Avacal, from the start of Our reign we have stated how important diversity and inclusivity are to Us. These words cannot be overstated, nor can the following be said loudly enough; We as your Sovereigns soundly reject racism, bigotry, discrimination, and hate. Those ideals have no place in Avacal nor the Society. Should you witness or experience racism, bigotry or discrimination, please make it known to the Crown, the Seneschalate, or your local leadership. We cannot act on what We do not know.
The values with which We strive to lead this kingdom are, and have always been, chivalry, respect, justice, fairness, and integrity. We value those ideals not only as your Crown, but as citizens of the Society and beyond. We do not always succeed in the way We want in upholding those ideals, but accept that we can strive to be better, to educate ourselves, and be open to feedback so that change may take place. We take the role as your Sovereigns to heart, and never is there a day that We forget about your wellbeing.
On June 2, 2020 we shared to Avacal a post From the SCA Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with a focus on the Society of Creative Anachronism core values. Our personal values align the SCA's of which are (taken directly from webpage of the Society Seneschal):
- To act in accordance with the chivalric virtues of honour and service
- To value and respect the worth and dignity of all individuals
- To practice inclusiveness and respect pluralism and diversity
- To promote a safe and respectful environment for all SCA events
- Act with transparency, fairness, integrity and honesty
- Be a responsible steward of SCA resources, and
- Be committed to maintaining the trust of its members and participants.
There have been many discussions of inclusion and diversity in our Kingdom and We continue to encourage them. We were honoured to have the Society DEI Officer, Baroness Zahra, at our TUA in June to educate officers and event stewards and all others on tips to be aware of when administrating and coordinating events so that they are inclusive and welcoming to all participants. There was a lot of great conversations specific to people of colour, non-able bodied needs, and much more. Numerous ideas were taken away to be added to running events in the future.
In addition to the TUA course, We have had further conversations with the Society DEI team, as well as others within our Kingdom and have implemented the following with respect to inclusion and diversity in Avacal:
- Final stages of an updated version of gender neutral laws
- Pronoun preference added to the award recommendation site
- A Silent Herald role added to the Kingdom Heraldry office
- The use of non-gender specific language in Our courts
- The addition of a bench to be used during court for those non-able bodied award recipients
- Private court for those individuals who maybe uncomfortable with public recognition.
We will continue to invite others to offer suggestions or ideas to support continued education on numerous matters of equity and inclusion so all populace members feel welcomed, included, and appreciated in Avacal. We acknowledge that there is more work to be done, and we, as well as Our Heirs, are committed to seeing this through.
As such, the role of Kingdom Diversity and Inclusion officer, which falls under the Seneschal's office, will be posted and open for applications for all interested parties so that the proper focus and attention can be given to it. Please stay tuned for more information on the role and its responsibilities.
Once the role is filled, those populace members who are interested will be invited to participate in a round table discussion lead by our Society DEI officer, Baroness Zahra, on Diversity and Inclusion in Avacal. Once the office is more established, the DEI Officer will be encouraged to hold additional roundtable discussions on other topics related to diversity and inclusion which may include physically accessibility options for eventing in Avacal, addressing difficult issues related to equality, and other topics as the office sees fit.
Avacal, we are not there yet. There is much more work to be done to address systemic injustice and inappropriate behaviour that exist in our community. There are many of us still in learning mode to recognize these behaviours in ourselves and to take the steps in the direction of change.
If you experience or are of witness to racism, discrimination, bulling, harassment or any behaviours contrary to the values of the SCA as mentioned above, please say something in the moment. Additionally bring the situation to the attention of the Crown, the Society Seneschal, or local leadership so it can be addressed. Please see the attached links to our laws and processes so you are aware.
In service to Avacal,
Ivar & Asney
Avacal Kingdom Laws: Avacal.org/seneschal/Law, Policy & Warrants/Avacal Kingdom Laws
Avacal Bullying policy: Avacal.org/seneschal/Law, Policy & Warrants/Avacal Bulling Policy
Sexual Misconduct Policy: https://www.sca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Sexual-Misconduct-Policy-14-Apr-2020.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2UIuBhkD1cSmkzbnOVdkYcbuP4Qjz9TRSQn9XbOpfJ_M0bLTxqfItpVGk
Non Discrimination policy: http://socsen.sca.org/proposed-corpora-addition-non-discrimination/?fbclid=IwAR1iPUZgBM2gcUBDBEXo6zNZGslmR1l8VfVgF2GF-j-x694JNRJwYTWeJoA
Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion: https://www.sca.org/dei-office/
Vik Vikingsson and A'isha Rayhana al-Karim
DEI Statement from the Heirs
Greetings to Our Noble Crowns, Ivar and Asney, and Greetings to Our Great Kingdom, Avacal, and to all who live in these fair lands,
We want the Known World to know that We are in fealty to the Crown and as such support their goals and wishes for a diverse, equal, and inclusive society. To this end We wish to proclaim the following:
We are committed to promoting the values of inclusion within the SCA and Our Kingdom of Avacal. We believe in a group which all can participate, prosper, benefit, and reach their full potential.
We know that the SCA is not insulated from bias and understand that We may at times even be the cause of said bias. We will work hard to better Ourselves through education and understanding to make the SCA more inclusive.
We welcome, value, and encourage new and existing members. We each have different characteristics, preferences, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, labels, cultures, and beliefs. We will not allow variety to hinder the very organization we love and support. Our people's diversity is Avacal's strength.
We will do Our best to ensure that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities in the SCA and is treated with the same courtesy, respect, and dignity as everyone else, no matter how different.
Lastly, We vow to take action. We value chivalry whose tenets we claim to hold as ideal. If a participant violates this code of conduct, We let them know so they can adjust their behavior. It is Our job not to judge but to be clear on what actions are acceptable and if We see something, We will say something. Discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, and hate speech will not be tolerated in Avacal or the SCA.
Thank you for hearing Our words. We encourage all members of Avacal to look to positive change within the Kingdom.
HRH Vik VikingssonHRH A'isha umm Rayhana bint Karim
If you believe you have been discriminated against, sexually harassed, bullied, or subjected to hate speech, there is help. Contact the Kingdom Seneschal, or Your Crown. If you feel like this won't work contact the President of the SCA, or your Kingdom's Board Ombudsman. You may also "cc" firstname.lastname@example.org on your correspondence.