Apology

It has re­cently been brought to my at­ten­tion that I have made peo­ple un­com­fortable through my ver­bal and writ­ten ad­vances. I’m deeply sorry to ev­ery­one I hurt or made un­com­fortable. I in­tend to step back from pub­lic life and the ac­tivism com­mu­ni­ties I’ve be­longed to and re­flect on my mis­takes fur­ther. I have been and con­tinue to be ea­ger to par­ti­ci­pate in any heal­ing or restora­tive pro­cesses that would benefit the in­di­vi­d­u­als I have wronged and the com­mu­ni­ties.

I know very lit­tle of the de­tails of these alle­ga­tions, so I can­not ac­knowl­edge them all. I was pre­sented with de­tails of one situ­a­tion where some­one was un­com­fortable about a Face­book mes­sen­ger con­ver­sa­tion in which I ca­su­ally ex­pressed in­ter­est, and af­ter con­sult­ing rele­vant par­ties to un­der­stand why the in­ter­ac­tion might have made the per­son un­com­fortable, I apol­o­gized to that per­son. I know it is im­por­tant in a restora­tive pro­cess to ac­knowl­edge as many con­crete de­tails as pos­si­ble, but I have been asked by the me­di­a­tors in this situ­a­tion not to share any speci­fics.

I ap­pre­ci­ate that there were other in­ter­ac­tions that made peo­ple un­com­fortable and where de­tails have not been shared with me, and that this other be­hav­ior may have been more prob­le­matic. After a third party shared that there were other anony­mous con­cerns with me, I also wrote an apol­ogy that the third party could share with the anony­mous com­plainants who had con­tacted them, and I com­mit­ted to not mak­ing ad­vances on any­one em­ployed in the an­i­mal ad­vo­cacy move­ment. I wanted to err on the side of cau­tion and avoid do­ing any fur­ther harm. I don’t want to make any­one un­com­fortable or dis­em­pow­ered, and I’m deeply sorry for not tak­ing greater care with my ac­tions.

CEA was made aware of these and other con­cerns about my past be­hav­ior, though I un­der­stand they’re not able to share de­tails with me in or­der to re­spect the con­fi­den­tial­ity of peo­ple who don’t wish to be iden­ti­fied. CEA has de­cided to end its re­la­tion­ship with me, and we have agreed that I will not at­tend or speak at EA Global or other CEA events. Be­cause Sen­tience In­sti­tute has now re­ceived its 501(c)(3) sta­tus, it no longer needs fis­cal spon­sor­ship from CEA, so the two or­ga­ni­za­tions are already plan­ning to sep­a­rate in that re­gard, and ex­pect to do so within a three month tran­si­tion pe­riod (as speci­fied in the con­tract be­tween CEA and Sen­tience In­sti­tute). I already stopped mod­er­at­ing EA Face­book groups last year due to time con­straints, but I will offi­cially re­move my­self from “mod­er­a­tor” and “ad­minis­tra­tor” sta­tuses in groups where I still have that role. I also plan to step back from the EA com­mu­nity more gen­er­ally.

In the in­ter­est of trans­parency and clear­ing the air, I want to clar­ify that sev­eral ru­mors have been shared about me that are prov­ably false, for in­stance, that I was banned from at­tend­ing an an­i­mal ad­vo­cacy con­fer­ence, which never hap­pened to my knowl­edge. Most of the peo­ple I have spo­ken with about the alle­ga­tions also did not hear about the restora­tive pro­cess, apol­ogy, or com­mit­ment to im­prove that oc­curred in the case where I was told speci­fics.

I want to say again that I’m deeply sorry to any­one I made un­com­fortable. My ap­proach to ex­press­ing ro­man­tic or sex­ual in­ter­est has always been for­ward and di­rect. In the past I’ve per­ceived this to have been gen­er­ally re­ceived pos­i­tively by oth­ers, but I see now that my ap­proach has some­times been in­ap­pro­pri­ate. I know that hav­ing to deal with un­wanted ad­vances at all can be hurt­ful, un­com­fortable, and frus­trat­ing, and I’m sorry for not be­ing as aware of the effects of my ac­tions as I should have been. I also now bet­ter un­der­stand how the dy­namic be­tween some­one in a pub­lic or lead­er­ship role and other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity can put them on un­equal foot­ing. Not know­ing the speci­fics of the alle­ga­tions, it’s also pos­si­ble that my be­hav­ior was in­ap­pro­pri­ate in ways I still do not ap­pre­ci­ate, and I’m sorry for that too.

As I men­tioned at the be­gin­ning, I am step­ping back from pub­lic life and will re­flect on my mis­takes fur­ther. I am grate­ful to all of my friends and col­leagues who have helped me to un­der­stand my failures and be­gin to heal the wounds I have cre­ated. I ac­cept the cor­rec­tive ac­tions dis­cussed herein that me­di­a­tors have agreed on, and I am grate­ful to have been given the op­por­tu­nity to un­der­stand, right my wrongs, and im­prove.

In the in­ter­est of fa­cil­i­tat­ing healthy dis­cus­sion and my sep­a­ra­tion from CEA, I am not plan­ning to re­spond to any com­ments on this post. If you have had in­ter­ac­tions with me that you found prob­le­matic, please feel free to send me what in­for­ma­tion you are com­fortable shar­ing, anony­mously or oth­er­wise, via this link. You can also reach Ju­lia Wise, one of CEA’s com­mu­nity li­aisons, at ju­lia.wise@cen­tre­fore­ffec­tivealtru­ism.org.

Below is a state­ment from CEA:

We ap­proached Jacy about our con­cerns about his be­hav­ior af­ter re­ceiv­ing re­ports from sev­eral par­ties about con­cerns over sev­eral time pe­ri­ods, and we dis­cussed this pub­lic state­ment with him. We have not been able to dis­cuss de­tails of most of these con­cerns in or­der to pro­tect the con­fi­den­tial­ity of the peo­ple who raised them, but we find the re­ports cred­ible and con­cern­ing. It’s very im­por­tant to CEA that EA be a com­mu­nity where peo­ple are treated with fair­ness and re­spect. If you’ve ex­pe­rienced prob­lems in the EA com­mu­nity, we want to help. Ju­lia Wise serves as a con­tact per­son for the com­mu­nity, and you can always bring con­cerns to her con­fi­den­tially.