Readercon has made series of decisions to stem the controversy over its handling of harassment complaints and to heal its community.
You could always click through and read their full statement. And really, isn’t that the best plan?
The Readercon convention committee apologized to Genevieve Valentine and Kate Kligman “for not taking appropriate action based on their reports of being harassed by René Walling.”
They also apologized for failing to apply Readercon’s lifetime ban policy:
The conversation about the value of zero-tolerance policies and lifetime bans is ongoing, but the issue of the moment is this: Readercon’s program participants, attendees, and volunteers came together with the understanding that a particular policy was in place, and that Readercon’s concom and board would not hesitate to implement it; and yet, when a complaint was made, we failed to address it appropriately and in accordance with our own rules.
Renè Walling’s membership ban has been made permanent. All five of the con’s board of directors, which made the original decision about a short-term ban, have resigned. Refunds of memberships in next year’s Readercon are available.
Readercon plans to update its anti-harassment policy “to better reflect the reality of how harassment happens at conventions,” and will make other changes to facilitate reports of harassment, including an updated code of conduct “to encourage behavior that contributes to a safe and comfortable atmosphere, and to clearly describe the types of behaviors that are not welcome at Readercon.”
[Thanks to Christopher Rowe and Dan Goodman for the story.]