I am happy to announce that Mistress Gytha Oggsdottier is my new Deputy Seneschal for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (or our new DEI officer) and I am looking forward to working with her in this new capacity. For more information on just what a DEI officer does, please check out the Society page:
Illadore de Bedegrayne
DEI Office Information:
Diversity means the presence of difference, or variety, within our groups. We each have different characteristics, preferences, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, labels, cultures, and beliefs. In the SCA, we do not allow something as organic as variety to hinder the very organization we love and support.
Equity means equal access. When people come together in groups, some have advantages while others have disadvantages. In context of this office, equity means a process to ensure that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities in the SCA. It also means being treated with the same courtesy, respect, and dignity as everyone else, no matter how you are different.
Inclusion means being welcomed and truly valued for what you contribute. It means that no matter your race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or able-ness, you are accepted. Verna Myers explains, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” This office will be using the framework of Inclusive Excellence.
What does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mean for members of the SCA?
First, that we are aware of issues going on in the world we live in and we know that our organization is not insulated from the impacts of implicit bias.
Second, that to be successful we must welcome and value new and existing members who are different from 90% of our populace.
Third, that discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, and hate speech will not be tolerated in our Society.
Lastly, that we take action. We value chivalry and live by those tenets we claim to hold as ideal. When a participant violates the code of conduct we require, we let them know so they can adjust their behavior. The phrase, “if you see something, say something” can be applied here.
Our job as members isn’t to judge other members but to be clear on what actions are acceptable. You can simply let a member know that, “we don’t treat people that way in the SCA”, or “that violates our core values”, or “that action/statement isn’t acceptable”. If you have tried that without result, or feel uncomfortable doing so, you can report any incident to your local Seneschal who will report to your Kingdom Seneschal.
Use the links on the DEI website to educate yourself on bias, cultural intelligence, and inclusive excellence. Understand that bias exists and it doesn’t make one a bad person; it is simply something to be aware of and to challenge so that you don’t act on bias, mistreat any member of the SCA, or violate our laws or policies.
If you believe you have been discriminated against, sexually harassed, bullied, or subjected to hate speech, there is help and the first step is to tell us about it. Contact a seneschal, the President of the SCA, or your Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman. You also “cc” (email@example.com) on your correspondence, if you like.