Dear colleagues –
Like many of you, we are deeply disturbed by the allegations against academic, activist and Equimundo board member Michael Kimmel. Such allegations are deeply troubling. Dedicated to and created out of feminist principles of equality, transparency, accountability and gender justice, Equimundo holds its staff, fellows and board members – as well as our partners – accountable to these same principles in our personal and professional conduct through existing policies, procedures, and standards of conduct.
We affirm first and foremost that we support and stand by women who have been harmed by any harassment and violence and we take seriously allegations of abuse and harassment. We fully appreciate the need to weigh due process along with all the shortcomings of formal sexual harassment complaint procedures and the power inequalities inherent to these processes. What we can say is that all such allegations must be investigated, those harmed must be protected and supported and accountability and restorative justice must prevail.
Men’s harassment and use of violence against women is pervasive. And we know that too many men have colluded with such violence in their silence. These recent allegations reaffirm how urgently we must continue working to call out and eradicate abuse and violence rooted in patriarchal power. These allegations also affirm the importance of our own internal policies and procedures for reporting and responding to allegations of misconduct as well as our personal privilege and power as individuals within institutions.
Equimundo has accepted Michael Kimmel’s resignation from its Board of Directors for an indefinite period. In the meantime, we as Equimundo staff and board members will continue to use this moment of public attention to redouble our efforts to end, reduce, respond to and redress violence and harassment against women. And to call on men to end the silence, while calling all men into a process of change and healing.
Andrew Levack, Co-Chair
Elaine Zuckerman, Co-Chair
Margaret Greene, Founding Chair and Ombudsperson
Gary Barker, President and Chief Executive Officer