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Institutional Assessment on Racism Update April 2018

Image credit: Marta Rusek
By Sharon Lane-Getaz and Justin Connor, Co-clerks of the Institutional Assessment Working Group and the Task Force | 3/23/18

 

The Institutional Assessment Task Force continues to make deliberate progress. The Matrix team has met with a Crossroads trainer to clarify their role for the assessment. They then embarked on collecting hard data (back to 2012) to characterize the locus of power within Friends General Conference (FGC). In the mean-time the Continuum team has worked diligently to draft over 30 potential questions for the Institutional Assessment. The Survey team conducted Focus Groups to inform the task at hand and to provide a perspective from which to vet the input from the other teams. We reign ourselves in by repeating the mantra: “it is our primary goal to gather evidence of institutional racism within FGC.”

We are laying the groundwork to gather evidence of the gap between our perception and our reality of systemic racism within FGC. The Survey team uncovered some recurring themes within the early Focus Group feedback. While the aggregation of Focus Group data makes this approach untenable on a larger scale, these themes will inform content that should be included within the survey. The Task Force aims to dove-tail the content explored in the survey with the hard data being collected by the Matrix team.

The major milestones of our timeline are: (1) Complete development of the online survey by early spring (April). (2) Collect the survey data throughout the spring into early summer (May). (3) Conduct an initial analysis of the survey data prior to the Gathering (June) to inform Focus Group questions for the Pre-Gathering and Gathering. (4) The Task Force will reconvene in a face-to-face meeting to finalize our IA Recommendation Report with Crossroads’ guidance (August). (5) Present recommendations to Central Committee Meeting (October).

Most survey questions will be presented as definitive statements followed by a Likert scale to indicate one’s level of agreement (e.g., Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree, plus NA--if the item does not apply). There will be a few open-ended items as well. The survey will be deployed online to a broad array of FGC constituencies; including but not limited to: Yearly Meetings, affiliated Monthly Meetings, FGC governance structures, the FGC Petition-signer’s email list, Vital Friends, the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent, at Pre-Gathering, during the Gathering, and through Quaker-related social media. By collecting demographic data, the responses can be broken out by various constituencies.

The Task Force has obtained a space at the Gathering where at least one member will be present to discuss our progress to date. A Task Force subgroup will design activities to engage with Friends who drop into our Gathering space. While Crossroads workshop content is proprietary, Crossroads consultants are helping us determine what activities and/or learnings can be shared at that time. The Gathering space will also be used to facilitate Focus Groups during the Gathering. The Pre-Gathering and Gathering Focus Groups will serve to clarify and deepen our understanding of themes that arise from the survey. Through Focus Groups the Task Force will over-sample important constituencies like Friends of Color and Young Adult Friends.

The twelve-member IA Task Force is ramping up to meet monthly from April through August. The three subgroups (Continuum, Power Matrix, and Survey) are meeting more frequently, as needed. One member from each of the three subgroups will comprise the data analysis team which will aggregate and summarize IA data prior to the August 10th - 12th face-to-face meeting. Another cross-team group will be formed to finalize the IA Recommendations Report after the August meeting. IAWG will continue to meet biweekly to facilitate cross-coordination and to provide monthly updates to the many stakeholders who hold this array of institutional assessment work in the Light.

 

The Continuum Team will overlay a tool from Crossroads with our organizational structure, policies (e.g., Blue Book), decision-making processes, and culture to look into inequities. “What are the sacred cows of Quaker culture?”

The Continuum Team

 

Marvin Barnes

LEYM, IAWG

Justin Connor  

BYM, IAWG

Janice Domanik   

ILYM

Keira Wilson

BYM/PHLYM





 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Power Analysis Team will examine FGC against a “matrix of domination,” the degree to which individuals, institutions and our Quaker culture uphold white supremacy and marginalize our subcultures. “How does Quaker practice, programs, etc. benefit white society and oppress people of color?”

Power Analysis Team (aka Matrix Team)

 

Michael Doo

BYM

Vanessa Julye

PHLYM, IAWG

Marijke van Roojen

NYM

Dwight Wilson

LEYM

                               

                              

                     

                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Survey Team will conduct winter focus groups to design a survey to be administered across FGC constituencies during the spring, and will review themes arising from the survey with focus groups during the summer. 

Task Force Survey Team

 

Sharon Lane-Getaz

NYM, IAWG

Carolyn Lejuste

LEYM, IAWG

Katrina McQuail

CYM

Elanna Reber

PHLYM

                     

                           

                          

                               

 

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Why is FGC undertaking an Institutional Assessment on Racism?

Visit the Institutional Assessment on Racism homepage to learn more.