Accountability Pod Wrap Up Post

A Table of Contents for all posts by Charlie’s pod, including the dates each article was published and a brief description of the contents of each post, can be found here


Over the past four years, this pod and our consultants have dedicated ourselves to helping hold Charlie Glickman accountable for the harms he caused to his former partner, to other individuals in his community, and to the sexuality education community. This process hasn’t played out how any of us initially imagined. We’ve had to pivot with the surfacing of new information, assist harmed individuals in distress, adapt to a variety of global and personal crises, and seek our own healing as we’ve sought to bring opportunities for healing to others. We’ve provided peer support to harmed individuals and liaised with concerned organizations and community members. And we’ve spent hundreds of hours challenging Charlie’s deep seated beliefs and patterns, encouraging his growth, and facilitating reparations. This imperfect process took a tremendous amount of time and emotional energy — from each of us as well as from the harmed individuals who chose to share their stories with us and articulate requests for accountability.

Now, at the conclusion of our process, we wish to provide a summary of our efforts, including:

  • A brief overview of our process with links to relevant documents,
  • Process wrap-up logistics, and
  • Notes on Charlie’s continued accountability.

Accountability Process Overview

We felt it would be helpful to provide a broad-strokes review and timeline of our process. In an effort to keep this section brief, we have chosen to include links to past documents for those readers looking for greater detail. Please note that while dates are included below as much as possible, many parts of this work were non-linear and overlapping, and some periods of time involved more concentrated effort than others. Finally, this is not an exhaustive collection of our Medium posts, so for anyone wishing for a deeper dive, please consult our Medium site’s Table of Contents.


From 2016–2018, members of the sexuality education community worked to help hold Charlie publicly accountable for his harmful and abusive behavior toward a past partner. Charlie’s reactions to these calls for accountability (both publicly and privately) caused further injury, greater community harm, and revealed troubling patterns of behavior as well as organizational complicity. During this period of time, members of Charlie’s community made multiple requests for Charlie to hold himself accountable in a variety of ways, including the formation of an accountability pod. In late January 2018, Charlie began recruiting a team of people to conduct a public accountability process for the harm he caused to his previous partner, other individuals, and organizations in his community. Assembling the accountability team began with Charlie contacting consultants Aida Manduley and Andy Izenson. Then, from June 2018 — August 2018, Charlie recruited pod members Rachel Drake, Sarah Sloane, Xiomara Giordano, and Bee Buehring. More information of the formation of the pod, including bios of the pod members and our consultants, can be found in this post from June 2019.

Early Outreach and Needs Assessment

Early in our process, we reached out to people we knew Charlie had harmed. In that outreach, we sought information regarding the particular ways we could support and advocate for the needs of those most impacted. As we understood it, the mandate we received from those individuals was to guide Charlie in doing his own work toward changed behavior and reparations. We also heard the need to create a public call for narratives of harm that would help us clearly identify and transform Charlie’s harmful beliefs and patterns. And, finally, there was a wish from some to keep them informed of our progress and public communications. With those needs and requests in mind, we began establishing our objectives. We also started creating our narrative collection process to provide the wider community with opportunities to share any experiences of harm and keep us centered on the needs and requests of those most impacted by Charlie’s behavior.

Objectives & Community Notification

In June 2019, the pod published a statement of purpose. In this post and within the Narrative Collection form the post references, the pod articulated our goals to:

  • Work with the community to collect narratives of harm, identify the scope and impact of Charlie’s harmful behaviors, and uncover the beliefs and patterns of behaviors behind those harms,
  • When requested, provide peer support and community resources to harmed individuals,
  • Advocate for the accountability and reparations requests made by harmed individuals and concerned community members,
  • Use the knowledge gained from our analysis of Charlie’s harmful behavior to guide our efforts helping him reckon with the impact of his actions, engage in genuine accountability, and, when possible, work toward reparation,
  • Challenge and support Charlie in his work to examine and transform the beliefs and patterns of behavior identified.

To achieve these goals, the pod committed to:

  1. Posting regular process updates via Medium,
  2. Communicating the pod and Charlie’s ensuing actions toward accountability,
  3. Providing an email address to engage with the community,
  4. Observing public discussions about Charlie and our process to pull themes of harm and attend to community concerns,
  5. Sharing a summary of harms, both patterns and individual incidents,
  6. Using the lenses of restorative and transformative justice to direct our work and support those who have been harmed,
  7. Making a plan to address and promote accountability from institutions who were complicit in harm, and
  8. Connecting in restorative ways with organizations harmed by Charlie’s actions.

In July 2019, we provided further context for these commitments and our intentions as a pod by sharing a post called “Thinking About Transformative Justice,” where we worked with our consultant to articulate the philosophy, values, and practices behind our approach.

Narrative Collection Process

Also starting in June 2019, a subgroup of the pod, the Narrative Collection Team (Rachel Drake and Bee Buehring), began receiving reports of harm submitted via an online form. The goal of this was to keep our process centered on the needs, requests, and experiences of those impacted by Charlie’s actions. Many of us came to the pod with previous professional experience providing support for survivors of abuse and interpersonal violence; providing potential Respondents with a safe and confidential method of sharing their experiences and articulating their needs was primary to our process. (Those who submitted narratives to the team will be referred to as Respondents.) While the narrative collection Google form was our main method for gathering more in-depth information, we also offered to connect with Respondents over email, phone, and video calls. Providing multiple avenues — and multiple people, not always limited to the Narrative Collection team — for connection allowed us to further clarify individual's confidentiality and accountability requests. It also helped us develop individualized support plans for those requesting additional aid and resources (including offering peer support, researching local and regional services, and collecting and distributing mutual aid). The Narrative Collection Team also worked with the rest of the pod and consultants to gather information from a number of concerned community members and harmed individuals who had already spent considerable time and emotional effort documenting Charlie’s harmful behaviors online and elsewhere. (Those who provided this information as well as more informal narratives of harm will be called Contributors. It’s also worth noting that some people began as Contributors and chose to continue as Respondents, and others used multiple avenues of reporting, so we generally default to the term with the highest level of confidentiality.) Throughout the compiling process, the Narrative Collection Team also advocated for the specific accountability requests of Respondents while adhering to each individual’s requested level of confidentiality. The initial themes, patterns of harm, and requests identified through this subgroup’s contact with harmed individuals established a roadmap for the pod and consultants’ directed work with Charlie. (This process is further detailed in our “Narrative Collection — Summary of Harms” post.)

Directly Addressing Harms and Patterns

While the pod and our consultants had been addressing Charlie’s harmful and concerning behaviors and underlying beliefs since the fall of 2018, compiling a preliminary list of themes and harms from our Respondents and Contributors in the Fall of 2019 enabled us to dive deeper. Most of these directed conversations with Charlie occurred during monthly team meetings or two-on-one conversations and were accompanied by prompted writing, behavior tracking exercises, self-awareness practices, and recommended topics for him to discuss with his therapist, supervisor, and others in his circle of support. When the pod or our primary consultant experienced harm within our process, we took time to engage in restorative circles and dialogues. (Further details on this work and its challenges can be found in the following pod process updates: “Addressing Nuanced Problematic Communication”, December 2019 update, May 2020 update, and August/September 2020 update.) Additionally, with client safety in mind, the pod worked with Charlie to establish new protocols to help inform current and potential coaching clients of his harms, our process, accountability resources, and his professional standards and ethics. The pod also worked with Charlie to draft an explicit consent ethos for his possible return to education (detailed in the post “Charlie Glickman’s Professional Consent Policy”, published in June 2019).

Charlie’s Acknowledgement of Harms

After approaching Charlie with a preliminary list of themes of harm and requests from our Respondents and Contributors, the pod tasked Charlie with writing a document owning and acknowledging the specific ways he harmed people and his communities. We discussed this document at length with him to ensure understanding, challenge evasive word choices and framing, and push for clarity as much as possible. Publicly acknowledging his harms was also requested by a number of our Respondents and Contributors. This document, “Naming My Harms,” was published in March of 2021 on the pod’s Medium site. This document also has the purpose of being an easily-referenceable document where community members can find a list of behaviors to watch for if or when further calls for accountability emerge.

The Pod’s Summary of Harms

As previously mentioned, the Narrative Collection team created a preliminary summary of harms for internal use in the Fall of 2019. We then worked with Respondents and Contributors to determine how they wished for us to share the information they provided in our public reporting. We did this by way of a mid-process check-in survey we sent out in October of 2020 as well as through individual communications. For some of the individuals we worked with, clarifying individual preferences and requests required extended periods of collaboration, peer support, and, at times, stepping away from the process for reflection. By July 2021, we had what we believed to be informed consent and clarity about confidentiality requests from everyone. All Respondents wished for their information to remain anonymous and most asked that we amalgamate the details they shared into general themes and patterns. One Respondent requested that we share greater details about the harm they experienced while keeping their identity confidential.

It is worth acknowledging that on Friday, July 23, 2021, we emailed Respondents and Contributors informing them of our plans to publish our summary of harms, giving them four days (including a weekend) to contact us with any concerns, questions, or final changes to their confidentiality requests. However, the email we sent contained an error with conflicting information about the day of the week and date we planned to publish the summary; in the email we said, “We are reaching out to let you know that Charlie’s accountability pod plans to post the Narrative Collection — Summary of Harm report on or near Tuesday, July 24th.” This should have said “Tuesday, July 27th.” We later learned that this caused confusion and anxiety for at least one Respondent who was concerned we gave less than 24 hours notice about publishing the post. We take accountability and apologize for the emotional distress and harm we inadvertently created.

We had what we believed to be directives from everyone on what we were to include in our reports and were transparent that advance copies of posts would be provided upon request. Finally, on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 we published the summation of this work in our “Narrative Collection — Summary of Harms” document, which detailed our work with Respondents and Contributors, summarized themes and relevant details from the narratives we received, and outlined the accountability requests made of Charlie and of the pod.

Organizational and Community Engagement

Additionally, pod members and our primary consultant coordinated outreach efforts to a number of organizations and colleagues, both those interested in our process, as well as those associated with Charlie. Since 2016, there have been a number of public calls for ethics investigations into Charlie’s behavior — namely to the Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers (ACSB) and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). We have worked to keep those and other organizations previously associated with Charlie informed of our process and of the harms we’d worked to report. More information on that communication can be found in our post related to the various accountability requests we received: “Request 1: Communication with Organizations Charlie is/was Affiliated with.” Additionally, community questions and concerns about Charlie and this process (gathered from emails to the pod, messages to Charlie, and various social media posts) were addressed by both Charlie and the pod in a FAQ published on July 11, 2019. More recent questions and concerns about the process were addressed by the pod in an updated FAQ published on Nov 18, 2022. At the conclusion of our process, we still see a lot of work to be done at systemic levels at many of these organizations to create better mechanisms for addressing ethics complaints, calls for accountability, and harm-doing. Though we know our work has helped move the needle, challenged silences around these issues, and pushed for further investigations, we hope more continues to be done outside our efforts.

Conclusion & Transition

Beginning in November 2021, the pod and our primary consultant began mapping our route to a process wrap-up. Much of this planning focused on administrative tasks such as public reporting. As many of us faced reduced time and capacity, we tasked Charlie with hiring a pod-approved ghost writer to work directly with us to draft and edit our remaining public posts. (This post you’re reading now, however, was written by the pod in consultation with our primary consultant. More details on our work with a ghostwriter can be found in “How We Have Fulfilled Requests — Part 3”.) We also facilitated directed exercises to help Charlie identify people in his life who might support his sustained work on the problematic behaviors and beliefs our process uncovered. This built upon previous work designed to help Charlie consider the ways collusion and complicity within personal and professional circles may have enabled his harmful behavior, and prior ongoing work to have him evaluate his support systems and how those could or should evolve. (More on this work can be found in the post “Collusion and Complicity Questions.”) Stemming from this work, Charlie will be setting up a new and different system, with a new and different team, for keeping himself accountable to his community and his own standards of behavior on an ongoing basis. He will announce this new team on his own Medium site after our time with him concludes.

Final Reporting

Finally, in November 2022, the pod’s work to advocate for and help fulfill the requests made by Respondents and other harmed individuals and community members was detailed in our “How We Have Fulfilled Requests” post (published in 11 parts). Also at this time, we published our list of Charlie’s harmful patterns (published in 2 parts), which detailed how these patterns show up and connect to the harms we’d identified, explored our work on each pattern, and shared observations of his progress and challenges. The latter is another one of the vital documents we hope can present clearly named lists of behaviors and patterns for community-members to use and reference as needed in the future. This post on patterns also presented our recommendations for how others interested in sharing community with Charlie might best help hold him accountable for future harm. We also shared a post about our work challenging Charlie’s understanding of teaching and leadership.

Closing Logistics

As we wrap-up this process, we’ve put a number of plans in place to inform our Respondents and Contributors of our conclusion, continue protecting the confidential information we’ve received, and keep the information we’ve shared publicly accessible to those who are interested.

Pod email addresses and drives. The pod plans to archive the confidential communications from the and accounts on private drives inaccessible to Charlie and anyone outside of the pod. On March 18, 2023, we’ll add an auto-response message informing any sender that we are no longer monitoring these two email accounts. This auto-response will also share resources and information related to Charlie’s ongoing accountability work. Internal pod documents connected to these Google accounts will remain accessible to pod members in perpetuity and will also be archived on separate, confidential drives.

This Medium account. The monitoring and maintenance of this Medium account will continue through March 18, 2023. After that point, the pod plans to leave all of the content we have posted here on Medium in perpetuity. We have archived the content of this site and, in the event that Medium as a platform changes or disappears, we aim to share it elsewhere for the community to access.

Communication with Respondents and Contributors. As of the publication of this post, we have informed Respondents and Contributors of the conclusion of our process and have provided them with relevant information detailed in this post.

Charlie’s Continued Accountability

Charlie’s participation in this process has always been voluntary. Throughout this process, we have recommended certain courses of action and worked to help Charlie become more aware of the impact of his behaviors and their underlying assumptions, but his actions are ultimately his own. While we have witnessed Charlie’s concerted effort to work on himself, unlearn old ways of being, and work toward reparation, we accept that changing the beliefs, patterns, and triggers that contributed to his past harms will likely be the work of a lifetime. As we’ve previously shared, we have concerns about how persistent some of his harmful patterns can be and we hope anyone interested in engaging with Charlie will familiarize themselves with our concerns and observations before doing so. We do, however, believe that we’ve increased his insight and self-awareness on these matters, equipped him with tools for holding himself accountable, and we have done the best we could to set him up for continuing this work without us. Even as we have challenged Charlie and navigated conflicts with him regarding his beliefs and behavior, we’ve been heartened to see that he keeps showing up, remaining committed to listening, learning, and doing better each time.

That being said, it is not our intention, nor is it our role, to issue final determinations on Charlie’s transformation or provide him with a stamp of approval. Such a statement would set all of us — the members of Charlie’s communities, Charlie, and this pod — up for failure because it would obscure the reality that Charlie is a human being, capable of making mistakes and acting in ways contrary to his stated beliefs and values. It would also obscure the fact that human relationships can be messy; despite our best intentions, we cannot control nor fully anticipate how our actions will impact others. And our intentions, no matter how well-investigated, cannot erase the injury caused.

While those things are true, none of it negates the necessity of stopping harm when we see it happening and demanding that those who commit harm own up to their actions. That’s why we have put so much care into sharing comprehensive documentation of Charlie’s behaviors, patterns, and our work with him. We hope the work we’ve done with him helps prevent future harm. And, if or when Charlie’s future actions cause harm, we hope what we’ve shared will equip Charlie’s community with insights that will help everyone hold Charlie accountable.

Below, we’ll detail some of the plans we’ve worked with Charlie to put in place after the pod has disbanded. It’s our hope that these plans will help sustain his accountability work and continue his efforts to transform his beliefs and behaviors.

Charlie’s own writings and reflections. We have advised Charlie to create his own Medium site where he can share some of his own work and reflections. Such reflections have been requested by members of the community as well as by our Respondents and Contributors. We have also encouraged him to use his own account to share, in his own words, his plans and commitments moving forward as well as any other information about his sustained accountability work.

New and different external accountability team. Charlie has assembled a new group of professionals to set up a new and different system for keeping himself accountable to his community and his own standards of behavior on an ongoing basis. He will announce this new team on his own Medium site after our time with him concludes.

Personal accountability support people. The pod and our consultant have also facilitated directed exercises to help Charlie identify people in his life who might support his sustained work on the problematic behaviors and beliefs our process uncovered. This built upon previous work designed to help Charlie consider the ways collusion and complicity within personal and professional circles may have enabled his harmful behavior.

Professional standards and practices established. We’ve advised Charlie in the establishment of clearly articulated professional standards. This has included a set of Consent Policies for potential workplace and teaching engagements as well as Consent and Disclosure policies and practices for potential and current coaching clients. It’s our hope that these standards will both help prevent future harm and provide a foundation for accountability measures if the need arises. Charlie has also committed to informing any organization or individual interested in working with him about our accountability process and his new accountability system.

Organizational accountability and ethical standards. Charlie has also committed to choosing only to work with organizations or individuals who have clearly stated ethics and policies that protect the safety of participants and fellow educators. And it is our understanding that the new, post-pod accountability team will have the ability to receive reports of concern or harm about Charlie and report Charlie to his professional organizations (ASCB and the Somatica Institute) for investigation.

In Conclusion

In August 2020, we posted a series of questions we’d been using to periodically assess our accountability process and its impact. The first part of this post featured a series of questions based on Creative Interventions’ accountability staircase model found in their book, Creative Interventions Toolkit, published by AK Press. This staircase moves from interrupting immediate violence up to transformative change that prevents the various conditions for future violence.

  1. Stop the immediate violence
  2. Recognize the violence
  3. Recognize the consequences of the violence without excuses, even if unintended
  4. Make repairs for harm
  5. Change harmful attitudes and behaviors so that violence is not repeated
  6. Become a healthy member of your community

As our process reaches its conclusion, we can reflect on our path up this staircase. In an effort to stop immediate and future harm, we helped hold Charlie to his commitments to step back from educational engagements and other public work and conducted a robust examination of his past harms. We regularly challenged Charlie to recognize the impact of his harmful actions as well as sift through the internalized beliefs, power dynamics, and motivations that led him to those actions. We offered directed exercises, resources, and support as he explored ways to transform his attitudes and behaviors. We advocated for accountability requests made by those Charlie has harmed and helped facilitate Charlie’s work to heal and repair the damage he caused to individuals and his community. And we believe we equipped Charlie with an increased level of empathy, self-awareness, a greater sense of personal responsibility, and a more thorough understanding of personal and professional ethics — all of which we hope will enable him to engage with the members of his communities in a healthier and more accountable way.

This process took much longer than any of us anticipated. Over these past few years, we’ve watched Charlie take significant steps. There were also some “one step forward, two steps back” moments. And we made missteps of our own! We acknowledge we weren’t able to provide everyone in the community with what they may have hoped from this process. But, through it all, we strived to hold true to our commitments and a belief that learning to unravel the tapestries of domination, interpersonal violence, and oppression — as messy as it can get — will help us reweave a better world.

We offer our sincere gratitude to those members of Charlie’s communities who spoke up and demanded he hold himself accountable for the damage he caused. We know that speaking out against violence and injustice requires courage, as it always comes with risk. Our work of unraveling and reweaving would not have been possible without you. And, to those harmed by Charlie and by the complicity that too often exists within our communities, we hope our efforts have brought about some healing, or, at the very least, helped spark meaningful conversations about how we all can work toward transforming the ways we care for and challenge one another.