CHARLIE PETCH’S TOP TEN CHECKLIST
for Inclusive Businesses, NFP Arts Organization, and Festivals
To build a more inclusive environment your business/organization/festival can:
1. Declare a clear zero tolerance policy for hate.
Like the “no shirt no service” sticker out front of a store, you can declare what will and will not be tolerated at your business, organization or festival. For example: “We have zero tolerance for hate speech, and/or harassment of our patrons or staff. You will be asked to leave.” This can be very effective when problems arise. A staff member can simply point to this clear policy when needed.
2. Adjust washrooms for accessibility for all genders.
Do you have a gender-neutral bathroom clearly marked? Some places will simply label any washroom as “Washroom” to allow for people of any gender to use the most convenient lavatory. You can also indicate, “Washroom with Urinal” if you want to make any distinction.
3. Make your environment wheelchair accessible.
Are there stairs at your business, organization, festival to access the washrooms? Is there a washroom that is wheelchair accessible? Do you declare accessibility on any description of your establishment? Your site could be wheelchair accessible, but the washroom may not be. List the location of the nearest wheelchair accessible washroom.
4. Hire diverse staff.
The more diverse your staff, the broader your reach for patronage. This is true for oragnizations, businesses, as well as music or theatre festivals. Who are your bands? Your performers? Are you only accessing one certain audience again and again? If you are a festival, who are your security people? If you’ve hired a company to do this, find out about their reputation. Don’t underestimate how your audience can grow if your organization or business is progressive in inclusivity and representation.
5. Review and adjust lighting.
Do you have any flickering lights that need changing? Do you host a show or performance that involves flickering light? People with head injuries, migraine, stroke, epilepsy and other conditions must be notified ahead of time. In addition, make sure to indicate if this is not a problem at your business, organization, or festival.
6. Make sure your staff has zero tolerance for hate speech.
If you are presenting these policies, make sure you’re hiring staff that is upholding them as well. One staff member can undo so much of the hard work you’re putting in to create a safe accessible environment. Consider this as well if you’re hiring outside staffing. It’s okay to ask people key questions around anti-racism, ableism, transphobia and the decolonization of language.
7. Learn how to de-escalate health and mental health emergencies.
Train your staff in de-escalation. This is key for dealing with the public. Consult with a local health agency about not only first aid training, but also de-escalation. CPI, crisis prevention has a great run down of these techniques (attached in the helpful link section below). Your local 911 office could also point you in the right direction. If you are hiring an outside agency for security, you can ask that they take get the appropriate training.
8. Recognize problem behaviors.
Businesses and festivals that serve liquor cannot control the actions of everyone in attendance, but putting up signs that speak about consent is a good way to make predators feel they are being watched. Let your staff know they have every right to cut someone off if they are too drunk or too aggressive, and to question a situation that is not “sitting right”.
9. Face your fears around offending others in the realm of social media.
None of us can escape being called out. It will happen, because humans are imperfect. If someone has called you out, or one of your staff, for using a term that they did not know was offensive, take a breath. Our first reaction is usually to be defensive, if we weren’t meaning to offend. Simply say “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that (term) was offensive. Thank you for letting me know. I intended no harm and won’t use that term in the future.” Don’t try to convince someone
they should not be offended by what they perceived to be an attack. Recognize that it was offensive to that person, even if it wasn’t your intention.
10. Respect persons with disabilities.
When interacting with someone with a visible disability, know that they have made it through every day before you met them without your help. Simply let them know that you can be of assistance. Address them directly unless indicated otherwise with any questions.
- Feminist terms 101, a helpful guide to understanding the new conversation
- Example of a really well worded accessibility statement
- Tools to be a better ally to trans and gender non conforming people
- Verbal de-escalation techniques
- Information and posters about consent for establishments
- Information about barrier free washrooms
We Can Do Better Together
Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Artists in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong
Intersectionality and Accessibility
When: Saturday March 25, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: The Theatre On King, 159 King St, Peterborough, ON
Moderator: Charlie Petch
Panelists: Angela Semple, Evan Gentle, Scarlett Palmer, Niambi Leigh
Join us for a panel discussion with local artists, moderated by theatre artist, writer and performer Charlie Petch. This panel will address some of the following questions: What is the experience of trans and gender non-conforming artists in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong? What spaces and organizations feel welcoming? What are the particular challenges faced by trans and gender non-conforming artists? How do we work together to make spaces and organizations more inclusive? How can Peterborough lead by example? Are we accessing all the audiences we can? How can we do better together?
We hope this panel will create dialogue around how we can increase diversity and nurture new audiences.
Open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Moderator - Charlie Petch
Charlie Cathy Petch is a playwright, actor, spoken word artist, national haiku deathmaster, host and musical saw player. Petch's new, full-length, spoken word vaudeville play "Mel Malarkey" has toured all over Canada and has been awarded two Ontario Arts Council grants. They will be launching their new album “Mel Malarkey Odes & Acts” exclusively during this run at TTOK. They are a nationally touring spoken word artist and member of the League of Canadian Poets. Petch is widely published, has had 9 plays produced and won both the Playpen competition for new scripts with Mysterious Entity Theatre and a “New Playwright” award from The Union Theatre. Petch is the creative director of "Hot Damn It's A Queer Slam". Petch is happiest onstage. Find out moreatwww.charliecpetch.com
Panellist - Scarlett Palmer
Scarlett Palmer, trans woman, graduated from Humber College for 3D Modelling and Visual Effects production as well as from P.C.V.S.'s integrated arts program. She was born in Peterborough where she's lived most of her life. She has also lived in Norwood, Lakefield, Campbellford, and Toronto. Scarlett has been a part of various outreach programs that support lgbt youth, create safe space for them, and help create safer communities. She is also a digital artist, painter, and film compositor. She creates models for visual effects, video games, and 3D printed art.
Panellist - Angela Semple
Angela is a proud member of the Ktunaxa nation and a PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Their research centres on narratives of Indigenous adoption. They identify as two-spirit, a writer, an auntie, and a cat person.
Panellist - Niambi Leigh
Born in Jamaica, Niambi is a Peterborough based poet whose work explores the intersectionality between race, relationships and mental illnesses. Their work is lyrical, deeply felt and rooted in storytelling. Niambi is a poet and organizer who reminds you that even the act of breathing is an expression of strength. They are the current two- time individual Peterborough slam champion, and went on to represent Peterborough at the Verses Festival of Words in Vancouver in 2016. They are a three-time member of the Peterborough Poetry Slam Team, and traveled with the team to perform at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Victoria in 2014, in Saskatoon in 2015 and in Winnipeg in 2016, where they distinguished themselves as a poet on the rise.
Panellist - Evangeline Gentle
Evangeline Gentle’s music proves there is beauty and power in vulnerability, honesty, and speaking from the heart. Evangeline’s expressive lyrics and haunting vocals bring boldness and bravery to folk-rock music, and serve to break the boundaries of love. Evangeline Gentle is a true secret-teller and queer bleeding heart.
Spending their childhood on the northeast coast of Scotland, Evangeline Gentle beautifully marries traditional folk sounds with modern folk-rock melodies. Evangeline calls Peterborough, Ontario their home, and was named the Emerging Artist at the Peterborough Folk Festival in 2015, a title first given to Serena Ryder in 2001. At the age of twenty, Evangeline has impressively released three EP’s, and shared stages with respected Canadian folk music favourites such as Basia Bulat, Terra Lightfoot, The Young Novelists, and Rae Spoon. Gentles most recent release, What’s Golden Is Good, is a three song EP recorded in Hamilton, Ontario at Boxcar Studio by Sean Pearson.
Gentle is currently working on their debut full-length record which will be engineered and produced by Jim Bryson and released on COAX Records.
For Further Information Contact:
EC3 Executive Director: Su Ditta
705 749 9101 or firstname.lastname@example.org