Code of Conduct for DSP Events and Programs

The Dangerous Speech Project (DSP) is committed to creating environments in which all participants are treated with dignity, decency, and respect, regardless of their color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, personal appearance, political affiliation, marital status, family responsibilities/parenthood, veteran status, education, disability, genetic information, and any legally protected class in jurisdictions where the DSP or its fiscal sponsor operates. Harassment, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and bullying, will not be tolerated, nor will other conduct that could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting.

We encourage behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment, such as:

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language
  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
  • Gracefully giving and accepting constructive criticism
  • Focusing on what is best for the group
  • Showing empathy towards other participants

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Ridiculing, belittling, insults, or generally offensive remarks;
  • Use of epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping;
  • Mocking, ridiculing, or mimicking another’s culture, accent, appearance, or customs;
  • Threatening, intimidating, or engaging in hostile or offensive acts that focus on a person’s individual characteristics;
  • Using sexualized language or imagery, or communicating unwelcome sexual attention or advances;
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without their explicit permission;
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

Our Responsibilities

DSP staff are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior. If a participant engages in such behavior, staff retain the right to take any actions to keep the program or event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or removing them from the space (virtual or physical). DSP staff will intervene against anything designed to, or that does, disrupt an event or program, or make the environment hostile for any participants.


This Code of Conduct applies at all events organized by the DSP, and in online spaces created or maintained by the DSP, including (but not limited to) email lists and online forums.


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it to DSP staff as soon as possible. Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our programs for everyone. Concerns about a DSP staff member can be reported to [email protected].

While we encourage prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken, there is no deadline for reporting. We will hear your story at any time, investigate as much as possible and appropriate, and provide you with support. That said, we encourage you to come forward as soon as you are able, as the passage of time may make it more difficult for you to recall important details or may jeopardize our ability to take meaningful action. It is your right to make the decision to come forward and report an incident in your own timing.

Disclaimer and Attribution

This Code of Conduct is based on New Venture Fund’s discrimination and anti-harassment policies, and the invaluable work of Geek Feminism Wiki, Contributor Covenant, and Kendra Albert. It is not legally binding and does not create any legal liability for the Dangerous Speech Project, New Venture Fund, or any individual employee or contractor.

Last updated October 22, 2019