FGC Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism – Status Update

Vanessa Julye, the Coordinator for the Friends General Conference Committee for Ministry on Racism, shares the following status update with Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends:

The October Progress Report for the Institutional Assessment on Racism is posted on the FGC website at the following link:

https://www.fgcquaker.org/news/october-report-institutional-assessment-racism-task-force-recommendations-fgc-central-committee

In short, the approved Central Committee minute reads as follows:

Central Committee approves the establishment of a group to implement the work of the Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within Friends General Conference. Its charge shall be to guide the transformation of Friends General Conference into an anti-racist organization.

Consistent with the decision of Central Committee in 2017 to prioritize the work of anti-racism, FGC commits to work to eliminate white supremacy within the Religious Society of Friends and to model anti-racism as we support the work of this implementation group.

Central Committee authorizes the Institutional Assessment Working Group (IAWG) to serve as a naming committee to bring forward the names of eight Friends to serve on this implementation group. The names for the implementation group shall be brought forward for approval to Executive Committee at its winter 2019 meeting. The individuals to be recommended shall constitute at least 50 percent Friends of Color and consideration shall be given to include Young Adult Friends and broad geographic representation.

The implementation Group will use the information and recommendations from the Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within Friends General Conference 2018 report to begin their work and its work shall not be limited to the scope of the report and its recommendations. The implementation group shall be accountable to Central Committee and will report its progress to each Executive Committee Meeting and annually to Central Committee. Central Committee authorizes the IAWG to propose an appropriate budget to support the work of the implementation group and authorizes the Executive Committee to approve that budget at its winter 2019 meeting.

Please share this historical work with the other members of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

In Friendship, Vanessa

Status Report on PYM Minutes Packets

Short summary:

Annual Session and Representative Committee “Minutes and Reports Packets” are now available for the years 2013-2018.   There is also a new standalone list of all PYM Minutes of Action for the years 2001-2018.  Links to these documents can be found on a new page dedicated to PYM Minutes.

The new documents are currently designated as DRAFTS. Your feedback on these DRAFT packets would be appreciated before they are considered final.

The full report:

Pacific Yearly Meeting has a long tradition of  assembling the records (that is, the minutes and all of the committee reports) after each Annual Session into a “packet”.  This packet (running up to 100 pages or more in recent years) would be sent to Clerks (or their designees) of Monthly Meetings, Worship Groups and Preparatory Meetings as well as to PYM’s officers and committee clerks.  The same process would be followed for each meeting of Representative Committee.

Historically the packets were, of course, paper documents.  That began to change in 2001 when the first electronic packet (a PDF file) was published on the PYM website (which, I believe, wasn’t even official yet).  Since then PYM has gradually shifted from paper to electronic distribution, with both formats co-existing until 2012.  I like to say that “PYM successfully weaned itself off of paper in 2012,” for I believe that was the last year that a paper packet was printed.

At the same time, however, the process for collecting the electronic records into a single PDF file had, unfortunately, not yet been institutionalized.  As a result of a personnel change, institutional memory was lost.  Annual Session records for the years 2013 through 2016 were never assembled into packets.  They were only published as separate “items” (web posts or PDF files) on the website:  one item for each plenary session (9 or 10 posts or PDFs) and one or more “items” for each committee report (as many as 28, not including redundant or extraneous files that were also posted on the website each annual session).   Having the minutes and reports exist in dozens of separate files, and very irregularly organized files at that, has made reference to the minutes since 2013 very tedious and error prone.  Searching “the minutes” for particular items of interest was extremely difficult and frustrating.

Over the past year your Secretariat Clerk (myself) has been on a personal crusade to start publishing electronic Minutes and Reports Packets again.

I am happy to report that with the hard work of the Presiding Clerk, Diego Navarro, and the Recording Clerks, Jim Anderson and Sharlene Roberts-Caudle, we managed to publish electronic packets for the 2017 and 2018 Annual Sessions.  This involved a lot of research into past practices (which are very “uneven”, to say the least) and an unbelievable number of small arbitrary decisions about organization, formatting, referencing, and so forth.

I am even happier to report that, propelled by the momentum generated by finalizing the 2018 packet,  I have also finally pulled together draft packets for each of the “missing years,” 2013 through 2016.  In addition to the above mentioned people, past Clerk Steven Smith and Recording Clerks Julie Harlow, Amy Cooke, Stephen McNeil and Leslie Zondervan-Droz were also drafted into this reconstruction effort.  For these past years we don’t have the flexibility to change the content or format of the constituent “items”, but we do have some control over how they are combined and presented.  Also, some material is still being tracked down (in particular the 2014 and 2015 Meeting for Memorials names). (these packets have now been updated with the formerly-missing Meeting for Memorials information).

I invite the PYM community to examine these DRAFT packets which I recently uploaded.   I welcome feedback on the “packet” aspects: the title page, table of contents, Preface and the List of Action Minutes are all artifacts of combining the “items” into a packet.  So is the choice of which “reports” to include as attachments.  Tell me what “works for you” and what you would like to “see improved”.  What makes for a useful packet?  Also, of course, if you see any glaring errors or omissions, let me know of those too.  I’m sure there are some.

In service, George Mills, PYM Secretariat Clerk (Communications Committee), PYMSecretariat@gmail.com, November 2, 2018.  (Updated Nov 11 and Nov 29, 2018)

 

Guidelines for Reports to Annual Session 2018

Friends, we ask for your support in using these guidelines to prepare your report to Annual Session 2018. We are working to make reports more readable for Friends to increase the number of people reading reports in advance.

Note that where these guidelines refer to committees, the intention is that the guidance applies equally to representatives/delegates from PYM to other organizations. Sub-Committees may submit their own reports in consultation with their Committee.

Reports should be emailed to the Assistant to the Clerk (PYMAssistanttotheClerk@gmail.com) by 6/22/2018.

Reports should provide an overview of the committee’s work, specifically work done since the previous Annual Session. Reports do not need to list all of the things the committee and its sub-committees or working groups have done during the year. Rather, reports should communicate how Spirit has moved through the committee since the last Annual Session. For purposes of clarity, more detailed and extensive information will be referred to as “news.” News should not be included in the report but may be posted in the committee’s section of the Annual Session web page and/or the committee’s page on the PYM website (by emailing to PYMAssistanttotheClerk@gmail.com). News can be printed and placed in the Information Tent for Friends to read during Annual Session. The contents of the reports will be merged into the final minutes document as attachments.

Reports from committees will be posted on the Annual Session web page and will be printed and posted on the dining room windows at Annual Session. To encourage broad readership, reports should be brief—most should be 1-2 pages long. If your committee’s draft report is 3 or more pages, talk to the Assistant to the Clerk at least 2 weeks before the reports deadline.

All committees should submit a report, even if it is brief. We want to create more awareness among the whole community and to continue to find ways to better support one another.

Because consistent formatting across reports make them easier to read, please use the following formatting:

  1. 1” margins
  2. 11 point Calibri font
  3. Section headings in bold
  4. Header (centered):  [Committee Name] Report to PYM Annual Session 2018
  5. Footer (centered):  Page X of Y
  6. Do not include photos, as these make creation of the minutes document more difficult and do not print well in black-and-white.
  7. A summary section at the top listing any action items and any specific requests (for example, key items for Meeting Representatives to convey). If there are no action items or requests, write “None” in this section.
  8. Highlight any action items and/or draft minutes in bold
  9. The last paragraph of the report should list the members of the committee, with the clerk’s name last followed by the word “Clerk” in parentheses.

You may use the attached template or you can set up the formatting yourself in your Word document.

Submit the report in Word format with the filename following the model

CommitteeName_Report_to_AS_2018

Do not submit the report in PDF format unless it has tricky formatting (such as the budget). This is to facilitate creation of the advance reports packet and of the Annual Session minutes.

Thank you for your support in these changes to the way we communicate from committees back to the Yearly Meeting. We hope that using these guidelines will increase the number of people reading the reports about your important work.

Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk

 

 

Nominating Committee Updates to Proposed Slate of Officers, Committees and Delegates

PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING
NOMINATING COMMITTEE
UPDATES TO PROPOSED SLATE OF OFFICERS, COMMITTEES AND DELEGATES
21 SIXTH MONTH 2016 (BEGINNING OF PLENARY FOR DISCERNMENT)
These names are brought as an addition to the nominations being considered for action later today at
Business Plenary III:
Unity with Nature Committee
2019 Andi Macleod, La Jolla (2016)
Youth Programs Coordinating Committee
2018 Barbara Babin, Redwood Forest (2016)

Minute of Concern for Central American Refugees Held in Detention Centers in the U.S.

Minute Details:

Drafted by Live Oak Friends Meeting

We, members and attenders of Live Oak Friends Meeting, a part of Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), express our concern for the thousands of women, children and young adults from Central America, who have entered the United States to find safety and peace.

Central American mothers and children have fled extreme poverty, violence and intimidation in their home countries.  They would face death at the hands of gangs, or of their governments, were they to return now.  We desire that their requests for asylum in the U.S. be heard, and that they be allowed to remain in this country with refugee status.

We oppose their prolonged incarceration in overcrowded detention facilities, and we join with citizens, immigrants and elected officials of the United States who seek to provide food, shelter, medical care, and due process in their immigration proceedings.

We support non-violent efforts to change the conditions in their Central American countries of origin that caused them to leave, so that they may eventually be reunited with their families and loved ones.