Hey there BTV Community,
We fucked up, and it is now way past due that we come out and acknowledge where we have made some errors in judgement. At and following The Gathering Paths Conference, we had folks bring up their concerns about our closing ceremony. The ceremony was conducted in a way that was triggering for many, especially those with Christian-related trauma. Trauma from attending church is very real. Folks who were affected by this include attendees, presenters, volunteers, and staff. Folks of all categories expressed their feelings of discomfort and trauma response. Many received an in-person apology at the conference from our board members, some via email or private messages, but we neglected to make a public statement acknowledging that we take accountability for these very valid grievances.
Because accountability is one of our core values as a community agreement, we should be leading by example. We recognize our failure here, and this will inevitably lead to changes in how we handle things as a board and an organization going forward.
We recognize that for some this will be too little too late. We don’t want to override the seriousness of that oversight by giving you excuses, and at the same time, you are owed reasons in the name of transparency.
Although the closing ceremony is something that deserves care, substantial planning, and deep consideration we, unfortunately, did not give ourselves or the community enough time to do it justice. It was an unfortunate oversight for us to not plan ahead in a constructive way, or give a thorough explanation and a content warning before the ceremony began.
The simple and complicated reason as to why we haven’t issued something sooner is because as a board we have been struggling to agree on the best way to handle this. Many intricacies about the situation made this difficult to navigate- namely, where blame belongs and how to word things in a thoughtful way in order to accept responsibility in a way that causes the most healing and least amount of harm. Immediately after the conference, we were also physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually exhausted. Some of our board were personally impacted by the fire, while others contracted COVID, not to mention the need to wrap up many other important post-conference duties- such as paying our presenters and sorting our financial obligations to the DoubleTree. BTV is a volunteer-run organization, which includes our board and staff members. A wave of burnout touched all of our board members in different ways after the conference, and we have only just begun to meet regularly again in the new year. We appreciate all of your patience, and we fully acknowledge your frustration.
We want to deeply, and sincerely apologize for letting these things get in the way of our responsibilities to our community. Our hope is that our mistakes don't override the quality of events we have provided in the past and intend to continue providing to our community. Our commitment is to do better with more precise planning, and careful examination that BTV events reflect our community standards so that everyone feels safe and valued.
If you would like to reach out to us you can email us at email@example.com where we will do our best to communicate with you.
Between the Veils Organization