RELEVANT Magazine founder and CEO Cameron Strang posted a note on the publication’s website addressing the recent testimonies of former employees.
A handful of now-resigned RELEVANT editors accused Strang of committing “spiritual abuse.” The CEO announced his plans to take a sabbatical “to engage a process of healing, growth, and learning.”
Several former RELEVANT Magazine editors have shared their experiences with Strang, and their stories are not conducive to the type of environment one would expect at a Christian business.
African-American writer Andre Henry was one of the first former employees to post about his interactions with Strang. In his blog, he mentioned that Strang denied his proposal to publish stories during Black History month because it would be a “waste of editorial energy.”
Another editor, Rebecca Marie Jo, who took over the managing editor position in 2018 once Henry left, said that Strang suggested publishing an image of a black rapper with a noose around his neck.
He said the image would “symbolize [the rapper’s] lynching by white evangelical America” due to his support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Tim Dikun, a designer and manager at RELEVANT from 2007-2010, shared a bizarre story in which Strang fired an employee for being a curse:
“The smoking gun was an instance that happened where [Strang] fired an employee and told the employee that he thought they were a curse. It wasn’t just about their job performance, it was about the effect they had spiritually on the office.”
Jo alluded to the fact that Strang’s behavior was erratic. “It was black and white, Jekyll and Hyde,” she mentioned.
She had stopped giving suggestions during meetings because she didn’t know how Strang was going to respond. It completely depended upon what type of mood he was in on a particular day.
Strang did not deny the allegations of his former employees. In fact, he owned them completely:
“I’ve learned how my insensitivity has hurt people, and when it came to women and people of color on our staff, I was blind as to how some of my statements were especially insensitive and hurtful.”
In a lengthy note he posted on RELEVANT’s website, he described his plans for an extended leave of absence:
“I’ll be stepping aside from my role… Pray for our team… that my absence won’t be a burden, but a time of renewal and growth. And pray for me as I engage a long process of healing, repairing relationships and learning.”
“I want to do this right. I want to make it right. I’m deeply sorry to the people I’ve hurt. I’m sorry for my toxicity and insensitivity in leadership. I don’t want to be that person anymore.”