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Rochester Area Children’s Writers & Illustrators (RACWI) and the annual Rochester Children’s Book Festival (RCBF) have adopted the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ (SCBWI’s) Anti-Harassment Policy as the basis for their own.


RACWI and the RCBF are dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all members and participants and have a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. This includes all harassment, intimidation, and discrimination made on the basis of race, age, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, religion, class, body size, veteran status, marital/domestic partnership status, citizenship or any other marginalized identity.


The RACWI/RCBF Anti-Harassment Policy applies to all situations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination at RACWI/RCBF programs and activities and is applicable to all RACWI/RCBF events and venues, including but not limited to monthly meetings, meet-ups, critique group meetings, online interactions, the Book Festival and the Festival-to-Go program. Harassment, intimidation, and discrimination at any RACWI/RCBF event, any one of the foregoing events, or online is prohibited.


Code of Conduct

All participants in RACWI/RCBF events and activities, including members, featured authors and illustrators, guest speakers, and attendees, are required to comply with the following anti-harassment code of conduct. The RACWI/RCBF Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits harassment, including but not limited to the following behaviors:

-Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following.

-Sustained disruption of talks or other events.

-Inappropriate, unwanted, or unlawful physical contact.

-Unwelcome sexual attention.

-Abusive verbal or written comments.

-Quid pro quo – sexual harassment that occurs when one in an authority position requests sex or a sexual relationship in exchange for professional consideration or favors.

-Sharing/displaying of inappropriate images.

-Body policing – openly judging someone’s physical appearance.

-Unwelcome photography or recording.


Harassment does not include respectful disagreement or reasonable and respectful critique made in good faith. RACWI/RCBF continues to welcome and appreciate the presentation of controversial ideas, free speech, and creative artistic expression. RACWI/RCBF encourages members to hold one another accountable to the Code of Conduct and to take the perspectives of others seriously when a disagreement arises.  


Reporting Procedures

Any person who feels threatened or in danger should call 911 immediately. Anyone who experiences a non-emergency violation of the RACWI/RCBF Anti-Harassment Policy can report the offense in one or all of the following ways:


-At the RCBF, go to Volunteer Central (the table right outside the author/illustrator Mall) and ask to speak with the director(s) to report an incident and/or request assistance. To report an incident by e-mail, please click the “Contact Us” menu button at, and an e-mail will be sent to the director(s).


-If the incident relates to RACWI, not the RCBF, a complainant may contact any RACWI board member to report an incident and/or request assistance. A list of RACWI’s board members appears at the bottom of the website To report an incident to the president(s) by e-mail, please click the “Contact” menu button at the website and fill out the contact form.


- Reports should include the substance of the complaint, date, and whenever possible, a list of witnesses or a reference to the relevant URLs if the offense occurred online. RACWI/RCBF officers will make every attempt to respond to a named complainant in a timely fashion. RACWI/RCBF officers will investigate all complaints and take whatever action is necessary.



The RACWI/RCBF Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the RACWI/RCBF community for reporting harassment, intimidation or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation relating to any complaint made. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of the RACWI/RCBF Anti-Harassment Policy.



RACWI/RCBF takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Every report will be investigated by the RACWI board of directors, minus any board member(s) involved in the incident. The board will determine the appropriate sanction.


Sanctions for board members, featured authors and illustrators, and guest speakers may include any of the following:

-warning the party involved that the particular behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;

-immediate removal from the event;

-denial of access to RACWI/RCBF spaces and venues on a temporary or permanent basis;

-withholding of a contracted honorarium;

-prohibition from future speaking engagements;

-prohibition from interacting with RCBF attendees;

-expulsion from RACWI;

-removal from the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, when appropriate.


 Sanctions for attendees, members, and guests can include any of the following:

-warning the party involved that specified behavior is inappropriate and must be ceased;

-immediate removal from the event, without refund;

-denial of access to RACWI/RCBF spaces and venues on a permanent or temporary basis;

-termination of RACWI membership, without refund;

-prohibition from future RACWI membership.



RACWI/RCBF will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties. Notwithstanding the above, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be so informed. Parties to the complaint should treat the matter under investigation with discretion and respect the reputation of all parties involved.


* RACWI/RCBF acknowledges SCBWI for developing this anti-harassment policy, based on the contributions of Geek Feminism, Science Fiction Writers of America, and WisCon in developing anti-harassment policies.


If you have questions regarding this policy, you may send an email to vmdodds(at)rochester(dot)rr(dot)com. (The strange formatting is to avoid Internet spammers; please substitute the appropriate symbols when e-mailing.) Please include the words “anti-harassment policy” in the subject line.

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