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Growing a Welcoming and Healthy WHN

WHN is an interconnected network of teams that collaborate to achieve shared objectives. Each team has specific roles and responsibilities, allowing individuals to contribute based on their interests and relevant skills. All strive to support WHN’s mission. New teams can be formed when individuals join with particular interests or as WHN grows and expands its capabilities. 

Communication within WHN is tailored to facilitate the sharing of responsibilities and enable teams and individuals to focus on their respective tasks. Understanding the activities and interactions of all teams within WHN can be challenging, thus the creation of the Grow Awareness team. Members of this team assist individuals in finding suitable opportunities for participation based on their interests and abilities. They also identify individuals interested in coordinating or facilitating teams or projects within teams. The Grow Awareness team is responsible for supporting the moderation process within WHN, ensuring teams function well. Their duties encompass helping teams improve organization, enhancing communication among teams, and overseeing moderation of team processes to ensure effective completion of responsibilities.

Volunteer effort on any team is greatly appreciated, especially in each person’s sharing of their time, no matter the quantity. In this document the Grow Awareness team has developed guidelines for team participation. Since team moderation requires care and consideration, this document devotes additional attention to those matters.

Expectations for team participation

In order to facilitate progress and foster an environment of collaboration in each working group, WHN has established expectations for meeting participation. They are:

  • Keep conversation topical. If you would like to share information or resources that are not immediately relevant to the purpose of a working group or team meeting, please reserve these for a different space. If you want to know where to share something, post a question in the chat, or ask briefly.
  • Share speaking time. Please be aware of how much of a group conversation you occupy so that all participants have the opportunity to contribute.
  • Raise concerns constructively. If you have a concern, please frame it without using personal attacks against an individual, a group/team, or an organization. See our ethics guidelines for more information. 

In Basecamp, our platform for asynchronous team information sharing, the same expectations apply. 

Members of WHN are doing what they can to contribute to its mission and should not be assumed to be available to respond to other imperatives. WHN members strive to help and support others, whether in their own life activities or in activities that are part of the WHN mission. However, WHN members have limited ability to accept responsibilities that they are not already working on. 

Please note: hate speech will not be tolerated in any WHN spaces. This includes but is not limited to speech attacking others based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and/or other identities.

We recognize that many individuals come to WHN seeking support for causes with personal significance and that there are histories of trauma exacerbated and directly caused by the experience of the current global pandemic. While WHN offers space to collaborate and support one another in continuing the hard work of combatting the pandemic’s harms, WHN does not provide any professional mental health services. We encourage seeking appropriate support from certified professionals as a necessary part of self-care. At any time, WHN supports a volunteer’s decision to step back or adjust their commitments in order to honor their personal health.

Addressing disruptions

WHN asks meeting facilitators to help maintain the flow of discussion according to the above expectations. This includes setting agendas for meetings based upon the team goals and moderating the meeting conversations so that participants can contribute to the discussion and to the efforts underway.

Facilitators may redirect attendees if sharing becomes non-topical, takes up more time than is reasonable, and/or is not constructive. This may include pointing to the topic at hand, indicating that a less relevant topic should be addressed after the meeting or with a different team, or directly indicating that the conversation is not advancing the agenda and resetting the topic. 

If after redirection the participation of an attendee becomes disruptive to the purpose of the meeting, the meeting facilitator(s) may ask that person to leave the meeting and pick up the issue at hand in a separate conversation. Facilitators and/or any attendees may submit an incident form, describing the disruption. 

Depending upon the nature of the disruption, there are tiered measures WHN follows.

Level and ResponseDisruptionReturn Requests
0: Personal conversationSeveral interruptions within a single meeting that are difficult for moderators to address in the meetingFacilitator and at least one other member of the Awareness team will engage volunteer in a conversation outside of meeting to reach a better understanding of expectations to avoid future incidents.
1: Notification/Written WarningPersistent interruption at several meetings by raising topics outside scope of meeting/team 

Taking excessive time to share personal views that may be related but do not further actions that the meeting/team is working on
2: Written warning and removal from team-specific meetings and team-specific Basecamp(s) for two weeks (at least one meeting)Repeated Level 1 notifications

Sharing personal issues/trauma unrelated to the purpose of the meeting/team
3a: Break from all WHN meetings and platforms (starting at two weeks, escalating to one month or more depending on disruption)Repeated Level 2 notifications

Generalized hate speech, nonspecific to another individual at WHN
N/A after first disruption only; otherwise; see 3b
3b: Ban (permanent or conditional*)

*A ban can be permanent, depending on the nature of the disruption, or, with review after a period of absence, the individual may negotiate a plan for continuing to work with WHN outside the parameters of its usual meetings and platforms.
Any repeated action for which a Level 3a response has already been given

Hate speech or other personal attack directed at another individual at WHN
(1) Meeting with Awareness team members to discuss expectations for participation


(2) Awareness team’s recommendations for clearance
4: Ethics panelMatters arise beyond standard moderation issues or are determined to require independent review by any party (the facilitator, the Awareness team, or the member who is involved)Facilitator, Awareness team, or member involved can send a request to for transmission to the Ethics panel, which may appoint a team to review the matter and recommend changes in policy or specific actions to be taken.

If you submit an incident form

Awareness team members will review incident reports at the next team meeting after they are received. A response will be provided within 14 days. Volunteers may follow up on any incident report by emailing the Awareness team at

Last reviewed on January 19, 2024

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