ONLINE FACEBOOK GROUP GROUND RULES
Welcome to the Be the Bridge Facebook community! The following is a list of our official guidelines, as well as some helpful information about this group:
1. Please read our Group Description on the right side of the page. This will help clarify our purpose and goals.
2. All new members are required to spend at least three months in a discipline of active listening—no posting or commenting. This does not mean you join the group, check out for three months, then come back and start posting and commenting. During your initial three months, we expect you to spend time in the group. Read. Watch. Learn. Feel. Examine yourself. Wrestle with God. Become familiar with our terminology and protocols. Active listening is a foundational bridge-building skill. We realize that some of you join our group with years or even decades of racial reconciliation experience. We have much we can learn from you, but we still require you to enter into this discipline. Anyone who abuses this rule will be removed from the group.
3. If you have a question about a certain topic, try entering a keyword in the Search box on the left side of the page. Chances are, someone has asked a similar question or addressed your topic before. Since this group began in January 2015, there have been so many excellent articles and posts, not to mention discussions in the comments.
4. You will also find a wealth of resources under “Files” on the left side of the page. We especially encourage everyone to access our “Bridge Building Resources” list and start reading. Please note that the files cannot be opened and read on a mobile device—you must access them from a laptop or desktop.
5. While dialogue is essential—it’s one of the primary reasons this group exists—it’s important to keep in mind that people of color can get worn out when they are treated as the primary source of information and engagement on racial issues. If you are white, make sure to take responsibility for your own learning. This is another great reason why reviewing past posts and comments can be helpful to your learning.
6. Sunday is a day of rest within our community. On Sunday we pause from posting articles and commentary. An administrator will post an image reminding everyone of this. If you are past your initial three months, you may post Scripture, prayers, music, poetry and artwork in the comments of the Sunday post.
7. Unity is not the same as uniformity. We will not all come to the same conclusions or agree about everything. Our goal is to keep our discussions as respectful and gospel-centric as possible. But these are deep and difficult topics, and people have strong feelings surrounding them. Anger and grief are appropriate responses to racial injustice. Please allow people to express those feelings without judgment or correction. Keep your focus on listening, understanding, and empathizing with others.
8. This group is not designed to be a substitute for real-life relationships. If you have a diverse set of friends and/or live in a diverse community, consider starting a Be The Bridge Discussion Group in your area. If you do not currently have a diverse set of friends, the time to start changing that is now!
9. Guidelines for submitting a post to the group:
a. Before you submit a post to the group, conduct a keyword search in the Search box to see if someone else has posted the same item previously.
b. Limit the number of posts you submit to allow for maximum impact. We only approve one post per member per day.
c. Make sure the post you submit is directly related to racial justice and reconciliation. Posting about the relationship between politics and race is ok, because public policy is often shaped by the racial perceptions of politicians and legislators. However please refrain from posting openly partisan content or anything that defames, dehumanizes, or disrespects political leaders.
d. Memes will not be approved as main thread post.
e. When you submit a post with a link to an article or other post, it’s helpful give some context in your presentation. Even something short, like, “I found this article to be really helpful.” If it’s a longer article, consider pulling out your favorite quote and featuring it.
f. Be cautious about submitting a post that contains violent or traumatizing content. Try to provide an accompanying “Trigger Warning.”
g. Please do not contact the administrators to inquire about why your post has not been approved (or not approved yet.) We receive dozens of post submissions every day, and only approve a small portion of them. We do not have the capacity to explain to each person why we did not approve their particular post. Please don’t take it personally if your post is not approved.
10. Please be respectful to BTB administrators. They work hard, and aren’t paid for their work. You can find out who our administrators are by clicking on the “Members” link on the left side of the page.
11. This is a closed FB group. We respect the privacy and protect the safety of those here. Do not share any content from the group—whether by copy/pasting or taking a screenshot—without the express permission of the author. FYI, if you attempt to “share” a post from the group on your own timeline or elsewhere, only those already in the group will be able to see it.
12. This is a troll-free zone. If you notice bullying or other inappropriate behavior, please contact an administrator. We reserve the right to delete any content we deem offensive or inappropriate, as well as to remove any group member who does not follow our guidelines.
13. Take breaks as needed. This work is exhausting. If you are feeling overwhelmed or beaten down, take time away to allow yourself to process and heal.
14. Currently, the best way to find and connect with other local BTBers is through our “BTB Members By City and State” doc, listed under “Files.” You can add your name and contact info there. Thank you again for joining our community! The church is deeply divided along racial lines, and the hard work of racial reconciliation is a pressing concern. We need bridge builders to make true biblical unity happen. Education is important, but remember that racism is a spiritual problem, so all of our work begins and ends with lament and prayer.
Let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. Welcome to Be the Bridge!