Conference Conduct and Antiharassment Policy


General Principles

RWA seeks to provide a conference environment in which all participants feel safe and are treated with respect. In order to create that environment, participants are expected to maintain appropriate standards of behavior by refraining from conduct that may be harmful to themselves, other participants, RWA staff, and/or third parties.


Types of Conduct that RWA Considers Inappropriate

Types of conduct that RWA considers inappropriate includes, but is not limited to:

  • Harassment, which is defined for the purposes of this policy to include (i) offensive comments related to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion; (ii) inappropriate physical contact; and (iii) unwelcome sexual attention;
  • deliberate intimidation, stalking, unwanted or unauthorized photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; and public broadcasting of others' private or sensitive information without explicit consent.

Personal disagreements and differences of opinion, even if strongly worded, will not be considered inappropriate conduct under this policy.


Consequences of Participant Engagement in Inappropriate Conduct

Participants asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior are expected to comply immediately.

RWA, in its sole discretion, will determine the nature of the participant conduct that warrants corrective action as well as the corrective action to be taken.  Corrective actions may take one of the following forms: verbal warning; expulsion from the conference event; expulsion from the conference with no refund of conference fees; bar from future RWA and RWA affiliate conferences and events; and/or stripping an RWA member of his or her membership in RWA. RWA, however, has no obligation to use any one or more of these forms of corrective action prior to stripping a member of membership, in accordance with RWA procedures. Any or all of these actions can be omitted as RWA deems appropriate, in its discretion.

At the reporter's discretion, reports of inappropriate conduct will be referred to RWA's Ethics Committee.

If an attendee believes they are being subjected to inappropriate conduct, or believes someone else is being subjected to inappropriate conduct, or have any other concerns, please contact the RWA hotline or RWA Executive Director. If an attendee or someone else is in immediate danger, please contact hotel security or local law enforcement immediately.  


Consequences for RWA Members

A violation of this policy is a violation of the member Code of Ethics. RWA members who are accused of violation of this policy will be subject to the procedures and disciplines listed in the Code of Ethics. If it is determined a policy violation occurred, the RWA member may be barred from attending future conferences and/or may be stripped of membership.


Consequences for Non-RWA Members

Non-RWA members who are accused of violation of this policy will be subject to the procedures and disciplines listed in section 17. If it is determined a policy violation occurred, the non-RWA member may be barred from attending future conferences and/or from future membership in RWA.


Required Contact Information

All disseminated versions of the antiharassment policy will include the following contact information:

For RWA2019
Phone and email address for RWA hotline: 832-717-5200, Ext. 124; This hotline will be answered from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT daily. For text messaging: 979-264-7538. 
Hotel Security: Banquet house phones will connect guests to the hotel operator. In guestrooms, dial 6666 for emergencies.
Local law enforcement: 911 (emergency)
New York Police Department, 311 (non-emergencies)
Local sexual assault hotline: The Safe Horizon 24-Hour Sexual Assault Hotline, 212-227-3000
Local emergency and non-emergency medical clinic: EMERGENCY: Mount Sinai West: 1000 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (212) 523-4000; NON-EMERGENCY: CityMD: 345 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036 (646) 518-0159
Local taxi company: Yellow Cab, 1-800-609-8731