Thank you all for being patient with us as we quietly work on matching! We (Ashley and Beth) wanted to check in with everyone, because we’ve been following the conversations trending in our community. We appreciate everyone’s passion for social growth, and recognize this as another opportunity to listen, learn, and make positive change!
Our mission has remained steady since 2015: “fostering connections beyond the screen while contributing to the growth of the Fibre-community.” This sentimient applied when we had 6 participants, and it still applies when we have 3,000 participants! And we want to keep rising to the occasion, growing alongside this incredibly strong community of crafters.
Back in January 2019, we listened and learned about creating an inclusive environment for our wonderful BIPOC community members. Since then, we’ve been more mindful about how we repost pictures, how we highlight small businesses, and how we write our content. We want to do even more to make sure all our community members feel valued and represented (and we always welcome suggestions). Inclusivity is a long-term work-in-progress, and we promise to keep it at the forefront of our minds!
More recently, we’re listening and learning about how we can continue making FibreShare a safe space for everyone. We’d like to ask for a little grace as we think about the best ways to do this moving forward, but one thing we know for sure, is we want to place our focus back onto fostering personal connections, as opposed to managing large social groups. This is because we want every participant to feel as if they can come to us for help if/when an uncomfortable situation arises.
SO, moving forward, here’s how we personally plan to make FibreShare safe AND fun, for everyone:
1. Update our policies to reflect our zero tolerance stance on hate speech:
FibreShare takes immense pride in being an international community that celebrates diversity across all fibre crafts, so if anyone ever experiences or witnesses something uncomfortable during one of our events (or in our social groups), please tell us right away. We want to help address the situation because we will not tolerate hate speech or inappropriate behavior towards marginalized groups. We will do everything in our power to ensure this space is safe for ALL of our participants, and will not hesitate to ban someone from participating if we need to.
2. Limit opportunities for your most personal information to be compromised:
Beginning with the current round of FibreShare, we will no longer be distributing mailing addresses and phone numbers in emails detailing partner matches. It also means going forward, we will stop collecting them during sign ups (we will still need your country!). This will give you a chance to introduce yourself to your partner(s) and ensure YOU feel comfortable first, before handing over your most personal information.
3. Have a safe place to report unsafe behavior:
In the event that you experience or witness unsafe behavior related to FibreShare, we ask that you contact us immediately via our new form! We will respond ASAP and promise to help you to the very best of our ability!
4. Be up front about our plan for re-matching any participant who feels unsafe:
We have always had a plan for assisting participants who felt uncomfortable with their assigned partner(s), and we plan to be more up front about this process. Basically, if you feel unsafe with your partner, we will try to find you a new partner. If that’s not possible, we’ll send you a package ourselves! Bottom line: we’ve got your back and will do our best to find a safe, positive solution for everyone involved.
5. Continue to re-evaluate the safety of our participants:
We recently archived our Facebook Group called “The FibreShare Flock” because the conversations sometimes became negative and ran away from us, creating an unsafe space for our participants. So we closed the group in May 2019, and promise to continue streamlining when any aspect of FibreShare becomes unsafe.
6. Stay open to suggestions and constructive criticism:
We really value the thoughts and ideas of our community, and would love to hear from YOU via our suggestion box form. We promise to keep open minds and hearts as FibreShare grows, so that we can learn how to keep doing better for everyone!
7. Be more present and personal:
We try to make FibreShare personal, because it is personal. We’re not a corporation, we’re two friends, united by a love of yarn. We hope to imbue that personal spirit into FibreShare, and plan to put even more personal touches on FibreShare, so that it’s easy to reach out to us if/when you need help.
We hope this action plan will help everyone trust that FibreShare is safe, or at the very least, trust that we will do our best to make it safe! Thanks for reading and listening. We appreciate you all so much.
With thanks, honesty, and love,
Ashley and Beth