What are your aspirations for this feed?
With Craft Equity, we want to provide a space of healing and support and sharing. This account is for people who have been harmed: people who have never spoken of how they were mistreated and people who have spoken out only to be disbelieved or dismissed. It is also for people who have been sheltered from harm, so that they can see all facets of the craft community (good and bad), and for people who have (knowingly or unwittingly) perpetrated harm, so that they can learn from these shared stories of trauma.
The comments are helpful for people to read and participate in, a space to dialogue in an effort to understand what the equity issues in craft are.
Who are you?
We are a group of queer and racially diverse craft artists who work in each of the traditional mediums (clay, glass, metals, wood, and textiles). We are exhibiting artists, writers, and teachers who are active in craft. We’re remaining anonymous because we want to avoid retaliation, and because we don’t want the narrative of Craft Equity to become about us as individuals. Our focus is on the submitters’ stories.
Are these stories about equity?
We are addressing equity in two primary ways. First, the feed gives people who have been marginalized, silenced and disregarded a bullhorn through which to make their stories known. They have not had the same privileges of being heard, because of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other oppressions.
Second, many of these personal stories tell of inequity and oppression that have either never been told or not told widely. Our premise is that individuals who read stories here that resonate with their own experiences will find solidarity and support that can motivate them to press for change in their communities. We hope that those in leadership positions will be changed for the better by reading them and, we hope, work to create more equitable systems.
What is Craft Equity’s role in holding individuals or institutions accountable?
We’re revising and clarifying our position on accountability after hearing your feedback.
We’re a platform on which submitters can choose to call out institutions or individuals. Because we’re a small team with limited resources, the Craft Equity organizing team does not have mechanisms for forcing accountability. Accountability is community-driven. We believe in the power of decentralized, collective movements—no one person or entity can drive change. It takes all of us.
We invite people to use this platform to pressure institutions into accountability regarding the inequities revealed in posted stories. We hope that when people in leadership positions hear these stories, they will be motivated toward change. This feed leverages these stories against the public reputations of craft institutions.
Here are some things you can do to create accountability:
-If you see a story you recognize, you can support that submitter’s story by submitting your own personal related story about the same individual, institution, or experience to Craft Equity.
-File a complaint with the institution, if there is one—many have their own protocols in place and can only legally act when complaints come through designated channels.
-To raise awareness, make a post on your personal account and tag the institution and any individual staff or board members.
-On Craft Equity, tag people with supporting stories, or DM them privately to ask them to comment (be cautious about outing people who have been harmed without first obtaining their permission).
Why don’t we offer solutions to the problems and events cited in the stories?
Our focus is narrow–we are a pass-through for stories of personal harm, performative justice, bad policy, and institutional failures within craft. As a small team of artists working unpaid, we do not have the capacity to offer solutions at this time. We encourage the community to chime in and/or tag people who may be able to help in specific situations.
We can do two things for submitters. We will put people in touch with our attorney if they need legal help, and we will facilitate communication between an offending institution and a submitter, if the submitter wishes. See our resources page for more information.
How do you know these stories are true?
Survivors who tell their stories should be believed and supported. We believe readers can have nuanced interpretations of Craft Equity posts and engage in productive dialogue.
What are your hopes for community engagement?
Read each post with generosity, empathy, and nuance, keeping in mind the imperfect nature of words. Comment with support, suggestions that attempt to instigate progress, and solidarity.
Be kind and supportive! Keep a sense of perspective. We acknowledge that there is a spectrum of inequity, and we measure our responses against the level of harm the story describes.
What is Craft Equity’s position on comments on posts and engaging in dialogue?
Since Craft Equity’s posts are a pass-through for personal stories, commenters guide the discussion. We want to remain as neutral as possible and not moderate discussions between commenters. The organizing team works collaboratively, so we often talk to each other before commenting—that takes time, so responses won’t appear right away.Ideally, the comment sections are places for support, suggestions that instigate progress, and solidarity.
This project is evolving and is influenced by the community’s ideas and needs. We will update our process and these guidelines as needed to behave responsibly.
I know the person/institution this post is talking about. I want to name that individual/place. Can I say that in the comments?
Only if it’s your personal story. If the post in question is your story, you can call out someone in the post by commenting as yourself and identifying yourself as the submitter. However, if it is not your story, we ask you not to name names in order to respect the boundaries of the submitter. Speculative comments damage the safe space that we are trying to create and will be deleted.
Why was my comment deleted?
Your comment may have violated our community guidelines. If you have questions about why that might have happened, please DM us or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org referencing the deleted comment.
What is your process behind the scenes?
We are a small group of craft artists who volunteer our time to this project. The process is still evolving towards best practices, both for the project and our individual abilities/availability. Currently, we post stories in the order they come in (with exceptions regarding timeliness). We generally post one story per weekday and keep an eye on the comments and DMs. We try to intervene as little as possible, with the exception of comments that we regard as abusive. We operate by consensus.
How do you decide who to tag? Why are some schools and orgs tagged and others aren’t?
It is solely up to the submitters who and what to name—we play no role in that decision. People or institutions who are identified in Craft Equity posts have been named by the submitter because they want the responsible parties to be named. While this will hurt some reputations, we think it’s important that submitters have the opportunity to warn other artists about difficulties they ma y encounter with particular people or places.
Do you edit stories?
No, not apart from minor and obvious typos.
How do you decide when to put up a content warning?
We have recently begun to include content warnings, because some topics are particularly triggering. Instances of violence, sexual assault, suicidal ideation, and eating disorders are among the topics we will post with warnings.
Why did the story I submitted not get posted?
We have recently expanded our focus, but prior to this time our story submission parameters have evolved to require the submitter to tell their story. If a story was written as commentary, however valuable, we did not post it. Your submission may also be backed up in the queue.
What do I do if I need legal advice about a discrimination case?
On our Resources page you’ll find information about our legal representation, Crumiller PC, as well as other legal resources.
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