Doxacon Seattle has always been committed to hosting a safe and welcoming space for everyone. After some conversations at the table we hosted at a recent local convention, we realized we needed to be more clear about this. After some thought, prayer, and excellent discussions, we the Board of Doxacon Seattle are proud to unveil our newly revamped inclusion statement.
Over the past couple years, Doxacon Seattle has reserved a table at other fan conventions to promote our event. We’ve had friendly volunteers present all weekend, and we provided attractive literature, games, and giveaways. But something stood out: many people hesitated to engage with us as soon as they learned it was a religious- and specifically Christian-based event. Our conversations with them revealed a consistent concern: they were afraid they would not be welcome. Based on past experiences with religious groups, they were sure they would be excluded or looked down on.
It forced us, as a board, to come face to face with a sad reality: in our world today, many Christian organizations have tended to become better known for who they exclude rather than who they include. And because Doxacon Seattle is openly centered around Christianity, we were inheriting exclusionary fears from people’s experiences with other Christians.
What to do?
Hiding who we are isn’t the solution. But the board agreed unanimously that exclusion is not part of who we are. We believe that everybody is a valued, loved child of God. We want anybody who comes to Doxacon Seattle to feel welcomed and valued exactly as they are. We already strive for this in so many ways, by being a space where people from a variety of Christian traditions can come together over common ground that unites us without quibbling over the differences that divide us. In many ways, we are already actively practicing inclusion.
But we agreed: it’s time to make that crystal clear: whether they’re an outside observer walking past our booth at another event or a curious newcomer to our website, they should be able to easily, clearly see that they are welcome.
We needed an inclusion statement.
Thankfully, there wasn’t any need to reinvent the wheel— in that same conversation, we discussed how other organizations at that same convention had displayed signs and statements at their booths that clearly explained that all were welcome. We discussed ways that other events clarified this sort of thing on their websites. We combed through ways that other people were doing it well, and together brainstormed how to best say what we felt needed to be said.
The Doxacon Seattle Inclusion Statement:
The long form, to be used on our website and printed literature where appropriate, goes like this:
Absolutely everyone is welcome at Doxacon! Doxacon does not tolerate personal harassment or discrimination in any form or for any reason.
While our focus as an organization and event is on the intersection between various Christian faith traditions and fandoms/ geek culture, we welcome anyone who is interested in what we’re doing.Doxacon Seattle is committed to being a safe and welcoming space for people of all backgrounds and identities. You are beloved children of God, and we are happy to have you!
Feel free tor each out if you have any questions or concerns.
The shorter form, to be displayed at event tables and in any other space where a shorter statement is better suited, simply goes like this:
Doxacon Seattle is committed to being a safe and welcoming space for everyone.
Obviously, a first attempt at something like this is going to be imperfect. It’s possible that we will find ourselves revisiting and revising the statement as we see how well it works for its intended purpose. We also fully understand that creating a truly welcoming space goes beyond a statement and into intentional, boots-on-the-ground practice.
But a first step is important. And in taking it, we are underscoring the truth that Doxacon Seattle is committed to treating every single attendee as the beloved child of God that they are, and growing into an even more welcoming space for all members to connect over fandom and faith while extending grace for our differences in belief, culture, personality, and more.
Thank you, beloved friends and followers, for joining us in this!