Statement by Kay (She/Her) regarding Abuse and Accountability.
I have been working alongside In Our Hearts since February 2020 and have observed their community work prior to this. When allegations of abuse were brought up to me in Summer, I quickly reached out to any past people in contact of the abused or abuser and women working with them. I had long talks with many of these people and I tried to find detailed accounts of abuse or behaviors that would make me feel uncomfortable to work with this person. I also approached the situation from the standpoint of a female organizer and the person of question,Thadeaus was eager to hand over many organizing positions to me and other women. This made me more comfortable to work with In Our Hearts. As a survivor of violent, physical, domestic abuse and of sexual abuse, I feel very at ease with everyone I am working with in IOH and comfortable sharing my opinions. Since then we've had many accountability talks with others and Thadeaus was open and revealing about his past. I also learned of his past accountability meetings that were completed years ago. I spoke to a mediator involved with Thadeaus accountability. After many of us were ready to move on and felt comfortable in restorative justice for Thadeaus ,someone has been reaching out to more people and understandably now, those people are also searching for answers with this new information. To me personally, In Our Hearts represents a lot more than Thadeaus. It represents my work, and many others hard work since the first known community fridge in NYC went up in February. This group has been supported by mostly women, as much mutual aid work is. I believe 'In Our Hearts' has done the majority of the difficult work in building the network of the community fridges and was the first group to do so in New York City in starting a new movement. I do not relate to any other group working on the community fridges and In Our Hearts has credited my work fairly. All organizers involved have shown me a great deal of respect and maturity in how they handle this situation and other problems. That being said, I have agreed to hold Thadeaus and any others accountable if I do see concerning behaviors. Me, Lucy, and Sade have also agreed to be point contacts instead of Thadeaus. If you have any questions I am available to talk to anyone concerned. Please message IOH and ask for my contact information.