Mistakes? I’ve made a few.

Like you, I’m human.

We live in a world where it isn’t always easy to admit one’s mistakes, or to approach someone about their mistakes.

I believe in a world where people can relate without fear or shame. A very important piece of that, is that all individuals feel free to voice their experience, even when it hasn’t been a positive one. And in that, accountability and integrity are important.

Through my work in Consent, Communications, and Relationships, I’ve come to understand a few things:

  1. No one is perfect. Every single person, no matter how much education or experience, is capable of making mistakes. And sometimes those mistakes can have detrimental impacts on others.
  2. Intention matters, yes, and impact also matters. If something is a big deal to only one person in the equation, it is still a big deal.
  3. People in counter-culture communities value these continuing relationships, and as such might be reluctant to speak up, out of fear of ostrasization or loss of these connections.
  4. Dominance Culture is deeply ingrained, and no matter what I, as an educator and coach do to subvert that, others will still put me on a pedestal and expect higher standards of me in my conduct.

 

I have an accountability pod. This is a group of peers and professionals whom I trust to give me critical feedback, and to help me to learn from my mistakes and mis-steps. They are here to do that emotional labor with me, so that you don’t have to. I’ve chosen them carefully because they know how to be tough on me, and they also know how to give me feedback in a way that’s easy for me to take in.

How This Works

If, in any of your interactions with me, you feel unheard, unseen, hurt, violated, or in any other way negatively impacted, you may contact my pod with your feedback.

Please be clear about what you need of me: do you just need to know the feedback is heard? Are you seeking specific actions of acknowledgement? Do you want to engage in a restorative process around accountability? The Pod might communicate back with you for clarification and to seek out what kind of support or response you might need, if any. They then give me the feedback (anonymously if you so wish) and if needed, an accountability process can be set in place.

An accountability pod exists to encourage the taking of responsibility for actions and impact, and to co-create plans, if needed, for restorative actions, mediation, or any other healing.

It is worth noting, an accountability pod does not exist to police actions or communities, nor are they equipped to provide emotional labor to any complainants. They endeavour to examine any piece of feedback from a space of neutrality and empathy. They are also all professionals with their own busy lives, so please be patient in waiting for a response from them.

The Pod are also available answer any questions that you have about previous accountability processes.

Who Is on my Pod?
[bios pending]

Bram Singleton (Winnipeg)
Helena Palmqvist (Vancouver)
Victor Salmon (Vancouver)
Intersectional mixed-race feminist. Queer relationship anarchist. Educator. Volunteer. Metro Vancouver Kink director-at-large. Switch. Vancouver Consent Crew Facilitator. Podcast host for Intimate Interactions. MVK Accountability Subcommittee member. Accountability blogger.
Ivo Beitsma (Nanaimo)
Erin Macri (Rotterdam)

My core values:
Integrity. I hold myself to some high standards as a human being. If I’ve done something that goes against who I strive to be in the world, I desire to do what I can (within what means I have) to restore integrity.
Kindness. I believe in honoring every individual with unconditional positive regard. I recognise that truth can be subjective based on personal experiences, so even when my truth is different from another’s truth, I seek to be able to understand them, rather than judge them or shut them out.
Respect. I seek to honor and respect all beings, wherever they are in their journey.
Anti-Oppression. I seek to work against oppressive systems, whether that is white supremacy, toxic masculinity, dominance culture, or other. I also recognise that some of these oppressive systems may come alive in me. It is through self inquiry and the feedback and reflection from others that I’ve learned how to identify and change these patterns in myself.

I reserve the right to not engage in a process if it would be detrimental to my physical or mental wellbeing, or if the other party engages with aggression. In addition, I will not engage with anyone who threatens, harasses, or displays aggression towards any member of my accountability pod in relation to me. Anger is valid and welcomed. Aggression is not.

For more information about Accountability Pods, I recommend Victor Salmon’s excellent resources, and The Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective

If you have feedback to report, you can fill out this form here, or contact them directly at communitypodmel@gmail.com. They endeavour to respond within 5-7 days.

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