On behalf of the team organizing Indie Untangled, I want to address my actions related to compensation of special guests at my events.
I owe Denise Bayron an apology for not offering to provide monetary compensation for her time at a for-profit event when I first asked her to appear. It was wrong to assume that publicity or exposure was sufficient compensation in this instance, and to make it her responsibility to ask to be paid. I know the historical baggage that is attached to asking women, especially BIPOC women, to do work in exchange for less than they deserve.
Additionally, in my sincere effort to make sure Indie Untangled was an inclusive event, I recognize that specifically asking a person of color to do something that benefits my business can look like tokenism. That was not my intent.
Of course, one of the things I have learned over the past several months is that intent does not cancel out the impact of one’s actions. It is obvious to me now that I have not fully absorbed this idea, and have a lot of work to do to truly understand how this kind of situation can come from good intentions.
I also want to take responsibility for the initial response when the details of the compensation discussion were made public. The response that we thought would “set the record straight” only led to more miscommunication and bad feelings.
On a related note, I need to apologize to Stephen West for making the details of his compensation public, without his consent.
And, finally, I want to apologize publicly to the vendors who entrusted me with their reputations and livelihoods. We all know that running a business isn’t easy in the best of circumstances, but that doesn’t negate the hurt that my actions have caused.
This situation has given me a greater insight into the discussions that have been occurring in our industry, and I will be using this experience to inform the guidelines and standards I will be setting for future events.
I sincerely hope that what happened doesn’t tarnish what has always been an enjoyable weekend.