is having a seat at the table.


is having a voice.


is having that voice be heard.

Inclusion & Belonging Values

Be Brave

Find your lion heart so that you can embrace the hard stuff.  This work can be challenging and can bring up a myriad of emotions, especially if you’re new to it. To show up to this work is to be brave in the midst of all the feels.

Be Humble

Find your soft underbelly and receive from a beginner’s mindset. Let yourself not know. Prepare for your inevitable mistake-making. Know it as growth. Feel it as your love and longing for a stronger and healthier community. Let it humble you.

Be Dedicated

Find your feet so that you can keep showing up. Practice active allyship. Show up for repair. Continue to learn. Fall in love with inclusion and belonging, know the joy it can bring to you and others, and dedicate yourself to this long-term community-ship.

SoulPlay strives to create a container through which we can be our fully expressed selves, together in community. The deep, joyful and playful community we dream of is only realized if we are all included, welcomed and celebrated.Creating a truly inclusive and welcome space requires work on all of our parts, and especially those who have benefited from unequal power dynamics and move through the world with more privilege.

What We’re Doing

Here are some of the Inclusion and Belonging Initiatives that we’ve been working on behind the scenes:

• Establishment of the Inclusion and Belonging Initiative, led by Dereca Blackmon and Odessa Perez

• Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training of the production team

• DEI training as part of orientation for Presenters, Volunteers and Soul Support

• Development of SoulPlay’s Inclusion and Belonging Values (see above)

• Increasing programming focused on confronting privilege, dismantling oppressive structures, and increasing inclusion and belonging

• Outreach/invitations to marginalized communities

• Expansion of the Inclusion and Belonging team to support programming and outreach

• BIPOC and LGBTQI Affinity groups/meetups during the event

• Supporting Incident Reporting so that we can continue to learn, iterate and improve

The work towards Inclusion and Belonging is an ongoing and multilayered job. We will make mistakes, we will miss things, as is the nature of this work. Our commitment is to continue to show up, repair, learn, and grow - to be humble, brave, and dedicated.

A Culture of Calling In

At SoulPlay, we value and encourage sharing feedback (through this Incident Report, through a Soul Support Person, I&B representative, or directly to the person if that feels like an option) to foster a culture of care and repair. We understand that sharing how you’ve felt harmed or impacted implies care - an investment in the relationship growing and improving through navigating conflict. We know that the process of moving through conflict to possible repair can strengthen our relationships and the community as a whole. To this end, we work to create structures that make this feedback process as supportive as possible.

Incident Report

The incident report form is used for any incident you would like us to know about that was inappropriate, harmful, or against the values of SoulPlay Festival.

This includes, but is not limited to, consent violations, racial/gender aggressions or microaggressions, and othering language.

No incident is too large or too small for us to be notified about. Reporters may stay anonymous and can make requests for support. You can find out more about our consent and accountability policies here:

What You Can Do

A note about positionality:
Depending on who you are and what identities you walk with in the world, you may be reading the following from different angles.

We all have privileged parts, we all have oppressed parts. Positionality is how these parts rank in an unequal world, meaning, some of us have more power and privilege than others, not because of any inherent higher value, but because society tells us so. Consider your positionality as you read this.

How to Practice Thoughtful & Active Allyship:

Navigating the rupture/repair process around microaggressions

What is a Microaggression? Subtle, verbal and nonverbal slights or insults - often unconscious - directed toward an individual due to their group identity. Usually committed by well-intentioned folks who are unaware of the hidden messages being communicated.

Lean into Discomfort

Consider that you’re about to learn something important that will illuminate your own assumptions/biases. Notice if you start to shut down because it’s awkward or uncomfortable. Do what you can to stay present anyway.

Listen WholeHeartedly

What will it take to keep yourself present and really listen to a different perspective? Notice - rather than act on - your resistance, thoughts, and any defensiveness that comes up.

If you’ve committed a microaggression:

Follow Through on Next Steps

Invite, but don’t insist on, the input of the impacted person around repair needs or next steps. Stay current with yourself: get the support you need to more deeply understand the interaction, or process feelings that may have come up for you. Continue your own education from those who are volunteering to offer it.

Appreciate Feedback

Consider that you’re about to learn something important that will illuminate your own assumptions/biases. Notice if you start to shut down because it’s awkward or uncomfortable. Do what you can to stay present anyway.

Recognize Responsibility

Know there’s a difference between your intention and the impact your action had on another. Take responsibility for the impact. Lead with expression of care, not your intent. Avoid guilt-based and defensive reactions.

Some things you can do If you’ve been the target of a microaggression:

(1) Acknowledge (to yourself) what was said or done and the impact it had on you.

(2) Notice how the impact has affected your body and nervous system.

(3) Restore using somatic regulation practices or affirmations that restore your feeling of wholeness and value. Find a friend for support.

(4) Choose If you want to respond or not. Know that you are not required to respond. If you choose to, decide how and when.