Dear YPAD Advisory Panel Members, Ambassadors, Certified Dance Professionals, and Volunteers:
Thank you for your important work with YPAD! We are so grateful for the time, energy, and resources that you give to the movement. Y.P.A.D. – Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, embrace and recognize that we have members in YPAD from different Faiths, sexual orientations, ethnicity, cultures, beliefs, socioeconomic status, regions, political parties, skin color, body shape, skill sets, abilities, genders, etc. You are accepted here. We need to be the example of how a group of people with this much diversity functions together and unites to educate on a common cause; our children’s human right to believe that it is because of the differences listed above that they are valuable and worthy. They are unique beings with their own signature and purpose and these differences were not a mistake and they matter. YOU MATTER. Our children are watching and listening closely, specifically on social media, and we must show them we will love each other, ask questions and listen to understand each other on a deeper level, find common ground, offer empathy, share, and be open hearted and honor each others’ humanity. WE NEED TO BE THE EXAMPLE IN PERSON AND ONLINE.
As YPAD gains momentum each of you will be looked upon as surrogates of our message. We need to be mindful when we post on social media as it represents not only ourselves, but YPAD as an organization and a movement. We live in a culture where people may choose whether or not to look deeper into our education based on one single post they may see from people speaking about our mission. Our Social Media Creed is to insure that everyone who is a public voice for YPAD uses their social media influence to represent YPAD in a way that reflects our mission and inclusive rhetoric. Inclusiveness by definition means we embrace those who have differing beliefs than ours. We are leading through example. At times this takes restraint and may be challenging as the topics YPAD addresses provoke valid emotions and at times anger. We believe the outcome will display a needed healthy model of social media use when discussing topics that may create divisiveness. A model that invites ALL people regardless of where they are on their YPAD journey to review our evidence based research free of shaming and blaming. The language and tone we use when discussing YPAD is not only a positive example for youth, but for the adults who see the class and grace that permeates our posting power.
We ask everyone to review this creed, and help each other with any challenges that may arise. If emotions are running high and we need to vent we can reach out to each other in private format to process and receive support. Should we fall short, we can look to each other as members of the YPAD Advisory Panel, Ambassador and Volunteer community for support and solutions. We can hold each other and ourselves accountable to the standards set out in this creed, free of judgement and in unity to manage our social media with careful thought and self-reflection.
Leslie Scott- YPAD Founder
YPAD Social Media Creed
Social Media Safety
I agree to use my social media accounts and conduct myself online with integrity, using YPAD’s Social Media guidelines to help guide my choices. I agree that if I have sexually suggestive activity, sexualized dancing, references to drug or alcohol use, violence or gang-related activity, hate speech, negative comments about other dance professionals, or similar content on my social media account, I will not “friend,” “follow,” or be “followed” by my students or minors. If I wish to post non-child-friendly content, I will use privacy settings on my primary social media accounts, and create separate accounts on which to connect with my youth students in a role model capacity.
Speaking Out on Social Media
I agree that when speaking out against injury, sexualization or inappropriate content in the dance community, I will not shame or name any specific choreographer, teacher, dancer, dance studio, parent or dance organization. I will not post videos of sexualized or otherwise inappropriate dance content. These shaming types of posts only alienate the individuals and organizations who may need YPAD the most. Instead, I want to open the door for conversations and the opportunity for YPAD to educate and work with everyone in the dance industry.
*Please consider the comment threads your posts may instigate. Even when posting a video of children that is not sexual, be mindful if the video and your comment about the video may ignite bullying and shaming of the children or their parents. Evidence proves when posting videos of children inherently some on the thread will start making negative comments towards the children, their talent, the way they look, their bodies,their parents, their studio,etc. Many children follow where their videos are shared and posted. Be aware that a child or teen in the video or picture may read what you and others write about them and their families. As advocates of healthy self-esteem for youth we have a powerful part to play in this. We recommend steering clear of posting videos or pictures of children and teens that are not your biological children or your students. Of course this does NOT APPLY to children and teens you have received permission to re-post or are re-posting for positive purposes.
Body and Food References
*YPAD’s Certification and Seminars educate on eating disorders, disordered eating, body image, self-esteem, bullying and more. As advocates we want to be representatives of the choices and behaviors our specialists have asked of us.
I agree to be hyper-aware of the way that I speak about my own body and appearance, as well as the body and appearance of others. I will not shame myself or anyone else based on appearance or aesthetics including celebrities and political figures. I will be sensitive in how I post about food and health, my selfies and being certain to avoid any references or language that could trigger or encourage eating disorders, sensitivity about weight and appearance, or other self-confidence issues.
Subject Awareness & Social Media Conflicts
I agree to be sensitive when posting about subjects where emotions may run high (e.g. politics, sex abuse, religion, etc.) and I will show respect for the opinions of others, whether or not they agree. I understand that YPAD Members, Ambassadors, Volunteers, and those outside of our direct community come from all walks of life. When conflicts arise through social media, as they will, I commit to taking them offline .
*To be clear we in no way want to hinder free speech. We expect on your personal and private pages for you to voice your political, religious and personal views. We deeply respect this right and your passion is part of why you are a valued YPAD Advocate. In regards to the YPAD IG and FB pages, the admins welcome and support your posts. If language or rhetoric on our page is used that may alienate or exclude anyone from our community we reserve the right to not approve the post.
Protecting YPAD Confidential Information
I agree that I will not post any confidential information about YPAD or YPAD members.
Maintaining the Standard
I agree to be mindful of these standards in my own posts, in comments on the posts of others, and in all discussions on every social media platform that I use. I agree to be open to feedback about the content of my posts, and to bring awareness about any post or content from another YPAD Volunteer or Advisory Panel member that does not uphold this creed. I agree to work with the YPAD community to be sure that we are representing YPAD honorably on our social media.