Welcome to Sisters in Crime
~ Heart of Texas Chapter
Heart of Texas is a chapter of Sisters in Crime, an international organization whose mission is to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers.
We are writers and readers, men and women, who share an interest in crime fiction. Current members live throughout Central Texas–from Waco on the north to San Antonio on the south–but our territory has no borders: No matter where you live, you’re welcome here.
As a chapter of Sisters in Crime, we adopt the core values of the organization and adhere to their code of conduct.
Our Core Values
Sisters in Crime was founded on the core values of advocacy, equity, inclusion, and community.
Sisters in Crime’s core value of advocacy for our members and our commitment to women writers generally means we fully support the work needed to make our mystery community spaces safe for all attendees of events and conferences. Our organization is willing to work with other leaders within our community to ensure that the mystery community is open and safe for all.
Our Code of Conduct
We welcome people from all backgrounds, regardless of religion, age, race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, citizenship, medical condition, genetic information, or any other relevant characteristic. Consequently, Sisters in Crime will not tolerate and strives to be free of any discrimination, abuse, or harassment based on these, or any other, factors.
Harassment and discrimination are behaviors that threaten, alarm, or make someone uncomfortable. All meetings and board actions will be conducted in an environment that is devoid of discrimination and harassment consistent with the principles that govern our organization’s Code of Conduct and the Sisters in Crime core values. Sisters in Crime will not accept or tolerate offensive, abusive, coercive or other unwanted behavior which discriminates, violates personal dignity, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or humiliating environment (e.g. physical, psychological, verbal, or any other form of harassment).
Our reputation for integrity and excellence requires observance of the spirit and letter of all applicable laws and regulations, as well as a strict adherence to the highest standards of conduct. Our organization will comply with all applicable laws and regulations and expects its board, its members, its chapter board members, employees, vendors, volunteers, and the like to conduct themselves and business associated with our organization in accordance with the letter, spirit, and intent of all relevant laws and to refrain from any illegal, dishonest, or unethical conduct.
This Code of Conduct applies to anyone acting at any time or in any place under the banner of Sisters in Crime including: members, board members, chapter board members, employees, vendors, and volunteers. We will expect all guests to comply with this policy when attending events sponsored in full or in part by Sisters in Crime.
Consequences of Code of Conduct Violations
Individual consequences of violating this Code of Conduct will vary by circumstance but may include (but are not limited to) a verbal or written warning; the cancellation of event attendance; the cancellation of membership; prohibiting future event attendance of Sisters in Crime events; and/or prohibiting future membership in Sisters in Crime. In cases of major violations of the Code of Conduct, Sisters in Crime may decide to make a public statement to its members and community on the subject. Sisters in Crime may deny membership to any individual on the basis of comments or behavior contained in this Code of Conduct.
In addition, Sisters in Crime reserves the right to withdraw support or deny sponsorship to any event, to withdraw support from any other organization, or terminate or replace any vendor not in compliance with this Code of Conduct.
Any member who believes that they have been or are being subject to a violation of our organization’s Code of Conduct, or who witnesses a violation, is encouraged to immediately report any such violation to the president or any current member of the Sisters in Crime national board. All such reporting shall remain confidential while an investigation into the alleged violation is conducted according to the Sisters in Crime national bylaws. If a board member or members are parties accused of an alleged violation, they shall not take part in the investigation, other than being afforded the opportunity to respond to the allegations as any other accused individual(s) as set forth in the bylaws. To the extent reasonably possible, the investigation shall remain confidential and protected against unnecessary disclosure—including the identity of the accused individual, the individual reporting the violation, and that of any witness—to the extent reasonably possible. Individuals may consent in writing to Sisters in Crime to disclose their identities.
Any decision, response, sanction, or action of the board and this organization to the alleged violation of the Code of Conduct shall be determined by the guidelines set in the Sisters in Crime bylaws. However, because there is always the potential for or the possibility of legal (civil or criminal) proceedings arising from or the result of the offending conduct at issue, the board and this organization reserves the right and/or upon the advice of legal counsel, not to publicize, comment, or otherwise disclose the allegations, investigation, or consequences imposed by the board in response to their investigation to its members, any outside organization, or the media for the protection of this organization and its members.