A group of committed individuals has been doing work privately with Charlie Glickman to gear up for an honest and public assessment of his harmful actions — one that can bear witness to those he has hurt and help transform the conditions, both internal and external, that enabled said harms. Our focus is sustainable change, not performative adjustments. For that reason, there are multiple parts to this, and this process is one that will take time and has just now become public. The following document includes Part I (a statement from the pod and its consultants) and Part II (a message from Charlie himself). Feel free to read one, both, or neither.
Note: This statement is not intended to be an apology. This is information about how and why Charlie Glickman will be engaging in a public accountability process for harm he has done to individuals and the community. This statement is intended to provide information and give agency to those who have been harmed by Charlie Glickman to be heard and receive an authentic apology that is meaningful to them, if they so desire.
Part I. Statement from Charlie Glickman’s Accountability Pod
In 2018, Charlie Glickman assembled an accountability and support pod to address the harms he’d caused and the conditions that led to them, including those that came publicly to a head in 2016 (and are further described in the second part of this document). We, the members and consultants of this pod, wanted to provide information about our work together. With this introduction, we hope to frame Charlie’s public statement within the context of a larger accountability process. Our statement includes:
- a description of the pod’s purpose and motivation,
- an overview of our current scope of work,
- details on our narrative collection process,
- information about tracking public discussions,
- the pod’s contact information, and
- important links to additional resources.
We have already reached out to people (former partners, business associates, clients, and friends) who may be impacted by this process or who are known to have been harmed by Charlie’s behavior. If you are concerned about someone you personally know who may have been harmed or affected by Charlie’s actions, we ask that if you reach out to check on them, please do it respectfully. Our goal is to allow them to have their process, and to restore autonomy and agency as much as possible.
Purpose and Motivation
As a group of people, or pod, dedicated to helping Charlie and the people impacted by his actions, we do this work for a number of reasons. For some of us, it’s because we believe transformative justice processes can help heal and strengthen communities. Some of us want to offer Charlie the opportunity to learn, grow, and engage in his own healing. Some of us do this because we want to serve as witnesses for people who have been harmed, to ensure their experiences are heard and honored. And some of us do this because we’re angry — angry at the ways harm is perpetuated and silenced, angry at the ways people offer poor apologies and little follow-through, angry when people use “accountability processes” to just save face, angry at the epidemic of violence and victimization that thrives on silence and systems of oppression.
Scope of Work
During our first phase of public work, we’ll focus on a formal story collection process, bearing witness to anyone who has been harmed by Charlie’s actions. Some stories have already been collected before this process went public as well. Working as individuals and in small teams, we will catalogue people’s concerning experiences with Charlie, paying careful attention to the wishes and needs of each reporting party. Next, we will analyze the assembled experiences, looking for important themes, needs, and requests for action. Charlie has already created a list of the harms that he knows he’s caused, some of which are described in his statement below, and we have already begun to do the work of unpacking these with him and challenging him to listen while centering people outside himself. All of this information will guide our work to help Charlie fully understand and reckon with the impact of his actions.
To this end, some of us will continue to directly support Charlie, alongside his other guides, as he engages with the actionable elements of his accountability process. We’ll offer counsel as he processes the feedback he receives and continues moving into new ways of being and doing. And, when appropriate, we will facilitate Charlie’s responses to those he has harmed, negotiating interactions that respect each individual’s boundaries.
This will also involve:
- posting regular updates on Medium
- sharing a summary of the reports shared with the pod, and listing the ensuing action items
- being explicit about the ways we are using the lenses of restorative and transformative justice processes to direct this work and support those who have harmed, those who have been harmed, and the overall community
- figuring out how to address and promote accountability from institutions that were complicit in these harms in some way
- connecting in a restorative way to organizations that were harmed by Charlie’s actions.
If you have been hurt and/or if you felt uncomfortable because of Charlie’s actions and you would like to share your experiences or concerns, you are welcome to complete this online story collection form. You can submit your experiences to the pod under whatever degree of anonymity you prefer. The two pod members responsible for collecting narratives, Rachel Drake and Bee Buehring, will be the only people who see any of the information you send unless you specifically grant them permission to share specific content with the rest of the pod and/or with Charlie. If you want a response from the pod or from Charlie, there is a place on the form to indicate that, as well.
Our information gathering phase will take place over the next eight weeks (ending August 16, 2019), after which, the pod will begin to analyze the information collected and use it to decide how to proceed.
Attending to Public Discussion
Members of the pod will also observe and pull themes from any public discussion and comments on this post and on Charlie’s other public statements. This will give us important insight into the needs and concerns of Charlie’s community and those adjacent to it. Some of that work has already been underway, and old threads have been looked at for some of this content as well.
Contacting the Pod
We invite anyone who wants to ask us questions to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only pod members — not Charlie, and not the pod consultants — have access to this email account. Emails sent to this address will not be shared with Charlie or anyone outside of the pod without the sender’s express, affirmative, and informed consent.
If you’d like to know more about the pod, its consultants and members, you can find more information here, including transparent details about who each of these people are to Charlie and in the wider community. We will also manage a Medium account which will collect public posts and provide regular updates on Charlie’s accountability process.
- Pod members and consultants
- Report collection form
- Confidential pod contact email (Charlie and the pod consultants will not have access to these messages)
- Medium account for these posts (managed by the pod)
Part II. Statement from Charlie
CW: abuse, trauma
This statement was written in collaboration with my accountability pod.
In the last couple of years, I have been taking a deep look at some of my patterns of behavior, especially during late 2014-early 2017. Over that span of time, I acted out at some of the people in my life and in my communities. While many of you saw the public expression of that on Facebook in September 2016, that was definitely not the first example of my acting out.
Some of the ways that I acted out include (but are not limited to):
- gaslighting and emotionally controlling some of the people in my life
- verbally dominating conversations and aggressively trying to get others to validate my beliefs or perspective
- unwanted or inappropriate flirting and sexual attention
- disclosing information that wasn’t mine to share in order to convince people to agree with what I was saying and doing
- breaching a professional agreement that I had with a colleague
- explaining my actions away as an expression of trauma dysregulation
I was out of my integrity and acting out at the people around me. Given how often men act like this towards people of all genders, especially women, and given how frequently men react out of anger when someone says no or calls them on their behavior, I can understand why almost nobody said anything to me at the time. I was in the Act Like a Man Box and I’m sure that for many people, it felt safer and easier to not say something and risk being attacked. I also know that some people tried to talk with me, and that I overrode them.
Because of my public presence at the time, my behavior had a wide reach. Without wanting to label anyone else’s experience, I know that my actions hurt and harmed quite a few people. There are folks who have felt angry, sad, and/or disappointed with me. There are folks who have felt confused and wondered what I was doing. There are people who were triggered by what they saw me do or how I behaved towards them. My actions used up a lot of people’s time, energy, and spoons, and that wasn’t fair to anyone.
In the last two-and-a-half years, I’ve put a lot of work into looking at why I did those things and figuring out what I needed to change. My intention throughout this time was to get to the point where I could begin to address the impact of my actions on the people and communities who were affected by them. Over several months in 2018, I recruited an accountability pod to support this goal and help ensure I take responsibility for my actions without falling into the defensive reactions that can get in the way. You can find information about my pod members and why I chose them here.
My pod and I welcome public discussion and questions about my actions and this process. However, I ask you to be aware of the possible effect of your words on the people who I hurt, harmed, and affected by my behavior. I do not want the public discussion to add to the injury that I have caused, and I ask you to keep that in mind.
I expect that some people will have questions about the personal work that I have been engaged in for the last couple of years. Here is a description of many of the ways in which I have been doing that. At some point, I will publicly share some of that journey in more detail because I think that a lot of people, especially other cisgender men, need to see how men’s trauma combines with our gender socialization, and contributes to violence and patriarchy. However, the time for that will be after there has been an opportunity for me to address the ways in which I hurt the people in my life and my communities. If you have specific questions about my process, you are welcome share them with my accountability pod. They will respond as appropriate.
There are many people who deserve an apology from me. However, I am aware that apologizing before the people who I hurt have an opportunity to be heard would be a way of performing accountability and could easily create further harm. One of the goals in this process is to create a space where I can deeply listen to the people who I hurt and, if they want it, offer my apologies. I’m grateful to my pod for holding that space.
If you are someone who I harmed or was impacted by my actions and you would find it helpful to be part of this process, my accountability pod invites you to confidentially share your experience with them through this google form. I will only hear about or read what you share with your explicit, affirmative consent.
Lastly, I need to acknowledge that there are people who have lived with the pain I caused them for the last few years. There were many different pieces I needed to unpack and look at in order to get here. While I needed this time to get to the place where I could productively take responsibility for my actions, I regret that it added to the damage resulting from my behavior.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.