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Equalizing power and access in coalitions

  • Recognize and address individual factors which can affect access and participation, e.g., shyness, slower processing or speaking style, literacy level, language, experience, physical difficulties, etc.
  • Recognize and address systemic factors which can affect access and participation, such as ageism, sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, etc.
  • Adjust for physical factors which can affect access such as lighting, volume, seating, obstacles, background noise, etc.
  • Be understanding of individual responsibilities beyond the coalition, e.g., work hours, family commitments, transportation arrangements, childcare needs.
  • Help to put people “on the same page” with information, e.g., give background information, repeat questions aloud, encourage people to ask questions.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO:

  • INTERRUPT
  • USE INTOLERANT BODY LANGUAGE
  • PATRONIZE
  • ASSUME SOME ARE MORE CAPABLE THAN OTHERS
  • TRIVIALIZE THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS
  • DOMINATE IN TERMS OF IDEAS, TIME, OR AIRSPACE
  • GET DEFENSIVE OR TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY