GeekGirlCon Organizers Quit Over Allegations Of Intimidation, Mismanagement

(Shutterstock/Kar Tr)

Ian Miles Cheong Contributor
Font Size:

A group of organizers for GeekGirlCon have resigned in protest amid allegations of mismanagement and identity politics-related bullying. The group of five accused the organization’s executive director of discriminatory practices, and questioned her use of donations.

GeekGirlCon’s leadership insists that the convention will proceed as planned in October. It stated on Twitter that the concerns raised by the departed group have already been addressed after they were brought up to the organization’s board.

The Seattle-based convention, which is set to take place this October, is set to celebrate the presence of women in the geek scene. It first launched in 2011 as a response to a panel at San Diego Comic Con that highlighted the lack of “inclusive” women-focused events, and has hosted upward of 11,000 attendees.

The resignations at GeekGirlCon paint the organization as anything but inclusive. In the letter announcing their resignations, the group alleged that GeekGirlCon’s executive director Michele Carrico Domingo discriminated against a staff member in one incident, and in a separate incident disseminated documents with “details of private, sexual encounters, unrelated to GeekGirlCon, in an effort to discriminate and kink-shame a volunteer,” according to documents acquired by GeekWire.

According to the publication, the group of organizers who resigned includes GeekGirlCon’s Director of Convention Operations Seven DeBord, Exhibitor Services Manager Amy Gembala, Registration & Admissions Manager Rose Minier, Reaction Team Manager Josh Michaels, and an unnamed fifth member.

The group alleges that Domingo, who joined the organization in February 2017, participated in “questionable use of charitable funds,” with “deprioritization of financial oversight by the Board of Directors” under her guidance as executive director. As GeekWire notes, Domingo is the only fully-paid staff member of GeekGirlCon. All other members of the leadership are volunteers.

Domingo told the publication that most of the organization’s members do not agree with the allegations, and that “we’re definitely still doing the con, and we’re going to create space for women and allies to support women and girls.”

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.