The Society of Professional Journalists is committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all its members, partners and guests, regardless of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or religion.

We expect all participants (speakers, attendees, staff, sponsors and other guests) to abide by this code of conduct at all SPJ events to ensure a healthy, productive and professional environment.

Expected Behavior

Every participant at SPJ events has the right to enjoy their experience at SPJ23 without fear of harassment or discrimination.

– Be considerate, respectful and collaborative.
– Demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and speech will not be tolerated.
– Inform the SPJ executive director in person, by phone or e-mail if you experience a distressful situation.

Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior includes but is not limited to: intimidating, threatening, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory, demeaning or disorderly conduct, or possession, use or distribution of any illegal substances. The use or abuse of illegal substances at any of the venues where SPJ events are held is prohibited.

Harassing conduct can take many forms and may include, but is not limited to: slurs, offensive jokes, statements, gestures, photographs, drawings, cartoons or pictures, assault, impeding or blocking another's movement or otherwise physically interfering with activities, conducting unwanted audio or visual recordings, violating personal space, engaging in leering, stalking, staring, intimidating or threatening behavior, or making offensive comments, including in the form of emails, telephone calls, voicemails, text messages or social media.

Sexually harassing conduct may include all of these prohibited actions, as well as other unwelcome conduct, such as requests for sexual favors, conversation containing sexual comments, physical contact, lewd or offensive behavior or language and other unwelcome sexual advances. Sexually harassing conduct includes such behavior by a person of any gender toward a person of any gender.

SPJ reserves the right to determine what constitutes unacceptable behavior.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated by attendees, media, speakers or venue staff. Anyone asked to stop engaging in unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in unacceptable behavior, SPJ may take any action it deems appropriate, up to and including immediate expulsion from the event without refund of any registration or other fees, and revocation of SPJ membership.

What to Do If You Witness or Are Subject to Experience Unacceptable Behavior

– Speak up!

– If you experience unacceptable behavior, notice that someone else is experiencing unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please immediately notify security staff and/or SPJ leadership as soon as possible, in person, by phone or e-mail. Please also notify appropriate law enforcement if necessary.

– Jennifer Royer, SPJ | (317) 954-8191, jroyer@spj.org
– Rod Hicks, SPJ | (317) 954-0025, rhicks@spj.org
– Zoë Berg, SPJ | (317) 920-4785, zberg@spj.org

– SPJ staff will be available to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, to provide escorts, or to otherwise assist those experiencing unacceptable behavior to feel safe for the duration of the event.