(This post was written by Charlie Glickman, in collaboration with his accountability pod)
In late January 2018, I began recruiting an accountability pod to support me in addressing my actions and choices that caused significant harm over the span of the previous few years. More information about what I did is available here. As part of my making this accountability process public, this document names the people in my pod, explains why I asked them to participate, and clarifies any pre-existing relationships I had with the members. I have also included their public bios, and links where available.
My relationship with my accountability pod members and consultants is a professional one, and I am compensating them for their time, expertise, and support. I also recognize that there are many ways to create a fair exchange with professionals, and that my social and professional privilege gives me the opportunity to pay my pod members.
- Timeline: I spoke with Andy in January 2018 and Aida in March 2018.
- Rationale for inclusion: They both have professional experience with accountability processes, they’re both part of the sex education world, and they each bring a deep personal and professional awareness of dynamics of power, privilege, and abuse.
- Pod Responsibilities: Rather than serving as a core part of my pod, they have been invaluable consultants and facilitators. Aida and Andy helped me identify what I need from my pod, offered insight as I recruited folks, and have guided the process and structure at each step. This has included reviewing documents and statements, setting agendas and flow of the process, facilitating meetings, and ensuring a mix of restorative and transformative justice filters are used in this endeavor.
- Relationship: I was on friendly professional terms with both of them, having known them through the sex education world. I have had some social interactions with each of them, though nothing regular or consistent.
Note: in June 2019, Andy stepped back from being an active participant in this process due to his workload. I am keeping him informed of my progress, and I can contact him if there’s anything that he can help with. (Note added on June 29, 2019).
- Timeline: Joined the pod in June 2018
- Rationale for inclusion: I asked her to be in my pod because of her work with the Consent Academy in Seattle. She is an experienced and skilled educator and she has a deep understanding of consent and related topics. Rachel has been part of many accountability processes and brings an understanding of what makes them work smoothly.
- Pod Responsibilities: Rachel is one of the two pod members responsible for collecting reports from people who I harmed and liaising with anyone who wants a follow up. She is also supporting me in my personal work around this.
- Relationship: While Rachel and I share some overlapping communities and friend circles, we had only met casually before I approached her.
- Timeline: Joined the pod in June 2018
- Rationale for inclusion: I asked her to be part of my pod because of her experience as a sex and BDSM coach and educator, as well as her participation in the survivor pod for Reid Mihalko’s accountability process. She has seen this work up close, which has been very helpful. Sarah is quite familiar with the sex education world, and is able to bring that awareness to our work together.
- Pod Responsibilities: Sarah is one of the two pod members managing the procedural processes. She is also supporting me in my personal work, and will be reviewing my workshop curricula.
- Relationship: In July 2013, I visited Chicago to teach some workshops at the Pleasure Chest, which Sarah managed at that time. She hosted me for a few days during that trip. Other that that, we have had a friendly professional connection and we have not worked together.
- Timeline: Joined the pod in July 2018
- Rationale for inclusion: Xiomara has personal connections within the sex education world, though she is not directly part of it. In talking with her, I found that that distance from my circles helped me clarify some of my ideas and required me to look at this process from a different perspective. One of the many things that Xiomara brings to this process is her willingness to question assumptions and make sure that we don’t take any of our points of view as given. Xiomara also has some experience with accountability processes.
- Pod Responsibilities: Xiomara is one of the two people managing the pod process, and she will be facilitating the community relationships as things progress. Xiomara will also review my workshop curricula.
- Relationship: Before I contacted her, Xiomara and I did not have any previous relationship.
- Timeline: Joined the pod in August 2018
- Rationale for inclusion: In order to have a pod that represents as wide a range as possible, I wanted to find one person who had not been part of an accountability process. Bee has a lot of experience with social justice work and and is trained as a social justice mediator. They bring many related skills to the pod, which made them a great fit. Since they don’t bring any preconceived ideas about how this should work, they’ve been able to ask useful questions and offer ideas to the pod.
- Pod Responsibilities: Bee is one of the two pod members responsible for collecting reports from people who I harmed and liaising with anyone who wants a follow up. They will also be reviewing my public statements, and facilitating the community and social media conversations.
- Relationship: Before I contacted them, Bee and I did not have any previous relationship.
All of my pod members are well-informed around topics such as communication, trauma, abuse, social justice, dynamics of privilege and oppression, and accountability. They each have their own perspectives and experiences around each of these areas, and they are all committed to supporting this process as it moves forward. I am grateful for their support and their ability to help me stay focused on my goal of taking responsibility for the impact of my actions.
Bios for Pod Members and Process Consultants:
Aida Manduley, LCSW (they/them) is an award-winning boriqueer activist, therapist, and sexuality educator known for big earrings and building bridges. To make the world a more equitable and healing place, Mx. Manduley puts their 10+ years of organizing and educational experience in service of both macro and micro interventions through WOCSHN, The CSPH, The Effing Foundation, and various independent initiatives centering LGBTQ people and communities of color. Aida’s been involved with RJ/TJ since 2012 and has experience ranging from spearheading accountability processes to presenting nationally about their work. As a Boston-based clinician, they primarily serve communities marginalized due to gender, sexuality, and race — shaking up the landscapes of sexuality and mental health with specialties in trauma, pleasure, alternative relationship paradigms, and anti-oppression. To advance their fields and build networks of liberatory practice, Manduley’s an active member of The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and the Latinx Therapists Action Network. You can find an expanded version of this bio (including a section on their community accountability expertise) here: http://aidamanduley.com/about/
Andy Izenson (they/them) is a gender-ambivalent attorney and activist, an event planner, educator, and poet working to reframe conflict through a compassionate and transformative lens. Andy is a member of the LGBT Bar Association’s Family Law Institute, the President of the NYC Chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild, and one of the LGBT Bar Association’s Top 40 Under 40, and is nationally recognized as an advocate for queer community and families. Andy is a frequent educator on communication, the law, and alternative and community justice, including at the LGBT Bar Association, Goldman Sachs, John Jay College, and Harvard and Yale Law Schools. Andy also works and speaks extensively in the field of alternative dispute resolution and restorative and transformative justice, including mediation, collaborative legal practice, and the facilitation of Newburgh Model restorative justice processes, and speaks on these topics at conferences and schools around the country. This work also includes communication and de-escalation trainings and workshops, including at Skidmore College, Cooper Union, NYU, and Columbia University.
Rachel Drake (she/her) has a passion for helping people make breakthroughs and uncover their power. She is a Success Coach, Accountability & Consent Consultant, educator, and author. Rachel also serves as the Deputy Director of the Consent Academy, a Seattle-based 501-c3 non-profit, which she helped found in 2016. She has held numerous leadership positions over the years, in addition to educating and coaching adults since 1998. In the mid 2000’s she honed in on her passion for healthy consent, sex and non-traditional relationship dynamics. Since then she has helped thousands of people transform their lives, find success and personal freedom. She is currently working on her degree in Community Health Outreach and Education and expanding her Consent for Leadership workshop series to include Transformative Accountability for Leadership. She is excited for the highly anticipated 2019 release of The Consent Primer, Foundations for Everyday Life, the first “how-to” guide about consent which she co-authored.
Sarah Sloane (she/her) has been active in alt sex & alt relationship communities for over 20 years, and has been educating around kink, poly, and pleasure-based sexuality for over 18 of those years. Sarah’s passion is around supporting people to grow, love, work and play in ways that bring more intention & resonance to their lives. She does this not only in her work as an educator, but in her role as a personal & professional coach, focusing on supporting people who are members of marginalized communities (including those with chronic physical or mental challenges). She also works to mentor & connect emerging sexuality & relationship educators with resources & opportunities to help create & support a more diverse sex positive community. She id’s as a cis white queer woman, and lives in Chicago, IL.
Xiomara Giordano (she/her) pronounced (See-Oh-Mah-Rah), uses she/her/they pronouns and is a cis queer woman of color who is married and lives on a farm with her wife and pets. They are currently working on a Masters of Higher Education and has been accepted into and anticipating beginning a PhD in Latin American Caribbean Studies. They speak several languages and value the fact that words mean things and the way that they are used has power. Belief in that statement makes them an advocate for affirming communication that builds bridges rather than causes rifts in communities. 20 years as a paralegal has anchored an understanding of “traditional” modes of justice and an attraction to and participation in alternative forms of justice. Additionally, they have worked within communities building understanding through authentic translations and based in the beliefs of multilingual Justice which honor and hold space for all dialects in the communication process.
Bee Buehring (they/them) has fourteen years of experience engaging educational communities in explorations of identity, power and liberation. They are the co-founder of Social Justice @ Work consulting and a collaborator at Creative Justice Lab, a project connecting artists engaged in social change work. Bee specializes in training social justice peer educators and dialogue facilitators and is passionate about helping white people explore accountability and racial justice. Bee has an undergraduate degree in Film and Studio Art from Southern Methodist University and a M.Ed. in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University. Their research interests include: assessing institutional equity in higher education, building affirming campuses for transgender and non-binary students, the history of queer comics and cartooning, and gender, race, and sexual identity in science fiction.