Community Norms

1) We commit to working towards racial, gender, disability, and LGBTQ+ justice, both in our research and in our relationships with one another.

  • We operate from a spirit of kindness, collaboration, and respect while still holding ourselves and others accountable.
  • We acknowledge that SOGIE research is inseparable from social justice work, and we address this explicitly in our research and community engagement.
  • We acknowledge that systems of privilege and marginalization reinforce one another and can only be understood and dismantled through attention to their intersections.

2) We promote the development of all Harvard SOGIE members, and we lift up early-career scholars and trainees in particular.

  • We explicitly encourage participation and questions from members with any level of knowledge and expertise on a topic.
  • We give context for trainees (and all members) by explaining acronyms, methods, terminology, grant mechanisms, and other points that may be unfamiliar.
  • We warmly welcome and build connections with new and/or early-career members.

3) We keep Harvard SOGIE accessible.

  • We encourage participation in the formats that are most accessible and comfortable for each member (e.g., voice, chat, camera, audio only, listening only). We take steps to fully incorporate chat participation into our discussions.
  • In our presentations, we provide advance notice of content likely to be emotionally activating, such as detailed discussion of weight/shape control behaviors, self-injury, racial and cultural trauma, medical trauma, sexual violence, and family rejection.
  • Acknowledging the challenges of discussion over Zoom, we do our best to make space for all voices and to let others finish their thoughts before we speak.

4) We acknowledge the complexity and diversity of social identities, social positions, and backgrounds within Harvard SOGIE.

  • We are mindful that…
    • Our colleagues’ appearances, pronouns, expertise, or research interests do not necessarily indicate their identities, positions, or backgrounds — and vice versa.
    • Our colleagues’ individual identities or positions do not necessarily
      indicate their relationship to a broader community.
    • Identities and identity-related language are not static (e.g., pronouns may change over time).
  • We are mindful that, in many cases, some of our Harvard SOGIE colleagues are members of the communities and experiences described in our research.

5) We value many sources of expertise.

  • We acknowledge that…
    • Harvard SOGIE members bring health and research expertise from multiple sources, including lived experience, research experience, clinical experience, other professional experience, and organizing/advocacy experience.
    • Many Harvard SOGIE members bring more than one of these forms of expertise.
    • We do our best work when we bring multiple forms of expertise into conversation with one another.
  • When we present, we try to discuss how perspectives from the populations and communities we study have been incorporated into the design, conduct, and interpretation of our research. We also share our plans and strategies for disseminating our results in these communities.

6) We value and cultivate discussion of social identity, social position, privilege, and marginalization.

  • We reflect on and acknowledge how our backgrounds and perspectives shape our research.
  • We approach differences in perspective, language, etc. from a place of curiosity. We are mindful that perspectives and language may vary among and within communities, generations, disciplines, and in other ways.
  • We are mindful that giving feedback related to social identity, social position, privilege, and marginalization can be risky, particularly for trainees, early-career scholars, and members whose identities and social positions tend to be marginalized in health research. We actively counter this dynamic by expressing our gratitude for this kind of feedback—especially, but not only, when we are the direct recipients.
  • We are also mindful that receiving feedback related to social identity, social position, privilege, and marginalization can be intimidating. When appropriate, we make explicit the spirit of generosity in which we offer this feedback.

7) We communicate our respect for our research participants.

  • Before presenting, we check our work carefully to ensure that all language is congruent with our participants’ identities, such as inaccurate or unnecessarily gendered language.
  • In our presentations, we prioritize descriptors that reflect participants’ identities, except to the extent that social assignment/position is the focus of the research.

Harvard SOGIE developed these community norms in Spring 2022 and recognize they may change over time as our team and our work evolve.