The following is an update on our process and the actions we have taken and continue to take to address a public callout made in March about one of the members of the Rosehip Medic Collective.
The callout came from three of Max’s ex-partners and included them expressing their dissatisfaction of how the collective had responded when contacted by one of them. In the many discussions that followed, we developed a plan for how to address this member’s presence in our collective, and how to work towards the healing of our community. Shortly after, we posted to our website both our initial plan of action and the callout. Our first statement may be found here.
As medics committed to healing, consent and empowerment, and as queer and trans feminists invested in creating a world free of oppression, we believe in modeling the behaviors we would ask of any other group in our situation. We believe it our responsibility to take all callouts seriously, and to proceed transparently. Here is our update:
Actions we have taken:
- Max has stepped back from all public and leadership responsibilities—among these medicking, training, responding to emails, and representing himself as a street medic and Rosehip. He has also withdrawn himself from spaces where he is likely to encounter those involved with the callout. We believe in holding our friends close as they work through their mistakes rather than banishing them to new communities, where they may lack the bonds of friendship and accountability that help us grow and improve. We also value the trust placed in us as care workers and educators, and have therefore taken steps to minimize the potential for Max to cause harm in the name of our collective.
- We have contacted all of Max’s known current and recent partners (excepting those involved in the callout, as per their stated preference), both to inform them of the callout and to offer them what support we or community partners can. Max’s current partners have asked us to share that they do not consider themselves to be at risk and that they have not experienced or observed behaviors mentioned in the callout. We remain in dialogue with these folks and invite anyone with other information to reach out to us (or any other community resources).
- We have been pleased to consult with Philly Stands Up, a group for whom we have great respect in their work to confront abuse and violence in radical and queer communities. We have also made a financial donation to Portland Women’s Crisis Line, in hopes of contributing to the sustainability of those working to support survivors in our community.
- We have been contacted by numerous members of our community with feedback and clarifying questions. We are so grateful to our community for helping us to navigate this in the best ways we can.
- We have been contacted by individuals involved with the callout. One collective member received a private email containing a set of questions and demands of the collective and of Max. That member was unable to share these with the rest of us, as they were not given permission to share the email with the entire collective. As a collective, we make no decisions without full consensus and transparency. We respect the survivors’ right to privacy, to a trusted support team, and to advocates. We also do not believe that this can be our role as a collective comprising the called-out individual. We can only attempt to engage responsibly and transparently with what is asked of us, as we all work towards greater understanding of the healing that needs to take place. We continue to welcome feedback and requests of the Rosehips that can be shared with our entire collective.
Actions still underway:
- We continue our internal conversation on what we need to see from Max. There is no immediate plan for him to return to his previous responsibilities, and we appreciate his engagement with the collective about his process.
- We have organized a collective-wide study group of resources around survivor support, transformative justice, and violence and transgression in queer and trans* communities. We have some great resources to learn from, and continue to welcome suggestions.
- We continue to pursue the goal of training more of our collective in best practices for survivor support and in implementing those practices in our care and training work. We are looking into several area trainings.
- We remain open to direct contact from anyone in the community through our email, Rosehipmedics@gmail.com, and hope that people will contact us with concerns or clarifications.
We thank our friends and community for your questions, feedback, and opportunities to continue working with you.
The Rosehip Medic Collective