all community members:

  • Participate in an authentic and active way.

  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.

  • Attempt collaboration before conflict.

  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.

  • We should all listen and communicate respectfully, regardless of appearance or background.

  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert Activate! Summit organizers if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.


Unacceptable Behavior

The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable within our community:

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

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

  • Posting or displaying sexually explicit or violent material.

  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information.

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

  • Inappropriate photography or recording.

  • Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someone’s consent before touching them.

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

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

  • The Activate! Summit is not for people to attend with the sole purpose of selling or recruiting.

  • Yelling at or threatening speakers or other attendees (verbally or physically).

  • Sustained disruption of community events, including talks and presentations.

  • No weapons will be allowed at the Activate! Summit. Weapons include but are not limited to guns, explosives (including fireworks), and large knives such as those used for hunting or display, as well as any other item used for the purpose of causing injury or harm to others. Anyone seen in possession of one of these items will be asked to leave immediately, and will only be allowed to return without the weapon. Attendees are further expected to comply with all state and local laws on this matter.

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

  • Speakers are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others.

  • Participants may exercise their option to leave a session or a conversation.


Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any community member, including sponsors and those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If a conference attendee or presenter engages in unacceptable behavior, we may take any action deemed appropriate, up to and including an expulsion from the Activate! Summit without warning or refund.


Where and when this code of conduct applies

We expect participants to follow this code of conduct at our conference space, any external venue and related social events, such as post-event drinks, networking discussions, meetups and workshops.


A note about Microaggressions

Microaggressions are defined as "commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, whether unintentional or intentional which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults to people from marginalized groups." (Sue, Derald Wing et al.) Microaggressions can be intentional or unintentional, hateful or not-hateful, but they are always discriminatory. However, whether or not a micro-aggression was intentional may affect how you respond to the person, but it in no way mitigates the harm in the action itself.

Common Themes of Microaggressions

  • Assuming normality of a dominant culture/ identity 
  • Assuming inferiority / pathology of a marginalized culture/ identity
  • Myth of meritocracy
  • Culture/Color blindness
  • Ascription of intelligence 
  • Denying existing bias
  • Assuming citizenship status/ heritage

Why does addressing microaggressions matter?
While a few microaggressions may seem insignificant when taken in isolation, the steady chorus of them that people in marginalized groups experience everyday forms an unmistakable patchwork of othering and marginalization. As stated in the Code of Conduct, YNPN Activate! seeks to hold a space where everyone feels welcome and safe.

Recognizing and Interrupting Microaggressions
YNPN encourages participants to recognize and interrupt microaggressions and problematic behavior and language when they see them occurring during the conference.

A guide to interrupting microaggressions and problematic behavior and language:

  • Figure out the best way to communicate how the behavior/ language is problematic. Is it better to approach them in person? Would a message or phone call be more effective?
  • Mention specific actions and explain why it's problematic, hurtful or offensive. Recognizing that many of us has blindspots and might not know why certain language or behaviors can be helpful.

Speaking out on problematic language can be scary and uncomfortable. Here are some great tools to interrupt microagressions:

Adapted from Racial Microaggressions in Every Day Life and


What to do if you have a concern

If you are being harassed or feel uncomfortable, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please speak to the event organizer immediately. The event organizers will have this designation on their name tags and be available at the Registration/Information Desk at all times. If you are not able to to do this then please use our contact form.

Our team is here to listen to your concerns or questions and you don’t have to make a formal report unless you want to. You do not have to give us details of the harassment.

If you wish to report it, we will take details of the harassment and work with you to respond to the issue in a way that helps you feel safe.

If necessary, organizers will help participants contact police or venue security (if the event is at an external venue), provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.


Thank you and Authorship

This document was based on the work of Sheffield Tech for Good, JSConf, Geek Feminism,, Racial Microaggressions in Every Day Life and inspired by resources provided by Ashe Dryden.

The Code of Conduct was collaboratively written by YNPN leaders.  We invite others to adapt and use it for their own events and programs.  Please attribute YNPN National and YNPN Portland as the co-authors.