FanimeCon Board of Directors’ Statement on Resignations and Harassment Claims

March 11, 2024

The Board of Directors of FanimeCon would like to apologize for the delay in our response regarding the current resignations and harassment claims that have been made public recently.

Dealing with and returning from the pandemic has not been easy as we’ve had to focus on continuing to keep our attendees and staff safe while also providing a space to connect. When these issues came to our attention, we wanted to gather more information and give the matter proper consideration. We see now our caution comes across as indifference, which is the opposite of what we are trying to convey. This is not an excuse and we could and should be better. Our motto has always been “By Fans, For Fans” and we along with our staff attendees are here to ensure that there’s a safe space for everyone.

On harassment – 

We do not take the issue of harassment lightly and it is clear that we have a lot of work to regain the trust of our former staffers and attendees – one that we are working with outside sources to make sure that we are doing the right thing, not just for our previous individuals that have experienced harassment but to have a working process to report, document, and act on all future harassment. We will provide updates as best we can, when appropriate. With a con our size, we will try to include as many stakeholders as possible, so the process may not be as visible or as quick as preferred but be assured that steps are actively being taken.

On the resignations – 

We also understand and acknowledge that there are issues with toxicity among our staff – one that has made staff members feel unsafe and unwelcome. While we have received this feedback with a heavy heart, we appreciate being aware of it so that we can take steps to create a better environment for all. We know it is never easy to speak up when feeling it will not be welcomed, so we do respect the bravery of those who did.

We are working with our Chair team to investigate, gather information, and take action to help improve things. We appreciate feedback and take it seriously from all sources.  We are looking into solutions such as having a form where reports can be given with complete anonymity, leadership training, better open feedback sessions, and a clearer Code of Conduct. All feedback will be tracked and used to improve the process, internally and externally.

The world is much more different from the first FanimeCon, where anime clubs came together at a college campus. Our goal is and has always been to be a welcoming and safe space where everyone and everyone can feel comfortable regardless of who they are. We ask for your patience as we work with partners to set up a process that can allow individuals to effectively report harassment as well as giving feedback in a safe manner. Our plan is to work with external resources to implement some of these solutions prior to the start of FanimeCon 2024.