Julia_Wise

9195Boston, MA, USAJoined Aug 2014juliawise.net

Bio

I'm a contact person for the effective altruism community: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/hYh6jKBsKXH8mWwtc/a-contact-person-for-the-ea-community

Please feel free to contact me at julia.wise@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

I work at CEA as a community liaison, trying to make the EA community stronger and more welcoming. I also serve on the board of GiveWell.

Besides effective altruism, I'm interested in folk dance and trying to keep up with my three children.

Comments
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To give a little more detail about what I think gave wrong impressions - 

Last year as part of a longer piece about how the community health team approaches problems, I wrote a list of factors that need to be balanced against each other. One that’s caused confusion is “Give people a second or third chance; adjust when people have changed and improved.” I meant situations like “someone has made some inappropriate comments and gotten feedback about it,” not something like assault. I’m adding a note to the original piece clarifying.

I don't think that appendix has enough information to give people the ability to comment on what would have made people be more or less comfortable coming to us with a concern in those situations. I want there to be room for broader discussion (though if people do have specific ideas, I’m interested to hear them). Our team will be continuing to work on improving our practices here, and we welcome suggestions for what we could be doing better.

I want to clarify — you did give me info about some concerns, and I really appreciate that. That allowed me to take action to keep the accused people out of CEA spaces.

I agree there’s room for improvement. Thank you for the services you provide here — I’ll be in touch.

The woman did bring this concern to us. I don't want to share details that would break her privacy, but I did my best to follow her wishes as far as how the matter was handled.  My post on power dynamics was informed by that situation.

Looking back at the situation, I’m not sure about some aspects of how I handled it. We’re taking a renewed look at possible steps to take here.

I’m responding on behalf of the community health team at the Centre for Effective Altruism. We work to prevent and address problems in the community, including sexual misconduct.

I find the piece doesn’t accurately convey how my team, or the EA community more broadly, reacts to this sort of behavior.

We work to address harmful behavior, including sexual misconduct, because we think it’s so important that this community has a good culture where people can do their best work without harassment or other mistreatment. Ignoring problems or sweeping them under the rug would be terrible for people in the community, EA’s culture, and our ability to do good in the world.

My team didn’t have a chance to explain the actions we’ve already taken on the incidents described in this piece. The incidents described here include:

  • Ones where we already took action years ago, like banning the accused from our spaces
  • Ones where we offered to help address the situation and the person affected didn’t answer
  • Ones we weren’t aware of

We’ll be going through the piece to see if there are any situations we might be able to address further, but in most of them there’s not enough information to do so. If you want to share any information about a problem you know of, you can always contact us (including anonymously).

When I first learned about the problems described in the piece, I felt disappointed and angry. I still feel that way. I recognize that problems happen in every community, but that doesn’t make it ok. That’s why we’ve been working for years to prevent and address community problems.

This isn’t a problem that one team or organization can address alone. We regularly talk with group organizers and organization staff who want to build a healthy and supportive culture. I’ve seen many people in the community stand up for people who experienced harm, and work toward the kind of healthy community they feel so strongly about. That strengthens the determination I feel to keep working on this.

If you’ve experienced a problem, we want to help. You can always contact us to discuss a problem.

I am interested in your thoughts whether data collection at EAGs have been effective or useful for capturing these kinds of incidents, how the community health team has responded, whether any of this is share-able in a deanonymised way?

Learning about what kind of problems people have experienced has led us to changes like asking attendees not to use Swapcard for dating purposes.

does the community health team expect to continue sharing summaries similar to what you published in this appendix going forwards? I found this quite useful personally in getting a sense of how the community health team operates and think it's somewhat useful for trust-building and accountability.

I’m glad you found it useful! Getting the right level of anonymity with that list was tricky, so I could imagine doing it at some interval but not every year.

Likewise I wasn't sure if this one was meant to be specific to EA spaces or to every social space I've ever been in: "Have you ever experienced retaliation for rejected romantic or sexual advances in your social sphere?"

Hey, I'd like to look into this but I'm having a hard time figuring out who might have given this kind of feedback to the documentary maker, or what part of CEA might have been advising on the project. DMing you.

I'm going to interpret this to include "hiring outreach beyond ads" for fields where hiring isn't done mostly through ads.

Best wishes with your work!

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