Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy

Code for Philly is committed to encouraging diverse membership, fair and welcoming community and activity standards and an environment free of discrimination and harassment. As a result, Code for Philly strives to uphold the following standards at all Code for Philly activities and events and expects the same of its members and attendees:

  • A community comprised of technologists, planners, designers, members of the public, and the collaborative implementation of civic technology. This includes encouraging participation from women, minorities, and any other actual, perceived or traditionally marginalized groups.

  • An environment of respect and encouragement for each member or attendee’s ideas, skills, and contributions.

  • An environment that encourages social entrepreneurship, curiosity and does not assume another has or should have equal skill, experience, or education.

  • An environment that inspires productivity, regardless of skill, using encouraging language and communications, i.e. “yes/and”, not “no/but.”

  • An environment that encourages members and participants to listen as much as they speak.

  • An environment that strives to build tools that are open and free technology for public use.

  • Priority for activities that aim to foster public use, not private gain.

  • Facilitating access and encouraging input from those who are traditionally excluded from the civic process.

  • Active involvement of community groups and those with subject matter expertise in the decision-making process.

  • Relationships and conversations between community members, local government staff and community partners remains respectful, participatory, and productive.

  • As much as possible, we define “Philly” broadly, to include those who live, work, or visit Philadelphia, as well as the towns and suburbs neighboring the city.

  • Code for Philly reserves the right to ask anyone in violation of these policies not to participate in Code for Philly events or network activities.

Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy Comments and Considerations

  • Our anti-discrimination and harassment policy aims to ensure an environment free from harassment of any attendee on the basis of his or her race, color, creed, religion, national origin, alienage or citizenship, sex, gender identity and expression, age, disability, sexual orientation, domestic partnership status, medical condition (including having or being perceived as having HIV/AIDS-related conditions), marital status, family status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking, military status, for having made a complaint or participating in an investigation under this policy or any other characteristic protected by law.

  • Harassment includes but is not limited to: offensive verbal or written comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; unwarranted exclusion; and patronizing language or action.

  • We also strive to maintain an environment free from retaliation against anyone because he or she complains of, reports or provides information or assistance related to any complaint of discrimination or harassment.

  • Anyone in violation of these policies may expelled from Code for Philly events or network activities, at the discretion of the event organizers.

These policies are based, in part, on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.They are also based on several other policies, including the Ohio LinuxFest anti-harassment policy, written by Esther Filderman and Beth Lynn Eicher, and the Con Anti-Harassment Project. Mary Gardiner, Valerie Aurora, Sarah Smith, and Donna Benjamin generalized the policies and added supporting material; and the the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers. Many members of LinuxChix, Geek Feminism and other groups contributed to this work.

All Code for Philly events and their staff, presenters, and participants are held to the anti-harassment policy. In addition to governing our own events by this policy, Code for Philly will only lend our brand and fund groups that offer an anti-harassment policy to their attendees. Code for Philly is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of staff, presenters, and participants in any form.If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the event organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from Code for Philly events and network activities.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the event staff immediately. Event staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

If you cannot reach an event organizer and/or it is an emergency, please call 911 and/or remove yourself from the situation.

You can also contact Code for Philly about harassment at and feel free to use the email template below.

Code for Philly staff acknowledge that we are not always in a position to evaluate a given situation due to the number of events and the fact that our team is not always present. However, we are hopeful that by providing these guidelines we are establishing a community that jointly adheres to these values and can provide an environment that is welcoming to all.

We value your attendance and hope that by communicating these expectations widely we can all enjoy a harassment-free environment.