Harassment Committee for Awareness, Response, and Equity (HCARE)

AABA is committed to creating and promoting a culture in which every member of our community is treated with respect, and to fostering a safe environment free from harassment, intimidation, and retaliation. The purpose of the Harassment Committee for Awareness, Response and Equity (HCARE) is to assist the AABA in establishing accountability measures and procedures for maintaining the highest standards of ethical, professional and inclusive conduct for attendees of our annual meeting, our members, and our academic community. For more information on HCARE or to report a complaint please read below.

The AABA encourages any member of the AABA with a complaint of harassment, bullying and/or assault to come forward. If you were harassed, bullied or assaulted by a member of our AABA community, or if you witnessed harassment, bullying or assault by or to any member of our AABA community, we want to hear from you, regardless of whether the incident occurred at an AABA-sponsored event or elsewhere.

Reporting Procedures:

Any complaint of harassment, bullying, intimidation, or assault should be submitted through NAVEX. Complaints may be made on a confidential or anonymous basis. If you file an anonymous complaint, this means your identity will not be known to HCARE or the AABA.

You will be asked to provide details of the incident(s), names of individuals involved and name(s) of any witnesses. Any complaint will be automatically assigned a report number and will be referred to the Harassment Committee for Awareness, Response and Equity (HCARE) for evaluation (excluding any Committee member who might be implicated in the complaint). Click here to file a complaint through NAVEX.

You may also reach out directly to the HCARE via email: [email protected] with any complaint or concern regarding harassment, bullying or assault. Any email will be received only by the Chair of the HCARE and the AABA President. However, your identity will not be anonymous unless the email is sent via an anonymized email account.

Any complaint, whether submitted through NAVEX or via email, shall remain confidential and be communicated only to members of HCARE, the AABA President, and the AABA Executive Committee; provided that, if HCARE reasonably determines under the circumstances (including consultation with the complainant) that AABA has an unambiguous legal obligation to report the complaint to authorities outside of AABA, HCARE will report that determination to the AABA Executive Committee, which will, if it concurs, authorize the AABA President to comply with such obligation

Review and Investigative Procedures:

  • Once the committee receives a report via the avenues for reporting described above, HCARE will promptly and impartially assess any claim of inappropriate conduct or harassment at AABA-sponsored, AABA-run, or AABA-affiliated events and/or any events involving AABA members. HCARE will keep the reporting of individual’s concerns confidential and will not share any information from the report outside the HCARE membership and the AABA President until an assessment and/or recommendation is made; provided that AABA will comply with an unambiguous reporting obligation as described above.

  • The HCARE committee will read and assess the information provided in the report for initial evaluation. The initial evaluation will address whether there is sufficient information in the report for the committee to effectively assess the incidents/events/complaints. If HCARE determines there is not enough information, the committee may seek out additional information, including from the initial reporter(s) (if not anonymous), but only with the approval and cooperation of the individual(s) making the report. Once sufficient information is available the committee will assess if the report meets the criteria identified by HCARE for committee action (evaluation and recommendations).

  • Evaluation of a complaint will involve a full HCARE review of the information and materials provided, followed by a subsequent committee meeting where each member will weigh in with their assessment and with any questions. At this stage, the Committee may again decide that more information is needed and may temporarily suspend the assessment as further information is collected (this may be via contact of the complainant (if not anonymous), via consultation with AABA records or via publicly available information from institutions associated with the complaint. Once supplemental information is collected (if needed) or if the initial information was deemed sufficient, the committee will document the details of their assessment in a written report and make a recommendation (or recommendations) to be shared with the AABA Executive Committee (excluding those who might be implicated in the complaint) within the shortest time frame possible.

  • All HCARE and AABA Executive Committee members are committed to full confidentiality of all information pertaining to all parties involved in the complaint, subject to legal obligations as described above

A specific timeline for the investigation cannot be predicted in advance, as it may depend upon the nature of the allegations and the investigation process. Every effort will be made to complete investigation in a prompt and timely manner.

The AABA reserves the right, upon receipt of a complaint, if at AABA’s sole reasonable discretion, the nature of the complaint warrants the immediate removal of an individual from any AABA-sponsored, AABA-run or AABA-affiliated event in order to ensure that the safety of the complainant and to ensure that the event may proceed safely and without undue interruption. In such circumstances removal of an individual can occur prior to undertaking an investigation as described herein. If HCARE concludes that such immediate removal pending the conclusion of an investigation is warranted, HCARE will report that recommendation on a confidential basis to the AABA Executive Committee, including information necessary to the Executive Committee’s action on the recommendation; if the Executive Committee concurs in the recommendation, the Executive Committee will order such interim removal.

Potential Actions and Consequences for Harassment and Bullying:

If the AABA Executive Committee determines that a violation of the AABA Code of Conduct or the AABA Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault has occurred, the Executive Committee may take any disciplinary action it deems appropriate, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Private reprimand
  • Removal from an AABA-sponsored event without warning or refund
  • Being banned from participation in future AABA-sponsored events or volunteer activities
  • Being banned for consideration of any AABA award or leadership position
  • Termination of AABA membership

If the Executive Committee determinates that disciplinary action is to be imposed, those who are implicated in the completed investigation will receive notification of the disciplinary action in writing and will have an opportunity to appeal to the AABA Executive Committee in writing within 30 days. All disciplinary decisions by the Executive Committee will be final.


Agustin Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes


Robin Nelson

Robin Nelson

Stephanie Meredith

Stephanie Meredith

Jessica Brinkworth.jpg

Jessica Brinkworth

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