ISTA

Accountability Process

WELCOME


ISTA's new Accountability Process is a transformative healing approach that aims to reflect our commitment to creating a culture of consent, feedback, and growth. After months of research and mediation, the beta version of this process was introduced in April 2023 at the core gathering. If you haven’t already, please read the official Accountability Process Statement announcement published in July 2023.

Currently, we have three faculty members involved as “accountability candidates.” We have matched them each with a “support triad” which is a team of three vetted and qualified volunteers who meet regularly to offer reflections. Decisions, however, are made by the “accountability team," which is a select group of faculty that works in consultation with the ISTA council, Safe Mediation, and other third-party consultants. In addition to overseeing their progress, we are also responsible for fielding feedback and ongoing education to build a culture of accountability.

In the spirit of transparency, we plan to release quarterly updates. Below you will find the Winter Solstice 2023 report, where we briefly overview our journey this season, by highlighting our accomplishments, areas for improvement, honor the formative feedback we've received and outline our next steps.

We acknowledge that there are limitations inherent to implementing a new process. Our mostly volunteer crew is dedicated, but not infallible. The procedures described are still undergoing experimentation, evaluation, and refinement.

We welcome feedback as a gift, and we are actively seeking input from within the ISTA core, as well as third-party consultants. Community involvement, experience, and suggestions have played a crucial role in shaping this process. Although we may not be able to integrate all the feedback at once, we are willing to take note and share our growth. Please send your suggestions via our Feedback Form and it will be considered for the next iteration.

Thank you
ISTA Accountability Team
KamalaDevi McClure, Laurie Handlers, Penny Goldsmuntz & Crystal Dawn Morris


With great power comes great responsibility.

~ Voltaire


New Developments: Winter Solstice 2023

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2023 PROGRESS & ACHIEVEMENT:

  • Leadership Transition and Recruitment: This season marked a transitional phase with Crystal Dawn Morris stepping in following KamalaDevi's resignation as lead. KD continues to serve as a consultant, and we are actively conducting interviews with community leaders experienced in mediation and transformative justice. We're delighted to be in conversations with Kamela Love, a skilled lawyer and professional mediator, about hiring her as a liaison between ISTA and Safe Mediation. Kamela's multifaceted facilitation skills and dedication to driving cultural change are highly valued. We hope to welcome her into this new role in the new year.

  • Group Coaching & Continuing Education: To deepen our commitment to ongoing education, we are collaborating with Mischa Byruck from Evolve Men (www.evolve.men). Mischa specializes in aiding men in restoring integrity. He conducted four hours of live webinars on Ownership and Amends with the entire team. Additionally, all accountability candidates have met with him privately. Going forward we will be offering an opportunity for each accountability candidate to enroll in a private session package to support writing their public statements and learning about repair and resolution within the 5-step framework of our accountability process.

    Further, we have contracted Mischa to help with the in-house ongoing education of the faculty and organizers of ISTA. We have asked him to be a guest speaker, along with safe mediation in a 2 hour “Town Hall” meeting to focus on the theory of transformative justice as well as the practice of accountability. We’ve also asked him to help with in-house education on topics such as conflict resolution, ownership, and apology, which will be made available to everyone in the core of ISTA and hosted on the Integration platform for training future faculty and apprentices

  • Constructive Mediation with Safer Sex-Positive Spiritual Communities (3SC): We recently completed an extensive 18-month mediation process with the support of a third-party mediator, Alexis Dixon. The members of the ISTA committee, Raffaello Manacorda, Rich Priddis, Crystal Dawn Morris, and KamalaDevi Mcclure were dedicated to listening and learning about community accountability and repair from 3SC's team– Lalita Diaz, Dave Booda & Cara Cordoni. ISTA is grateful for the immense effort, wisdom, and care that went into this process.

2023 CHALLENGES & OBSTACLES:

  • Challenges of Crafting a Public Statement: Although the accountability team agrees about the importance of a public statement, not everyone in the process holds the same approach. Due to the complex and sensitive nature of this letter, here are some of the challenges that we are currently facing: Agreeing on the definition of harm and/or what constitutes misconduct, fear of public backlash, protecting the privacy of those involved, integrity around wording to make sure that what is expressed is a genuine reflection of how the candidate feels. This sensitive task requires time and cannot be rushed. A comprehensive statement demonstrates understanding, remorse, and a plan for corrective action. Navigating all these considerations requires time and reflection from experienced advisors to be congruent. Ultimately, the purpose of the statement is to transparently demonstrate genuine ownership and request public input to rebuild trust and promote collective learning.

  • Revising Timeframe Expectations: Reflecting on the nature of this process, as well as feedback from various professionals in the field, we have come to understand that our previous timeframe of 3 months to 2 years was ambitious. We are adjusting to offer more realistic expectations. The new timeframe is between 6 months to 3 years, with no guarantees of successful completion and return to work with ISTA. This is especially important information for volunteer support triads so they can pace themselves and not burn out.

  • Strengthening Communication Channels: Communication at every level is crucial and we see the need to increase dialogue with the candidates, the support triads, and especially within the core of ISTA. Penny is taking the initiative to share monthly updates, including minutes following each of our team meetings. We are also requesting all involved parties share meeting minutes so that the accountability team gains deeper insights into each individual's process. We aim to keep a more consistent pulse on everyone's progress, contributing to a more cohesive and responsive system.

  • Whole System Integration: One overarching challenge has been how to extend the profound insights and learning that occurs for the candidates with their support triads, across the entire ISTA community. While we are in the early stages of setting up a series of video training for faculty, organizers, and apprentices, we have yet to fully incorporate these invaluable lessons on a broad scale. In order to effect a cultural shift within ISTA these conversations must not be merely a reactive response to an isolated incident. Change necessitates ongoing, continuous dialogue on the topics of conflict resolution, multiple-role crises, trauma, inclusion, privilege, and power. We aim to make accountability skills a shared value and fluent language within our community.

2023 FEEDBACK & SUGGESTIONS:

While interviewing several community leaders we received the following valuable feedback:

  • Unrealistic Timeframe: We heard repeated concerns that the length of the process was too ambitious or unrealistic for genuine transformation. There were also questions about the outcome after the 2 years ran out. Several informed experts suggested a need for a long-term commitment, suggesting that deeply ingrained behavioral patterns might require two to four years of consistent therapy with experienced professionals to attain.

  • Questioning Qualifications: We received skepticism about the efficacy of this format in the case of someone who may have a personality disorder.

  • Need for Training: Doubts about the use of untrained support pods, suggesting their presence might reinforce the current cultural blind spots and inadvertently impede genuine change.

2023 NEXT STEPS:

  • Town Hall Meeting: We're organizing an open forum specifically dedicated to the topic of accountability. We aim to enroll more community engagement into the vision of system-wide change. We plan to provide a foundational overview of the 5 step process and feature Mischa Byruck & Safe Mediation as guest speakers to introduce big-picture visioning for transformative justice along with practical skills in conflict resolution.

  • Redefining Resolution: Since our accountability process is still in the beta phase, our candidates have been exceptionally patient and flexible with the evolution of this process. However, they have been asking for clarity regarding what is required in order to be reinstated as an active facilitator for ISTA. We conducted several interviews with 3rd party consultants to discuss how to know when an accountability process has reached maturity, and we keep seeing that it requires a compassionate ability to reflect on past harms and no longer feel defensive or like a victim. We agreed that accountability is a lifelong process that may never completely end. The formal accountability process may conclude, but the candidate must remain open to feedback and may require ongoing professional supervision. We plan to outline more specific milestones and benchmarks for resolution, which will inform and guide everyone involved.

  • Training for Support Triads: We're working on a specialized training manual and Zoom videos to help the support triads understand the nuances of this process, cautioning against compassion fatigue, projection or transference issues, and providing comprehensive guidelines to facilitate their meetings more effectively.

  • Forming a Panel of Allies: We are in conversation with leaders in other sex-positive spaces to create an advisory panel comprising diverse community members, including external experts in similar areas. This panel could provide guidance, brainstorming, and oversight to ensure the accountability process aligns with best practices in the field and supports continual evolution.

The 5-step accountability process

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STEP 1: Understanding

What is the scope of the conflict? Are there specific grievance(s)? Offering empathetic listening to all sides of the issue to assess how specific boundaries, agreements, or expectations may have been broken and/or misunderstood. Is this a broader pattern of behavior?

STEP 2: Support

An Accountability Support Triad is formed to offer a group gaze, and peer feedback and to co-create a plan for deep growth and accountability. Depending on the role held by the accountability candidate and the severity of the grievances, recommendations are made for whether this process requires external accountability and how long the monthly meetings will run.

STEP 3: Ownership

During this phase, the accountability candidate, with the support of their Support Triad, does the work of owning their feelings, needs, behaviors, and the impact they had on the feelings and needs of the person with the grievance. They self-reflect on how they contributed to the situation. Through curiosity and shadow-work they are invited to own mistakes, misunderstandings, and/or moments of poor judgment. This process may involve outside resources, i.e. therapists, mediators, and/or additional trainings/courses.

STEP 4: Amends

Amends: Reparation may involve a community process, public statements, letters of apology, difficult conversations, multiple rounds of mediation where necessary, or anything else that may be appropriate for rehabilitation.

STEP 5: Resolution

The Accountability Team will review the efforts of the candidate. If they all agree that the individual has transformed, deep accountability has been taken, repair has been made, lessons have been learned, and precautions have been taken to change future behavior and future outcomes, then they will submit a recommendation to the council. Together they will decide whether the candidate may enter a probationary period where they will be supervised in training before resuming their role with ISTA.


Alternatively, the candidate may vibrate out of the ISTA field, either by choosing to take intentional space or by ISTA inviting conscious closure. This closure may be necessary because the individual is unwilling or unable to integrate the Accountability Process, or because the individual no longer resonates with ISTA’s values, practices, and/or procedures.

Our 5-step Accountability Process is not about checking off boxes on a sequential list. Restoring safety and trust cannot be objectively measured. We are working with deep energetics felt within the root, gut, and nervous system. This process requires sensitivity, surrender, and a willingness to listen and repair intangible bonds within the wider ecosystem. Many times feedback is non-verbal, emotional, or indescribable. It may also require the death of identity and may stretch us out of our comfort zone. Transformation takes time, and the graduation/completion of this process is not guaranteed, but we will work together to see what we cannot see alone so that we can better serve the community in the long run.

There is also an accountability manual that outlines additional guidance and recommendations for each step of the journey. These are living documents that reflect ISTA’s evolving best practices and will be periodically reviewed and updated with feedback from the field, including by those undergoing this process.

Assessment Forms

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10-QUESTION INTAKE (Form A)

The Support Triad must consult with the Accountability Team and meet with the Accountability Candidate to fill out the following form, in order for the Accountability process to officially begin.

  1. What is the candidate’s role within ISTA? An apprentice, organizer, facilitator, lead, council member, and/or founder? And who else in ISTA leadership may have contributed to this situation or may be relevant to include in this process (mentors, co-facilitators, etc.)?
  2. What might ISTA’s responsibility be in this situation? How might the culture of ISTA have contributed to this situation?
  3. Please name those involved and how were they impacted. How involved do they wish to be in the Accountability Process? ISTA is committed to hearing individuals who have grievances, supporting their boundaries, and giving them space for feeling and healing, who will be the contact or point person for communication?
  4. Outline the scope of the behavior or patterns that need attention. Are there any specific complaints that need attention? Is it a first offense, or repeated? Summarize briefly what happened in each incident.
  5. What obstacles may interfere with this process? Take inventory of life circumstances, trauma history, emotional resistance, ego tricks that may sabotage their transformation, identity attachments, privilege, race, financial motivation, core wounding, current or past relationships, current events, etc.
  6. Is some form of a public statement recommended? Include recommendations on how to balance the confidentiality with privacy of all involved & the potential benefit of transparency with the wider community. Who will be notified that this process is beginning, and how will updates be posted?
  7. What are the initial suggested resources & recommendations, such as trauma-informed courses, therapists, coaches, books, podcasts, and/or trainings?
  8. Create a Meeting schedule: Please plan a series of pre-scheduled meetings with the support team. This requires that you coordinate calendars to pre-arrange monthly Zoom meetings for a minimum of 3 months. (Recommended: once per month for 3 months to 2 years. With seasonal updates.) Also, make note of future travel and/or availability for additional check-ins and other communication platforms. Although it may be hard to predict how long this process run, what are your initial recommendations?
  9. What work has the accountability candidate already done towards resolution previous to beginning this process. (I.e. clearing, mediation, apology, pause, etc.)? Please be specific about all relevant processes.
  10. What is the intended outcome of this process? Please include a series of milestones. If a recommendation was made to “pause” immediately above, then what is necessary for them to be invited back into their role(s) with ISTA (as they vibrate back in slowly with group gaze)?

SELF ASSESSMENT (FORM B)

Before beginning the ISTA Accountability process, Please ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you hope to achieve from ISTA’s Accountability Process? From your perspective, what are the instances, complaints, struggles, and issues that you would like support in reflecting on?
  • Are there individuals in the ISTA field who you don’t feel have your best interest in mind and who you would like not to be on your support triad?
  • What concerns do you have about ISTA’s Accountability Process?
  • Do you have someone in life who you would like as a confidant to be your emotional support in this process, someone who might be willing to show up and witness your feedback with a “listen and learn” attitude?
  • What else would you need to feel safety, trust, and empowered to go on this journey?
  • What if you go through the process and don’t get the transformation you expect?

Self

  • What are your strengths, gifts, and superpowers?
  • What are your weaknesses and limitations?
  • Now let’s look deeper at any complaints or feedback you’ve gotten that suggests you should go through the Accountability Process:
  • What intention did you have behind your behaviors?
  • What meaning did you make, stories you are telling yourself?
  • What are your feelings/emotions about these issues?
  • What unmet needs may be motivating your feelings?
  • Do you have any requests regarding these issues?

Other

  • Put yourself in the shoes of whoever is giving you the feedback or complaint(s) what do you see from their perspective?
  • What are their feelings?
  • What are their unmet needs?
  • How have you impacted them
  • Are there power/dynamics and other shadow considerations between you and those involved?
  • Can you see your part in how you contributed to this situation?
  • What do you feel responsible for?

Container

  • How did the container, space, or context affect your behavior?
  • How have your actions impacted the container?
  • What feedback do you have for ISTA?

GO DEEPER

  • Are there events relationships or situations outside of ISTA where something like this has come up?
  • Where else in your life have you seen these patterns?
  • Do a rigorous inventory.
  • When you consider your childhood traumas, what does this remind you of?
  • How might your behavior now be informed by patterns in your family of origin?

REPAIR

  • What have you learned?
  • What are you willing to own?
  • What are the consequences of your behavior?
  • What could you have done to avoid this?
  • How would you handle this situation differently?
  • How will you change your behavior in the future?

The Role of Safe Mediation and Third-Party Consultants

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ISTA recognizes there is an inherent differential in power and privilege between each role within the organization, and we aim to remain sensitive to how these dynamics may make it difficult to voice a grievance or resolve a dispute. We understand that the need for belonging and community runs deep. Speaking up may be subconsciously equated with the fear of ex-communication. For this reason, we are working in consultation with external mediators to facilitate the voicing of feedback and grievances.

If a participant does not feel they can come to ISTA directly, we encourage them to contact Safe Mediation, an independent neutral party that oversees the feedback portal and facilitates mediation and clearing conversations between ISTA and participants.

Safe Mediation can be contacted by email (info@safe-mediation.com) or via their anonymous feedback portal form to initiate a resolution process (https://www.safe-mediation.com/ISTA)

Safe Mediation is not responsible for implementing or managing ISTA's internal Accountability Process. ISTA has contracted with Safe Mediation as well as other 3rd party consultants such as Mischa Byruck, & Lars Borgmann to advise in the development of the Process as well as participate in support triads.

Third-party input is essential for several key reasons. First, these consultants offer specialized expertise and knowledge in accountability practices, such as restorative justice, ownership, and amends. They each bring valuable insights and tools from a wider context in order to upgrade and strengthen ISTA Culture. External consultants play a pivotal role in educating faculty and driving cultural change.

Further, their external perspective ensures impartiality and objectivity, making their recommendations and assessments more trustworthy. External consultants are not influenced by internal politics or biases, increasing the credibility of the process. They also ensure confidentiality, which is especially important in sensitive situations.

External consultants bring fresh perspectives, specialized expertise, and objectivity, while internal participation provides an in-depth understanding of the organization's culture. The synergy between external and internal consultants creates a dynamic partnership that fosters a more comprehensive system, helps lighten the financial burden, and benefits our long-term evolution.

Who's in the Accountability Process?

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Ohad Pele Ezrahi

Buddhi Dana

Eugene Hedlund

ACCOUNTABILITY TEAM:

Announcing Crystal Dawn Morris has stepped onto the team in order to oversee the transition as we are currently interviewing for a replacement for KamalaDevi McClure.

We offer heartfelt gratitude to KamalaDevi McClure for their dedicated service in the last 10 months of co-founding this process. Here is a link to their public statement regarding their personal reasons for stepping down from ISTA’s accountability team, (but not from ISTA): https://kamaladevi.com/53696/celebrating-ista-accountability

Thank you to Laurie Handlers & Penny Goldsmuntz for your continued service.

Progress & Achievements

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In the face of such challenging and confronting work, it’s essential to celebrate our wins. This list is a reminder that our efforts are making a difference, instilling a sense of accomplishment, and reinforcing our commitment to the cause.

  • Deep Shadow Work with Support Triads: Three courageous candidates are actively engaged in deep shadow work, demonstrating their commitment to personal growth and accountability through our support triads.
  • All three candidates have completed a trauma-informed training for tantra professionals (https://www.livetantra.com/trauma-informed-training.html) and are actively engaged in studying the dynamics of power and privilege.
  • We’ve agreed on a required text for everyone involved in the accountability process this season, “The Right Use of Power” by Cedar Barstow. It explores the different kinds of power dynamics from personal to professional and teaches ethical decision-making in using power for positive change and transformation.
  • We’ve increased transparency with this live webpage and seasonal updates. This is a bold step that offers a dynamic platform to share our progress and developments with the community at large.
  • Accountability Manual: We have diligently compiled our accountability process into a comprehensive 15-page manual. This manual includes assessment forms, offering clear guidelines and tools for accountability within our organization.
  • Enhanced Feedback System: We have implemented a refined feedback system that separates appreciation, suggestions, and complaints, enabling us to categorize and address various types of feedback effectively. This improvement promotes transparency and responsiveness.
  • Leadership Transition and Succession Planning: During the final month after announcing the resignation of a key leader, we undertook a rigorous process that included interviewing multiple candidates as potential replacements, engaging external consultants for insights, and creating a detailed project plan and a forward-looking vision for our organization's future. We also have a comprehensive Accountability Team Procedural Overview and explainer videos for those involved.
  • We’ve updated the ISTA website to reflect that the accountability candidates are on pause from their role as facilitators or organizers. We’ve also requested that accountability candidates update their social media sites.
  • We’ve implemented procedure changes: Objective outside agencies and support triads may make recommendations about the Candidate's readiness to come back to work, however, they are not responsible for the final decision, ultimately there must be a consensus between the accountability team and the Council.
  • Positive Cultural Shift: There has been a noticeable shift in the quality of feedback and quantity of incident reports that we have received since we implemented the accountability and continuous in-house education programs.

We successfully selected a qualified team to support each candidate with monthly Zoom meetings, each candidate has been exhibiting earnest self-reflection, insight, and humility as they worked through the self-assessment and the 10 questions. (Form A & B posted above. For details on how support triads are selected, see FAQ, below.)

Challenges & Obstacles

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Since we ask for the vulnerability of everyone involved, we want to role model it by openly discussing the hurdles we face in this process. We also hope this inspires others who are in similar processes. This list allows us to collectively problem-solve and grow, showing that we are all on this journey together, committed to continuous improvement.

  • Establishing standardized protocols for support triads is a complex task since support triads need training and experience and each candidate is in a different stage of their journey and it requires coordination and consensus between teams.
  • Coordinating calendars: Team members in different time zones can lead to scheduling conflicts and delays.
  • Compassion fatigue is a very real form of emotional exhaustion, burnout, and stress experienced by caregivers or those in support roles who become overwhelmed by the emotional demands of those suffering or in distress.
  • Communication among team members or departments can be delicate because of the need to manage the privacy of the aggrieved as well as the accountability candidate. Because of the novelty of the process, we recognize a need for more system-wide education and communication to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
  • Initially, people within ISTA resisted accountability initiatives, viewing them as punitive or scapegoating.
  • Striking a balance between internal and external feedback poses an ongoing challenge, as both are valuable but may have varying perspectives and priorities.
  • Setting clear and measurable goals can be challenging because of the nuanced nature of this work, which makes it difficult to track progress effectively.
  • Managing differing perspectives on readiness for faculty return. Support triads, accountability team, and council all have different opinions and standards on when someone is ready to return to the faculty and we are working towards creating clear criteria and a decision-making process.
  • One of the downsides of contracting third-party consultants has been the scalability and cost-effectiveness of their hourly rate throughout such a long-term process.
  • Resource constraints include limited time, budget, and personnel. Many generous hours of volunteer time have been offered by ISTA’s facilitators to offset the high cost of hiring outside consultants.
  • Building a culture of accountability within ISTA requires a significant shift in values and behaviors, which will take some time to achieve.

Feedback & Suggestions

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In order to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to feedback and evolution, we are actively seeking input from various perspectives including the team, third-party consultants, and the community at large. By involving various voices, we foster a sense of collective responsibility. We know it is not possible to please everyone, and we may not be able and/or willing to act on all the feedback, but we are listening. This list helps us identify and prioritize areas for future growth which will ensure that our process remains relevant in a constantly evolving culture.

  • More Community Engagement: It has been suggested that we actively involve the wider community in forums, rituals or symposiums to practice a restorative justice circle element process to promote healing and prevent further harm.
  • Lack of systemwide understanding of the restorative justice system, since the culture is oriented in punitive and criminal justice, people need proper training in the underlying philosophy and aims of this paradigm.
  • Inconsistent Implementation: Concerns have arisen about the inconsistent application of restorative justice principles, leading to disparities in outcomes for different cases.
  • Need for a clear code of ethics: Some feel that the lack of agreed-upon protocols or conduct makes it challenging to address the nuances of how to handle each case and find congruent resolution.
  • There is much feedback highlighting the need for trauma-informed training and resources for all facilitators, organizers, and assistants.
  • One paper published a critique that says: “It should also be noted that to the best of our understanding, this “accountability” process does not have the support or participation of a significant percentage of victims.”
  • Concerns have been raised about the absence of clear metrics, criteria, or evaluation methods to assess when a facilitator is ready to return to their role.
  • Internal feedback loops: Candidates in the process have expressed a greater need for communication with those in power.

Recommended Resources

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"The Right Use of Power" by Cedar Barstow offers practical guidance for ethical and effective power dynamics in various aspects of life, emphasizing self-awareness, empathy, and responsible decision-making.

"Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good" This book delves into the importance of pleasure as a form of resistance and empowerment, examining how embracing pleasure can contribute to social justice movements.

"We Shouldn't Be Cancelled" by Adrienne Brown explores the complexities of cancel culture, encouraging a thoughtful examination of accountability, redemption, and the power of collective change in our digital age.

"Until We Reckon" by Danielle Sered delves into the transformative potential of restorative justice as a means to address and heal the deep wounds of the criminal justice system in the U.S. "In Praise of Accountability" highlights the essential role of accountability in the process of restorative justice, emphasizing its potential to heal, transform, and reintegrate individuals into society.

"The Power of Vulnerability" by Brené Brown teaches how cultivating shame resilience can lead to greater personal growth, connection with others, and resilience in the face of challenges, offering valuable insights into the importance of authenticity and openness, especially in leadership.

In "Own, Apologize, Repair: Coming Back to Integrity" by Nora Samaran, readers are guided through a transformative journey that emphasizes the significance of taking responsibility, offering genuine apologies, and actively working towards repairing relationships to restore personal and collective integrity.

Accountability Process for Andrew Barnes, Safe Mediation

My Plan for Reintegrating and Rebuilding Trust with my Community, Reid Mihalko, prominent sex educator

Letter to my Communities Charlie Glickman, prominent sex coach and former client

FAQ & Answers

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Q: WHO IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS FOR?

A: This is not for isolated instances that can be resolved with mediation. When there are multiple complaints or concerns that someone is exhibiting a pattern of behavior that has negative ramifications in the ISTA field, then the core accountability team will review and consider if it is appropriate to initiate an Accountability Process. This can arise amongst peers within ISTA and/or from sources in the wider community.

Q: HOW IS A SUPPORT TRIAD SELECTED?

The Accountability Triad is responsible for vetting volunteers from within ISTA. We are looking for three individuals who are trauma-informed, experienced in the field, are available to assist the accountability candidate in the depths of their journey and do not have a conflict of interests.

If any individual stands to gain personally or financially from the process, they will be disqualified or replaced. This is particularly crucial for those with past or current romantic or sexual relationships with the candidate. All members of the support triad must be self-aware of their feelings, biases, judgments, and potential triggers. Transparency is key, and they should be prepared to step down if they can no longer provide unbiased support. We are also sensitive to the power dynamics within the organization. Lead faculty requires at least one third-party consultant to advise in the process.

The candidate plays a role in this process by reviewing a list of faculty and organizers suggested by the accountability team. They can provide feedback if they believe someone on the list may not have their best interests at heart. However, the final selection is not made by the candidate. The Accountability Candidate may also choose a confidante for emotional support. This person can be a trusted friend, partner, or coach who can attend meetings, listen, and offer support as needed.

Q: CAN ACCOUNTABILITY CANDIDATES STILL FACILITATE OR ORGANIZE WHILE THEY ARE IN THE PROCESS?

All accountability candidates have been paused from their roles and duties with ISTA and asked to devote as much time and energy as possible to continue education and repair.

Q: IS THIS PERFECT?

No. The current accountability system reflects our best, evolving, and messy attempt at developing a rigorous process that can be an example for similar organizations. Our systems will greatly evolve through time, experience, and feedback. If you have reflections on anything that you think would benefit our accountability process, please use our Feedback Form.

Incident Report Form

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If you wish to report an incident that ocurred at an ISTA Training or Event, please fill out the form on our Incident Report Page