the breasties' community

Code of Conduct

our mission


The Breasties is the first all-inclusive nonprofit organization that creates community for survivors, previvors, stage 4 thrivers, and caregivers impacted by breast and gynecologic cancers.

We’re on a mission to support and improve the experiences of the cancer community through peer-to-peer connection, resources, and advocacy.

The Breasties’ community is made up of individuals from different backgrounds, with unique stories. 
The Breasties is dedicated to providing a positive experience for everyone, regardless of:

    Choices and medical decisions
    Gender identity or expression
    Physical appearance or body size
    Sexual orientation
    Socio-economic status
    Religion (or lack thereof)

We've set up this Code of Conduct to help guide all community members in how to compassionately communicate, even when our backgrounds or identities differ. We are all here to empower one another, help each other learn, and get through life’s difficult moments together.

These guidelines are to ensure that The Breasties continues to be a safe space in which to communicate, collaborate, and connect.

Protected Spaces: We expect all participants in Breasties online and event spaces will help us to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

The Breasties Community Code of Conduct applies to all in-person and virtual events. This includes events such as official Breastie events, local community meetups, retreats, Camp Breastie, leadership trainings, fundraising initiatives, virtual meetups and workshops, and unofficial Breastie gatherings. The Code of Conduct applies at all our event venues and event-related social events. All event attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers, including the event organizing team, are required to follow the Code of Conduct. Organizers and Ambassadors are expected to enforce the Breastie Community Code of Conduct throughout the event.

The Breasties Code of Conduct applies to any Breasties online forum. This includes Breastie spaces like social media groups / boards / postings, mailing lists, web sites, and Slack communities. The Breasties Community Code of Conduct may also apply to private correspondence between Breasties community members, if the communication includes behaviors that may impact the privacy, physical safety or mental health of Breastie community members.

community guidelines

1. The Breasties is an all-inclusive community. We are committed to ensuring that everyone feels welcome and creating a diverse community with unique stories and backgrounds. This community is open to anyone and everyone who resonates with our cause and our mission.

    Use welcome and inclusive language
    Be respectful of differing viewpoints, experiences and decisions
    Show empathy towards other community members
    Be inclusive - listen and learn from marginalized groups within the community

Creating an inclusive culture requires the effort and involvement of the entire community. The Breasties acknowledges that discrimination, harassment, unconscious bias, and systemic inequality exists in the world. We must work together as a community to create change. Understand that creating an inclusive culture takes time, energy, and resources. We are committed to dedicating resources towards correcting past bias and discrimination.
2. The Breasties promotes a productive community environment. All Breasties must treat one another with respect, courtesy, and dignity. Acts of bullying, intimidation, or harassment of any kind is not tolerated within the community. Harassment based on an someone’s religion, age, sex, gender identity, national origin, race, color, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or other status protected by applicable law is prohibited. Prohibited acts include, without limitation, verbal harassment (epithets, derogatory or degrading statements, slurs), physical harassment (assault, physical interference with normal work or involvement), visual harassment (posters, cartoons, drawings), and innuendo. Any conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment is prohibited, in all Breasties’ protected spaces (see Protected Spaces above for detailed information). 
Ways to foster a productive community: 

    Be considerate. Your story is important, and you in turn must respect the stories of others. Any decision you make in The Breasties environment will affect those around you and within the community, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. 
    Be patient. This mostly applies to leadership and ambassador email and social media correspondence. We are a small organization and this community exists solely through the volunteer time both from leadership and organizers. It is possible that your question, issue, or suggestion might not receive an immediate response. We try our best to address all concerns in a timely manner that will benefit and continue to elevate the community.
    Be respectful. We expect members of the Breasties community to be respectful when communicating with other community members, as well as with people outside of the Breasties community. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It's important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.
    Communicate effectively. The Breasties believe in open and honest communication. Clear communication can help to avoid misunderstandings. Remember that words and phrases can be interpreted differently and it's better to ask for clarification than to make assumptions. Disagreements are normal, but we expect community members to resolve disagreements independently and constructively. Please avoid personal attacks and repetitive arguments. 

3. The Breasties respects and protects the privacy of all community members. Build trust with other community members by respecting their confidentiality. Please remember that the only story that you have the right to share is your own. Unless you receive prior written approval, you will not disclose the confidential information of others. The Breasties has a zero tolerance policy on community “gossip” and breaching privacy as it makes others feel unsafe and excluded. 
4. The Breasties community members keep social circles open and diverse. The Breasties is all about meeting new people and finding friendship, but social circles should always be open to new Breasties. Demonstrate non-exclusionary behavior by reaching out to new Breasties online and at events. We encourage all community members to befriend those who are new to the community and make a concerted effort to get to know different community members.
5. The safety and wellbeing of community members is of the utmost importance.

    Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable - online or offline. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm. This also includes posting or threatening to post other people's personally identifying information online.
    All injuries, unsafe conditions, and accidents at events must be reported immediately to a volunteer, event organizer, Ambassador, or member of the Leadership Team. Anyone intentionally acting in an unsafe manner or refusing to abide by our safety regulations or code of conduct will be promptly asked to leave the event and will be held responsible for their actions to the fullest extent of the law. You will be held responsible for any damage, loss and/or resulting liability incurred due to your inappropriate actions. 
    The Breasties are concerned with the safety of our community members and volunteers and wish to provide an environment free from the abuse of drugs and alcohol. The purchase or possession of illegal drugs/ narcotics is strictly prohibited at events, even if permitted by local laws, except as provided by a medical doctor. Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages at The Breasties functions where alcohol is served is permitted. However, any abuse of alcohol, or consuming non Breasties provided alcoholic beverages, in such situations, as evidenced by illegal, unsafe, or inappropriate actions, words, or behavior, is strictly prohibited and could result in immediate dismissal from the event.
    The Breasties expressly forbids the possession of handguns, firearms, explosives, ammunition, or prohibited weapons (collectively “weapons”) at Breastie events. Prohibited weapons include any form of weapon or explosive restricted under local, state or federal regulation including all firearms, illegal knives or other weapons covered by the law.
    Other inappropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to: deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording at events; sustained disruption of online discussions, circle time or event activities; harassment of people who do not drink alcohol; harassment or unwelcome comments related to medical decisions, lifestyle, etc; sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist language or otherwise exclusionary language.
    If you influence or encourage another person to violate the Code of Conduct, you may face the same consequences as if you had violated the Code of Conduct.

6. All members of The Breasties community have the right to feel safe and exercise their consent. Consent is an empowered decision rooted in personal agency. It is the giving of permission or agreement to participate in an interaction or activity. Consent is active, not static, which means that at any point during an activity or interaction, one’s consent may be withdrawn, even if it was given at the outset. Consent is given freely and wholeheartedly with autonomy; it is not hesitant, manipulated, or coerced. This applies to: 

    Unwelcome physical contact: The Breasties recognize sharing about experiences with body changes is empowering and educational within our community. However, consent is always required by all parties involved to avoid unwelcome physical contact. This includes touching a person without permission, including sensitive areas such as their hair, face, body parts, scars, pregnant stomach, mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, etc) or tattoos. This also includes physically blocking or intimidating another person. This includes sharing or distribution of unwelcome sexualized images or text. 
    Nudity: Within the community, sharing body parts and scars may be a part of empowerment and education, however, consent is always required by all parties involved before sharing in person or through photos. 
    Unwelcome sexual attention or behavior. This includes comments, as well as inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual advances.
    Photography: If someone says they do not want a picture or video taken of them, respect that choice. If they ask you to delete or remove a picture taken without permission, do so.

7. The Breasties believes in extreme ownership and proactivity. As an individual within The Breasties organization - all community members must work together, take complete ownership of their duties and look out for the wellbeing of the whole organization and community.

    Be proactive. Our community believes in proactivity vs reactivity. Being proactive means anticipating problems, seeking new solutions, doing your best, and taking initiative in improving the community. If you see an opportunity for growth or change within the community, reach out with some ideas! We are always looking for new ways to grow. 
    Be a problem solver. If you find yourself involved in a situation that requires meditation, work together to attempt to resolve the issue informally and independently. Although most misunderstandings can and should be solved on an informal basis, more formal provisions exist in order to resolve difficult problems.
    Ask for help when you are unsure. Nobody is expected to be perfect in this community! Asking questions early avoids many problems later, so questions are encouraged. Reach out to fellow community members, local ambassadors, event organizers or the leadership team. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful.

Virtual Meetups & Events: Attendee Expectations

The Breasties recognize that there are risks associated with hosting an online event that warrant consideration! The organization is following strict safety protocols to ensure that all Protected Spaces remain safe and comfortable for community members who attend. All Breasites who attend Virtual Meetups and Events must follow the guidelines and security protocol when registering for and participating in events. 

    The Breasties has implemented a strict security protocol to protect the community and all Breasties’ virtual spaces. In order to attend an event, you must register ahead of time and fill out the appropriate google form. Meeting links and passwords will only be sent to registrants who have filled out all identifying information and have been approved.
    Please do not share the meeting link with anyone. Links are personalized and are only to be shared by event organizers, in order to maintain the safety of all attendees! It is all of our responsibility to ensure that spaces are safe and protected! 

During the event:

    Meetings will only be open to registered or domain verified users.
    Virtual Events/Meetups will have prompt start times. The meetings will be locked from the security menu, preventing any additional attendees from joining, 5 minutes past the start time of the event. This is to ensure the security of the event. Once the meeting is locked, the Security Lead will move everyone from the “main meeting room” to a “breakout room” for further security. Please note, that there will be no exceptions to late attendees / those asking to join after the “lock” time.
    As an event attendee/host, it is your responsibility to read The Breasties’ Community Code of Conduct and ensure you are following the community guidelines at all times.
    Cameras must be enabled and turned on at all times to ensure proper identification. 
    For an added layer of security, we will disable participant’s ability to unmute themselves and use the “raise hand” feature to initiate conversation.
    Be aware that if the Community Code of Conduct has been violated, you may be asked to leave the event.
    Be aware that if security has been breached, the meeting may be ended for the safety of all attendees.

Code of Conduct Violations

Reporting an Incident or Code of Conduct Violation

If you are at a Breasties event, and you believe someone is in immediate physical danger, call an emergency number. If that individual is not in immediate danger but you suspect physical danger, consult with a volunteer or staff member for the appropriate crisis number, non- emergency number, or police number. Breastie event organizers will be happy to help participants contact security or local law enforcement, provide escorts to an alternate location, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

If you believe that someone has violated The Breasties’ Community Code of Conduct or would like to express a concern within the community, we encourage you to report it by filling out The Breasties’ Incident Report. If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is protected by this Code of Conduct, we still encourage you to report it. We are fine with receiving reports where we decide to take no action for the sake of creating a safer community.

The form may be completed anonymously, but it is very helpful if you include your contact information so we are able to complete the most thorough review. All reports will be kept confidential. All Incident Reports will be reviewed and acted on appropriately in a timely fashion. Sometimes reports take more time to discuss or follow up on. Please note that The Breasties Code of Conduct committee will follow up with the reporter, if deemed necessary. The follow up may include:

    An acknowledgment that The Breasties Code of Conduct committee discussed the situation
    Whether or not the report was determined to be a violation of the Code of Conduct
    What actions (if any) were taken to correcting the reporter behavior

Potential Consequences for Code of Conduct Violations

This list is not inclusive, and The Breasties reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary. Possible responses to an incident include:

    A verbal or written warning
    Removing the reported person from community spaces (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
    Requiring that the reported person not direct message an online community member
    Requiring that the reported person avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, another person for the remainder of the event
    Requiring that the reported person not join specific chat channels
    Requiring the reported person not attend evening events
    Immediately ending any event volunteer responsibilities and privileges a person holds
    Requiring that a person not volunteer for future events your organization runs (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
    Requiring that a person immediately leave the event and not return
    Banning a person from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)

If you'd like to reach out regarding the Breasties Code of Conduct, please email gro.seitsaerbeht%40olleh.