Who we are
We are more than just a group of folks with space and tools. We hold the following values as integral to our success:
- We are intentionally growing a welcoming community of diverse people with an economically accessible offering. We bring together makers, craftspeople, hobbyists, entrepreneurs, programmers, creators and hackers in Oakland, CA, and the greater East Bay.
- The spirit of curiosity is at the heart of hacking. Our culture of camaraderie makes a welcoming place for those who are willing to try something new or ask how things work.
- Sharing expertise, ideas, and knowledge is what makes growth possible as a community, individuals, and professionals.
- We promote an environment of cooperation where conducting ourselves with respect for each other and the space is expressed through active transparency, communication, and positive accountability.
Ace Makerspace is committed to creating an inclusive environment and is proud to be intentionally creating a diverse community.
Why ACE works
ACE is run by volunteers. The only two folks at ACE who are not volunteers are the contracted folks who come in to clean once a month and the accountant who keeps us good with the taxman. Everybody else—every teacher, every builder, every board member, steward or officer—is a volunteer and a member.
The ACE crew of volunteers does an amazing job. ACE works because people are generous and they really care about the space and other members.
So treat your fellow members with this in mind. Set your expectations with this in mind.
The social contract
It is often phrased as “Don’t be a jerk.” That sounds pretty simple. It primarily means that being rude, disrespectful, or bigoted in any way is not cool. We have a zero-tolerance policy for any of the big overt bigotries. But what about the practical application of “Don’t be a jerk”?… that can get a bit murky. At ACE it can be better described as transparency and respect.
What we mean by transparency
Don’t leave anybody guessing. Label your stuff. Put a shout-out on one of the media platforms if you are gonna bogart a tool or area. If you break something, tell somebody… and leave a note. If you need to leave a mess because an emergency cropped up, tell somebody. If something isn’t working right and you change how it works… tell people. If you are not sure how things work ask, and if you do something that is not obviously in line with etiquette let folks know what you did.
It also means being willing to question and be questioned by your fellow members. For example, let’s say that your eyeglasses are polycarbonate safety glasses, but the next member who walks into the shop can’t tell that just by looking and asks, “hey, what about safety glasses?” You can let them know in a respectful way that your glasses are good to go. So that is an example of somebody respectfully asking about safety and it somebody being respectful when asked.
What we mean by respect
Being respectful doesn’t mean that you can’t have an irreverent sense of humor. It does mean that you need to think before you speak or act. Ask yourself if what you are going to do or say is inconsiderate to those around you.
Being respectful also just means taking into account that this is a shared space and a community of people. All of your actions have an impact on other people. For example, if you leave a mess, you have created a problem somebody else has to take care of.
Respect also means hearing it if somebody tells you that you have crossed the line. Arguing with them about their experience is not acceptable behavior.
We have a pretty sweet thing going with this community in the space, and we aim to keep it that way.
Safety and Respect go hand-in-hand
We consider it disrespectful for folks to be unsafe with themselves, each other, and the rest of the building. We put guidelines in place so folks don’t have to guess what the right thing to do is. That said, guidelines are not a replacement for being thoughtful and using common sense.
As a community, we agree to talk to each other about safety and support each other to be safe. When engaging in these conversations we agree to be respectful. Training for managing these conversations is offered at the New Member Workshop and other workshops. Trained Ace leadership is also available should you like to ask for assistance when you witness unsafe member behavior or situations.
If a member exhibits a pattern of being unsafe with themselves or others, they will be uninvited to be in the space. ACE works a lot on trust. If we can’t trust you to be safe, you can’t be here.
For a deep dive on etiquette that is specific to a tool or area, please see the page for that area… for example, workshop etiquette is explored on the workshop page.
We are all about making things and helping others make things! The ACE members on the whole are crazy generous with their time and knowledge and everyone’s time and attention should be valued and treated with respect.
It is okay to ask for help!
Just hop on the Slack channel and ask for help learning the thing.
Attend a class.