DSA New Orleans Slack Guide
What is Slack?
Slack is a group messaging app which helps keep us connected between meetings.
How do I get added to Slack?
Attend a meeting! Then talk to any Local Council member. Any of them will be able to add you to Slack.
Important security note
Slack is essentially a public space. Do not post anything in Slack, even if it’s in a private channel or a DM, that you would not post publicly. All communication with sensitive information should be conducted over Signal or face to face. The company behind Slack still has a backup of any messages you delete.
Do I need to be on Slack to be in the chapter?
No! Meeting times and locations can be found here. And all major decisions (bylaw amendments, political resolutions, large expenditures) will be voted on at in-person meetings.
That being said, a LOT happens on Slack. People discuss political questions, post valuable readings, share jokes/post spicy memes, and sometimes make smaller, more logistical decisions (i.e. minor decisions that don’t need to be voted on by the larger body of the chapter). While participating in the Slack channels is not at all mandatory to participating in the chapter, being involved in the group chat can help in getting to know other chapter members and definitely will help keep you up-to-date on the conversations being had and events being planned.
- The #starthere channel is a place to gather introductory chapter documents and to introduce yourself on an ongoing “introduce yourself” thread. But please avoid discussions in that channel, so we can keep it clean and accessible for new members.
- The #calendar channel has all of our events in it. Every morning, a list of any DSA New Orleans events being held that day will post there, and every Sunday, a list of any events being held that week will post there. Also, if event location or times are updated, it will post there. If you want to sync the calendar to your own calendar, use this link!
- #help_me_comrade is a channel for people to ask for help of any kind. You can also post offerings there. For example, if someone needs a ride to a meeting, they can post in that channel. Or if you want to offer a ride to anyone who needs one, you can post there.
- All committees and working groups have dedicated channels. All channels that do not correspond to a committee have descriptions to indicate what the topic of that channel is.
- To find all the channels, click the ‘plus sign’ icon (+) next to ‘Channels’ on the sidebar to the left of the chatbox. You are absolutely welcome to join any and all public channels!
Tips and Tricks
- Putting “@channel” somewhere in a new post will alert everyone in the channel to the post. Best when used for posts containing important information relevant to everyone in the channel, especially if responses from many people are needed.
- Putting “@here” in a post will alert people who are in that channel and who have their status set to active.
- Pinned posts are posts that contain information that people might need to reference regularly. Pinning them saves them in the chat.
- Viewing pinned posts:
- On desktop: At the top of every channel in the middle column there’s a little thumbtack icon; click that for pinned posts.
- On mobile: At the top of every channel there’s the name of the channel with a little drop down arrow; tap on that. This will open a general channel info screen, scroll down past the channel description for pinned posts.
- Pinning posts:
- On desktop: hover over the post, then click the “…” button named “more message actions.” A menu will pop up, where you will choose “pin to #nameofchannel”
- On mobile: tap the body of the post, then scroll down to the bottom, and select “…” A menu will pop up; choose “Pin Message”
- Viewing pinned posts:
Etiquette and Best Practices
- Using the reply function on posts helps keep discussions organized and easy to follow.
- Here’s how you do it on a regular text post:
- For an image or file post, the commenting works differently, so we ask that you start a new text post underneath and thread under that post instead of the image or file.
- Again, Slack should be thought of as a public place. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mom or a cop to read. Please adhere to the guidelines for respectful engagement (See below!)
- Be judicial about your use of @channel, which will notify everyone. Our #general channel has over 200 members, so be sure to seriously consider whether or not everyone needs to be notified.
DSA Guidelines for Respectful Discussion
Assume good faith in your fellow comrades
Assume good faith in each other. Please try to speak from experience, speak for yourself, and actively listen to each other. Encourage yourself and others to maintain a positive attitude, honor the work of others, avoid defensiveness, be open to legitimate critique and challenge oppressive behaviors in ways that help people grow.
Know whether you need to “step up” or “step back”
Help create a safe and inclusive space for everybody. Please respect others by recognizing how often, much, and loud you’re speaking and whether or not you’re dominating conversation. Step back to leave space for others to voice their opinions and feelings. On the other hand, if you don’t often speak up, we encourage you to do so now!
Please ask yourself “Why am I Talking?”
We have a limited amount of time for discussion and to accomplish the tasks before us. When in discussion, consider whether or not what you want to say has already been said, whether what you want to say is on topic or if there’s a better time and place to say it, and other methods for showing how you feel about the conversation (nodding your head, etc.)
Please recognize and respect others feelings, background, and cultural differences
Many people have different levels of experience, knowledge, and feelings in social justice and radical activism and all participants should respect and embrace this diversity. While we all don’t have to agree on everything, we should respect our diversity of opinions. Recognize that everyone has a piece of the truth, everybody can learn, and everybody has the ability to teach and share something.
We have “one mic” so do not interrupt or speak while others are talking
Many of us will have different opinions on matters. However, speaking while others are talking or adding comments when they cannot respond appropriately does not build community. If you have a disagreement, wait for your turn to address it. This is basic politeness.
Respect the facilitator when they use Progressive Stack
Progressive Stack is a form of leading discussions which involves a facilitator keeping a list of names of people who wish to speak. However, the facilitator does not simply write a list of names in the order that people raise their hand. Rather, if someone who has not spoken raises their hand, they go to the top of the list. If someone who is of an oppressed group raises their hand, they go to the top of the list unless they have already contributed significantly to the discussion.
Have a sense of humor
Who said movement building can’t be fun? This is a great opportunity for people to get to know one another, building lasting friendships and relationships, to laugh, love, and build a movement.
And, as always, please inform organizers of inappropriate behavior immediately by emailing our chapter’s Harassment & Grievance officers at firstname.lastname@example.org.