Topics

2019 Harassment Response

cheryl head
 


For Your Information.  The New England Crime Bake coordination committee seems to have acted quickly, but the offender's apology is lackluster. ch
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: The Crime Bake Committee <contact@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 4:17 PM
Subject: 2019 Harassment Response
To: <cheadwrites@...>


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November 12, 2019

At the close of the New England Crime Bake conference on November 10, it was brought to the attention of the organizing committee that inappropriate and discriminatory comments were made by Paul Zambella, a presenter at the conference. In the course of presenting on the topic of crime scene investigation, Mr. Zambella moved beyond the technical aspects of a murder case he investigated as a forensic scientist for the Massachusetts State Police to a discussion of the gender identity and expression of a defendant. His remarks were interpreted by multiple attendees as suggesting that transgender identity is linked to criminality.

The committee discussed the incident immediately after receiving the complaints and has issued the following statement: 

The organizing committee for New England Crime Bake has a zero-tolerance policy in regard to violations of its anti-harassment statement. It was printed in the conference booklet and is about to be posted on our web site. It reads: We are dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, body type or veteran status. We will not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment and encourage anyone who believes they have experienced or witnessed discriminatory or harassing behavior to report it to a member of the Crime Bake committee. 

After discussion with multiple first hand witnesses, the Crime Bake committee believes Mr. Zambella’s presentation violated this policy. His discussion of a criminal defendant’s transgender identity was not relevant to his topic.

The committee has apologized directly to the several attendees who brought this behavior to our attention. We also apologize to the community at large.

The committee has contacted Mr. Zambella to express our disapproval of his comments. We reiterated Crime Bake’s zero-tolerance policy and asked for his response.

Mr. Zambella has replied with the following statement: “Thank you for making me aware of this situation. My discussion of the transgenderism of Dr. Sharpe was a significant part of the relationship between Dr. Sharpe and his wife which, it is believed, ultimately led to her murder. It certainly was not my intention to offend anyone by presenting Dr. Sharpe in this light, only presenting the facts as related to this particular case. If people will feel better with an apology from me, then they have it. Let me end by stating that, in the eight years that this program has been presented, this is the first time that a complaint of this nature has been brought to my attention.”

New England Crime Bake is committed to creating a safe space for all attendees, free of harassment and discrimination. We pledge to work harder in the future to ensure all presenters are made aware of and understand our policy. The committee will be diligent in engaging only those presenters and panelists who share our commitment to it. We welcome your comments at contact@....

 
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Cheryl Head
Author, Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries
Director of Inclusion, Golden Crown Literary Society

Catherine Maiorisi
 

It seems to be the trend. Put it back on the people who call out the behavior. He could have said, I'm sorry I offended anyone.. Or something along those lines instead of 
If people will feel better with an apology from me, then they have it. 
Catherine

On Nov 12, 2019, at 5:57 PM, cheryl head <cheadwrites@...> wrote:


For Your Information.  The New England Crime Bake coordination committee seems to have acted quickly, but the offender's apology is lackluster. ch
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: The Crime Bake Committee <contact@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 4:17 PM
Subject: 2019 Harassment Response
To: <cheadwrites@...>


Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
November 12, 2019

At the close of the New England Crime Bake conference on November 10, it was brought to the attention of the organizing committee that inappropriate and discriminatory comments were made by Paul Zambella, a presenter at the conference. In the course of presenting on the topic of crime scene investigation, Mr. Zambella moved beyond the technical aspects of a murder case he investigated as a forensic scientist for the Massachusetts State Police to a discussion of the gender identity and expression of a defendant. His remarks were interpreted by multiple attendees as suggesting that transgender identity is linked to criminality.

The committee discussed the incident immediately after receiving the complaints and has issued the following statement: 

The organizing committee for New England Crime Bake has a zero-tolerance policy in regard to violations of its anti-harassment statement. It was printed in the conference booklet and is about to be posted on our web site. It reads: We are dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, body type or veteran status. We will not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment and encourage anyone who believes they have experienced or witnessed discriminatory or harassing behavior to report it to a member of the Crime Bake committee. 

After discussion with multiple first hand witnesses, the Crime Bake committee believes Mr. Zambella’s presentation violated this policy. His discussion of a criminal defendant’s transgender identity was not relevant to his topic.

The committee has apologized directly to the several attendees who brought this behavior to our attention. We also apologize to the community at large.

The committee has contacted Mr. Zambella to express our disapproval of his comments. We reiterated Crime Bake’s zero-tolerance policy and asked for his response.

Mr. Zambella has replied with the following statement: “Thank you for making me aware of this situation. My discussion of the transgenderism of Dr. Sharpe was a significant part of the relationship between Dr. Sharpe and his wife which, it is believed, ultimately led to her murder. It certainly was not my intention to offend anyone by presenting Dr. Sharpe in this light, only presenting the facts as related to this particular case. If people will feel better with an apology from me, then they have it. Let me end by stating that, in the eight years that this program has been presented, this is the first time that a complaint of this nature has been brought to my attention.”

New England Crime Bake is committed to creating a safe space for all attendees, free of harassment and discrimination. We pledge to work harder in the future to ensure all presenters are made aware of and understand our policy. The committee will be diligent in engaging only those presenters and panelists who share our commitment to it. We welcome your comments at contact@....

 
You are receiving this email because you registered for the 2019 New England Crime Bake.

Unsubscribe cheadwrites@... from this list | Forward to a friend | Update your profile
Our mailing address is:
The New England Crime Bake
67 Spring St
Weymouth, MA 02188-3528

Add us to your address book

Copyright (C) 2019 The New England Crime Bake All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp


--
Cheryl Head
Author, Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries
Director of Inclusion, Golden Crown Literary Society

The Blood Runs Cold 
A Matter of Blood - Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Readers rave: Complex characters, well-written, intelligent, page turner, clever plotting, multi-layered, intense, instantly hooks you, couldn’t put down

 http://www.catherinemaiorisi.com







Bess Carnan
 

Yikes. That's certainly a poor response on his part. But well done to the Crime Bake committee.
 
--

Bess
writer of unconventional mysteries
www.BessCarnanBooks.com

Hawthorn Mineart
 

Wow. That's disappointing to hear.

I hadn't had a chance to mention it, but there was a somewhat similar experience at Magna Cum Murder here in Indianapolis at the end of October. The 'International Guest of Honor' Ruth Dudley Edwards was in a presentation of satire in crime writing, and made several statements that were about 'how difficult it is to write satire because the world has become so absurd that one can't satirize it. Among the things she categorized as absurd: college campuses being a central point for 'snowflakes' oppressing free speech, 'men with beards invading women's restrooms,' endangering women, and the new trend of 'trans-racialism' where people are insisting they be identified as a different race than they were born into. She specifically mentioned Rachel Dolenzal as an example of the new trend.

I stood up and walked out, and complained to the organizers. I haven't received any response from them.

Eliot
 

Hi, all--

Yes; poor taste on the part of the presenter. 

Eliot


From: main@queercrimewriters.groups.io <main@queercrimewriters.groups.io> on behalf of Bess Carnan <BCarnan@...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 11:53 AM
To: main@queercrimewriters.groups.io <main@queercrimewriters.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Queercrimewriters] 2019 Harassment Response
 
Yikes. That's certainly a poor response on his part. But well done to the Crime Bake committee.
 
--

Bess
writer of unconventional mysteries
www.BessCarnanBooks.com

Kristen Lepionka
 

This is super disturbing about Magna Cum Murder, esp because MWA Midwest (where I’m on the board) is a sponsor. Hawthorn, would you mind telling me more about what happened? How did the other panelists/audience/moderator (If any) react to this etc?

Gale
 

Seems like 2019 is the year lots of us spoke up to offensive remarks about our communities at conferences. It's great, I think, that we are finding the support and courage to speak up. It's also going to make 2020 a very interesting year. Having recently been assaulted by a MAGA flag-waving male in downtown St. Petersburg, I can tell you that speaking up has a price. But, it's nothing compared to staying silent. As long as we support each other we can continue to speak up and be more present in society. 

It will be interesting to see how these incidents are addressed in crime writing conferences next year. 

xx,
g

Gale Massey

Florida Book Award 2018
Clara Johnson Award Finalist 2019

GaleMasseyBooks.com



On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 4:11 PM Kristen Lepionka <kristenlepionka+q@...> wrote:
This is super disturbing about Magna Cum Murder, esp because MWA Midwest (where I’m on the board) is a sponsor. Hawthorn, would you mind telling me more about what happened? How did the other panelists/audience/moderator (If any) react to this etc?

Hawthorn Mineart
 

The audience either didn't quite hear what she was saying, or didn't understand the trans-racial references, or just thought she was being over the top because they've never heard of Rachel Dolenzal. This is according to my fellow Sisters in Crime members who were in the room. Some of them saw me get up and leave and realized I was upset about it.

This isn't the first time Edwards has said something along those lines; she went off on Caitlyn Jenner about three years ago in a similar rant about college campuses at Magna. At that time I stood up and pushed back on her comments.

And this reference was part of Edwards interview in Magna's Pomp and Circumstance newsletter in July. 

Hawthorn Mineart
 

The other panelists on the Satire panel with Ruth were SJ Rozan and Joe Langsdale, and they certainly heard what she said. The moderator was Elena Hartwell, and she didn't step in at all. Langsdale tried to temper her remarks by shifting the topic when he answered whatever the question was, and at the end Hartwell said "Well! On to the next question!" so she obviously realized at least that I was uncomfortable about the comments.

Bess Carnan
 

Holy cheesenips! This is the first I'm hearing about the Magna Cum Murder incident and that's horrifying. 


On Sat, Nov 16, 2019 at 08:56 AM, Hawthorn Mineart wrote:
The other panelists on the Satire panel with Ruth were SJ Rozan and Joe Langsdale, and they certainly heard what she said. The moderator was Elena Hartwell, and she didn't step in at all. Langsdale tried to temper her remarks by shifting the topic when he answered whatever the question was, and at the end Hartwell said "Well! On to the next question!" so she obviously realized at least that I was uncomfortable about the comments.

 

 

 
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Bess
writer of unconventional mysteries
www.BessCarnanBooks.com