Ace UnConference

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 • 9:30am to 4:30pm

@ The Creative Space - 2518 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA, 94702


The Asexuality Unconference is the largest gathering of Asexuals in the SF Bay area. Join us for for free food, friends, and great discussions!

Click here to RSVP for the 2017 Ace UnConference!


Update as of 6/15/17: Please note that due to changes in policy at UC Berkeley, the unConference will be at a different venue this year. Don't go to the Berkeley campus because there will be no one there! Please see here for the new address.

Tentative Schedule

9:30-10:00 Morning Registration/Check-in (Registration will remain open all day for later arrivals)

10:00-10:20 Opening Statements and Schedule Building

10:30-11:20 Workshop Session 1

11:30-12:20 Workshop Session 2

12:20-1:00 Lunch (free food!)

1:00-1:50 Workshop Session 3

2:00-2:50 Workshop Session 4

3:00-3:50 Workshop Session 5

4:00-4:30: Closing Wrapup + Announcements

Maps and Transportation

Driving: Our location is conveniently situated in the middle of the Bay Area in West Berkeley. Just a half mile from major freeways (I-80) and highways. It is a 20 minute drive from the Embarcadero in San Francisco to the venue! There is private parking for up to 5 cars in the back parking lot and plenty of street and neighborhood parking as well. Driving and parking is really convenient to this venue!

Public Transportation: The Ashby BART station is located just 1.5 miles away. Our location is extremely accessible via bus as well with multiple AC Transit bus stops right in front of the venue:

  • Take Line 36 straight from Downtown Berkeley Bart
  • Line 72, 72M, and 72R run north and south down San Pablo


FAQ

So...what's an UnConference?

An unconference is an event where the participants set the agenda. When the day begins we will have a big, blank agenda with open rooms and time slots. Anyone will be able to suggest topics that they would like the Ace community to discuss, from gender in the ace community to sexual allies to aces in popular media.

We will have time set aside during the open session for attendees to pitch their topics with a quick summary of what they hope to talk about, but that won't be your only chance! The schedule remains open to additions all day long - Had a really good conversation that you want to continue? Feel free to make a new session on the spot and stick it in any available timeslot!

You don't need to have anything prepared to lead a session. Just have a topic that you are interested in facilitating a discussion around. However, all rooms do come equipped with projectors and laptop hookups for anyone who would like to bring in any visuals or other prepared media.

Please note, however, that the unConference is intended as a conversation space, not an educational 101 space. Conference attendees are not here to educate you or to answer your personal curiosity, whether it's questions about (a)sexuality, gender, or anything else. If you have questions or would like to learn more, consider instead contacting an organizer at info@asexuality.org or checking out our resources page.


What's the Library?

Not interested in any particular sessions during a particular timeslot? Just want a break from discussions? Check out the library! The library will feature:

  • The Asexuality SF Library: Been itching to get a glance at SwankIvy’s book, The Invisible Orientation? Wanted to read the research on asexuality but couldn’t get past the paywalls? Check out the Asexuality SF Library! We have several asexuality themed novels, nonfiction books, and academic articles that you can read while at the conference!
  • Sign Making Materials: For those of you marching in the Parade, do you have any spiffy signs created yet? No? Well no worries, we’ve got you covered! We have some basic craft supplies including signs, paint, markers, scissors, cardboard, craft knives, and more so you can make your very own asexy signage!
  • Casual Conversation: If you’re in the mood for more unstructured discussions, feel free to hang out and just socialize in here as well!

In addition, if you have any other reading materials, craft materials, or other exhibits you would like to contribute to the library during the unconference, feel free to bring them!


Is this event open to non-asexuals?

Yes! The UnConference is open to anyone, ace or otherwise. However, one of the primary goals of this event is to allow the ace community to have in-depth internal conversations, and thus it's not really oriented to education or ace-101 for non-aces. As discussed above, we want to keep this a relaxing space for all aces where we can have community conversations without having to stop and explain our identities, as we often do in other spaces. Therefore, if you are a non-ace who wants help learning about asexuality, instead of relying on other attendees to educate you, please contact an organizer! We are happy to answer any questions you might have, and you can also check out our suggested resources here.


What if I can't make it to the whole UnConference?

Feel free to just drop in whenever you have time! We'll have registration open all day, so just drop by whenever you're ready. Feel free also to wander in and out of the conference as you feel like it, to take breaks and explore if you're in the mood for it. You may just want to be here for lunch if you want the free food :)


What's for lunch? Are there any vegetarian/vegan or gluten free options available?

Lunch is typically catered Mediterranean food (falafel, kebabs, etc.) that includes both vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free options as part of the main course.

Conference Etiquette

UnConference discussions can often turn into very deep conversations, and can touch on many very personal subjects for attendees. Therefore, please read the following conference etiquette guidelines to help ensure that everyone can enjoy the conference:

  1. Confidentiality: What's said here, stays here. You are welcome to share the general lessons you learn here, but please do not share individual's names or personal stories outside of the UnConference without their permission. Not everyone is out, and many attendees may choose to share personal stories here that they may not want shared elsewhere.
  2. Respect other people's identities. Please respect other attendees' identities, including their chosen pronouns or identity labels. An individual is the best expert on their own identity, even if you might not be able to understand or relate. If you are unsure about a persons pronouns or identity, it's always better to ask than to assume.
  3. A conversational space is not a 101 space. One of the goals of the conference is to enable attendees to have more in-depth conversations without having to stop to explain or justify their identities - whether it's their a/sexuality, their gender, or something else. Attendees are here to meet other people and share experiences, not to be personal lecturers. Therefore, unless a session is explicitly titled as a 101 or learning space, do not go there expecting to receive any 101 explanations. Instead, if you have questions, consider contacting an organizer at info@asexuality.org or checking out our resources page.
  4. Ask to ask: Always get permission before asking personal questions. Some people may be happy to answer personal questions; others may not. Before asking any questions about a person's identity or personal experiences, always start by asking "would it be ok if I asked you a question about your personal experiences"? If the answer is no, don't ask. Similarly, if someone says that they don't feel comfortable answering a specific question, don't press the issue - just let the conversation move on.
  5. "Ouch, Oops, Educate" : Accountability and Assuming Positive Intent. Not everyone will be entering the UnConference with the same level of knowledge and experience. When in doubt, assume that intent is generally positive, even when mistakes are made. And in turn, if you accidentally use a harmful term or make a harmful statement, take accountability. One sample script for this is "Ouch, Oops, Educate": If someone makes a statement that you find hurtful, say "ouch!" and let them know why - and if you have said something that was found hurtful, say "oops!" and do your best to apologize and avoid it in the future. Finally, educate: explain (or ask someone else to explain) why the statement was hurtful and what a better alternative would be in the future.
  6. Step up, step back: share the discussion. If you notice you've been talking a lot, consider taking a step back and letting others speak; on the other hand, if you have a thought to share that hasn't been said yet, don't be afraid to speak up! As a corollary, please remain quiet when other people are speaking. If you would like to have side conversations, consider taking a break in the hallway or checking out the free room!
  7. Use "I" Statements: when discussing your opinions, avoid generalizing statements like "french-kissing is gross". Instead, speak from your personal perspective - for example, "I find french-kissing kinda gross; it's not for me"

Have suggestions for other community etiquette guidelines? Contact an organizer and we can update the list!