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The Ethics of Fellowship at ACSF

The core purpose of ACSF is to be a sheltered and nurturing space for seekers to share a rigorous quest toward transcendental dimensions of the built environment: a purpose that demands all ACSF activities be imbued with a deep spirit of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI).

The words ‘deep spirit’ in the statement above are carefully chosen, for the challenge to live by JEDI values is more profound than may be initially apparent. People who have been discriminated against have often spoken on being troubled by terms like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’. While commitment to these values may remove structural barriers of overt discrimination, their deployment to proclaim inclusion often retains an inadvertent delineation of the otherness of the person one seeks to include. JEDI values must be lived in a spirit so deep that it dispels all vestiges of otherness.

ACSF’s dedication to a transcendental dimension of the universe implies recognizing a transcendental spirit within the inner core of every human being. Each person may express this spirit differently in terms of appearance, practices or culture; but the divine spirit within each one is the same. An unrestrained embrace of this inner unity is the key to living the deep spirit of JEDI that must pervade ACSF as an organization.

To implement this, we must delineate the protocols by which ACSF must function. This requires recognizing two facets of JEDI values:

  1. A Code of Conduct: A line that cannot be crossed, prohibiting behaviors that explicitly contradict JEDI values to the extent that corrective action is necessary.
  2. Proactive Values: These are aspirational values that may resist definition explicit enough to be enforceable through a code of conduct.

Participation in any ACSF activity will mandatorily require a commitment to abide by the code of conduct and aspire to proactive values.

The ACSF Code of Conduct

All ACSF events are settings where the membership gathers to share scholarship, works and fellowship in collegial and spiritually uplifting settings. We welcome all participants in a spirit of curiosity, respect, and compassion. Participation in any event is conditional to reading and accepting this code of conduct.

  1. Expectations

Our events are safe and supportive places where diverse views and personal boundaries are mutually respected, and our expectation is that participants align their conduct accordingly.

  1. Prohibited Conduct
    1. Sexual harassment of any kind, including unwelcome attention, comments and/or physical contact.
    2. Disruptive, disrespectful, threatening, and/or violent behaviors
    3. Discriminatory treatment based on membership in a group or class of people (e.g., disability, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation)
    4. Creation of an unpleasant or hostile situation with verbal or physical conduct, especially after it has been indicated by another that such conduct is uninvited and/or unwelcome
  2. Recourse

In order to provide assurance to all participants, the ACSF Board has established a predetermined protocol for corrective action in the case of any untoward incident.

If you experience or witness conduct during the symposium that may be in violation of this Code of Conduct, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact any one of the following members of the ACSF Code of Conduct Committee who are authorized by the ACSF Board to respond to reporting of any act of harassment.  If you would rather speak about the issue than document it in writing, please email any member of the committee to request a phone or Zoom/Skype conversation:

              Tom Barrie                    

              Prem Chandavarkar     

             Tammy Gaber               

ACSF will respond to all reports of violations of the Code of Conduct promptly and appropriately, taking care to use discretion and maintain confidentiality to the extent possible.  No action will be taken without the consent of the reporting party filing a complaint.

When necessary to protect the symposia and its participants, after following due process, ACSF reserves the right to remove a registrant or a speaker from the symposium without refund, and/or bar one from participation in future symposia, and where necessary, initiate action that is required to abide by the laws of the land.

Proactive ACSF Values

We must recognize that discrimination has been ingrained in the world for so long that it can become invisible to those who have not been its victims. It is possible for a person to be well-meaning yet indulge in language or behavior that makes another uncomfortable. It is impossible to predefine such situations. We can only assert that the ACSF core purpose demands the highest standards, and it is consequently expected that all participants at ACSF events will aspire toward:

  1. Self-Critique: We often inadvertently change our language and behavior depending on the identity of the other. For example, a man may adopt a different turn of phrase when speaking to a woman that makes her acceptance in the group gendered to the point of provoking uneasiness; and this can happen even when the man holds the best of intentions. We must consistently critique ourselves to self-consciously examine whether our own language and behavior provokes otherness in the people we interact with.
  2. Assertive Empathy: We must continuously examine ACSF as an organization, ask if there are people who are aligned with the ACSF mission, who could easily be included, but we have inadvertently not acted in a manner that facilitates such inclusion. Our empathy must be assertive so that it is always casting its gaze beyond the inward focused circles of interaction that serendipitously form in the normal course of events.
Commitment to JEDI Values at ACSF

Registration for any ACSF event will require that every participant first read this statement on the ethics of fellowship at ACSF.  Any subsequent step of the registration process will imply a commitment to accept and abide by these values and the code of conduct it contains.

If any ACSF member feels that this document needs modification to its wording, feel free to reach out to any member of the ACSF Board.  For details on board members and their email addresses, click here.