Anti‐Harassment and Code of Conduct Policy

The North American Vascular Biology Organization and the Lymphatic Education & Research Network are dedicated to providing a harassment‐free conference experience for everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, physical appearance, body size, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate for any conference venue. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or other areas of intimidation
  • Sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, event organizers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Event organizers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants. We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event‐related social activities.

If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible to any NAVBO staff person. Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. You can make a report either personally or anonymously.

Safety Plan

The organizers of the Lymphatic Forum are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment to all participants.  All attendees, speakers, organizers, session chairs and staff are required to read and agree to our Code of Conduct, which addresses the prohibition of harassment of any kind at the Lymphatic Forum.

Any violation of this policy should be reported. If you experience or witness discrimination, harassment, or bullying, you are encouraged to make your unease or disapproval known to the individual at the time the incident occurs, but only if you are comfortable doing so. You are also urged to report any incident by:

Complaints should be filed as soon as possible after an incident. To ensure the prompt and thorough investigation of the complaint, the complainant should provide as much information as is possible, such as names, dates, locations, and steps taken.  The Executive Officer will investigate the alleged violation.

Please note that filing a complaint with the conference organizer(s) is not required before filing a complaint of discrimination with HHS OCR, and that seeking assistance from the conference organizer in no way prohibits filing complaints with HHS OCR as well.  If a participant has concerns of harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and other forms of inappropriate conduct at NIH-supported conferences, you can also notify NIH.  See the information on this web page: 

If an investigation results in a finding that an individual has committed a violation, the organizers will take the actions necessary to protect those involved in its activities from any future discrimination, harassment, or bullying, including in appropriate circumstances the removal of an individual from the current activity and a ban on participation in future activities.