In the wake of recent revelations about the egregious mistreatment of Black women at PRX/The PRX Podcast Garage, we at PodTales feel it is necessary to acknowledge that we were unknowingly complicit in this mistreatment, and have directly benefited from it.
PRX and especially The PRX Podcast Garage were critical to making PodTales 2019 a reality. In the early stages of planning, our greatest uncertainty was whether we would be able to secure sponsors who would provide the necessary funding. As Jeff and Alexander already had a relationship with The Podcast Garage — due to attending past podcast social events, as well as Alexander having taught a workshop at The Garage — they were the first organization we reached out to. We were received enthusiastically, and PRX not only offered a cash sponsorship, but also facilitated our connecting with additional show sponsors, as well as offering to host our pre-show exhibitor party.
As Community Manager, Palace Shaw was a key facilitator and point of contact throughout this entire process. She was directly and solely responsible for setting up, managing, and breaking down our exhibitor party, an after-hours event that filled The Podcast Garage to capacity and then some, spilling out into the lot outside the building. Throughout the event, Palace remained warm, welcoming, and professional, deftly managing our large and chaotic event. And so, amidst the many racist and exploitive incidents detailed in her open letter to PRX, this statement in particular stood out to us:
“In my year in that position I ran over 130 events that served over 2,000 people with little to no support, that’s over 30% of my year working overtime alone without overtime pay.”
Our exhibitor party was one of those many events for which Palace was not paid. To learn that she was not compensated for the time and effort she so generously contributed shocked and saddened us. This is a situation we feel a responsibility to rectify to the best of our ability, and will attempt to do so through the following steps:
- PodTales will send Palace a direct payment in recognition of her work on our behalf.
- Some members of our organizing staff will make additional personal contributions.
- PodTales will neither seek nor accept future sponsorship from PRX/PRI, The PRX Podcast Garage, or associated partners unless and until substantive and efficacious structural changes are made within the organization.
- Greater Boston, an audio production of ThirdSight Media LLC, will not pursue its prior plan to record portions of its fourth season at The PRX Podcast Garage.
- We will share this statement with past PodTales exhibitors, and suggest to those who attended our exhibitor party that those who are able might also consider making a contribution to Palace’s fund. (Venmo: @palace-shaw)
We at ThirdSight Media and on the PodTales planning committee acknowledge the reality that we, as an organization, an event, and as individuals, have benefited from white supremacy, and have an obligation to respond with meaningful anti-racist action, regardless of whether we took an active role in or were cognizant of the racist actions from which we benefitted.