NELA Apology to Skyla and Belle

Email sent from to Skyla- on July 31, 2019:

Dear Skyla,

I wanted to reach out to you for a few reasons.  One, we would like to reimburse you for your travel for FFF53, as promised.  I have an address for you from Flea 52; with your permission, I will send your travel reimbursement check to that address. However; if that doesn’t work, there are other options for getting you your reimbursement; I am committed to finding a mutually agreeable way. I want to say thank you for presenting the Flow Arts lounge; it is a very unique area of interest and was very valued for Summer Flea 53.

My communication via email with you between May and July 27th was less than clear in the expectations set and guidelines provided regarding the content and structure of the proposed handout. I take responsibility for this and I should have been more direct and specific on all fronts from the start with you in pertaining to your presence at Summer Flea 53. For this lack of efficient communication, I want to apologize. Had I been more clear and provided all information and communication in a timely manner; including following up with you as a point of contact more frequently than I had, I have faith that we could have avoided any sort of situation. Again, for this lack of communication, and for how things were handled because of it, I apologize.

As Director of Programming, my position demands a high level of communication and follow through; in ways that I did not fulfill. This weekend’s events – and the events leading up to it – have sparked conversation among the entire NELA Board as to how we can improve communication with presenters, their assistants as well as our vendors and volunteers.  Please know that I am in full commitment to improve my communication with presenters and with all parties involved (including assistants and co-presenters). As the primary point of contact for presenters and hosts in educational capacities, moving forward I will be more explicit with regards to the rules and guidelines for, as well as, accommodations that are available to presenters.  Presenters/hosts are engaged in the community to educate and my responsibility is to facilitate that process rather than hinder it.

Nothing I say can change what happened to you and what you experienced this past weekend. This experience has made me realize that I need to do better by the standards of the greater kink community. Thank you again for hosting the Flow Arts lounge and for reading this today. If further conversation with me would help you to heal, I am open to that.

-Echo, [Director of Programming]

In addition to the above statement  made directly to Skyla, the NELA Board of Directors echoes their sentiments and, acknowledges the harm and hurt caused by our insufficient communication leading up to and our actions taken at Summer Flea 53 to presenters Skyla, Belle, and RopeRider for which we sincerely and humbly apologize. We also acknowledge that other folks were impacted by the events of FFF53; including the harm and hurt caused to the greater New England kink community and online communities. For all of this, we are truly sorry.

Sleepy, Leah, Echo, Julie, Heather and Richard
The NELA Board of Directors

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