Q: Where are the teeth in this new approach?
A: The PantheaCon Programming Review Team are pre-screening presenters for(see above). We have no tolerance for exclusionary and hateful behavior, with ejection from the event when identified. But we may develop methods to be more effective and have more teeth as we try to improve implementation of this. If a presenter gets bad reviews, they likely will not be accepted to present in the future. Ongoing development of policies and practices will be a part of the process of addressing this, and that will continue to be ongoing as needs and situations are identified.
Q:Did the con staff or leadership hex people in Circle of Cerridwen as they publicly stated? “We have seen continued excuses for exclusionary actions and behavior on the part of con staff and leadership, including hexing some of our own coven members.”
A: We want to assure people that no hexing occurred by PantheaCon staff that we are aware of, and that PantheaCon does not and will not condone such actions. We are doing our utmost to prevent exclusionary actions and behavior among staff and leadership, as well as with presenters and attendees.
Q: What are you doing to encourage marginalized groups to attend?
A: It will be difficult to attract some of the previous presenters of our LGBTQ+ and PoC communities, because they are either boycotting, or supporting friends who have decided to boycott PantheaCon. That being said, we welcome back old and new presenters of these groups who are willing to share their knowledge with the greater community. In particular, we would like to extend the invitation to contact us if you need financial support, and aim to prioritize hospitality spaces to PoC and groups that have been marginalized help in coming to the Con. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information. We want to ensure these communities that their interests and attendance are valuable to PantheaCon. We want everyone to feel they have a place, while excluding those who want to exclude any of our minority groups. Diversity makes us stronger. We welcome more applications and will extend our deadlines in areas where we would like to see more applicants. The previous deadline has been extended to Oct 15. To the presenters placed in the program, you can always edit your write-up event descriptions until Dec. 15.
Q: Are there problems with the staff at PantheaCon?
A: Yes, there are too few of us to keep the con going into the future. Many dedicated PantheaCon staff have made this event possible, but with all the distress in the past year, many are choosing to distance themselves. The small (for the size of the Con) number of 140 effective and experienced staff has allowed us to manage, but they are burnt out, or have become. Glenn says: I have so much gratitude for all the people who have made and continue to make this event possible. We welcome and need more staff to keep the Con going this year. Please join us by applying to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I accept responsibility for not having the focus and time to make the needed changes as the issues were presented. I was distracted by my need to care for my severely disabled, and schizophrenic younger daughter, who passed away on Feb.1, 2019. I neglected the Con and especially its marginalized community members that it should serve. Please accept my apology. I also apologize to my dedicated staff members whose advice I ignored and who I harmed by my neglect. I give thanks to the advisory team that helped rewrite my rough draft of this.