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Institutional Assessment on Racism Update: September 2018

By Sharon Lane-Getaz and Justin Connor, Co-clerks of the Institutional Assessment Working Group and the Task Force | 8/24/18


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The FGC Institutional Assessment on Racism survey was completed on July 31, 2018 with N=1,168 respondents! The Task Force owes Friends (within FGC and beyond) our sincerest gratitude for responding toour call for your testimony. Respondents included: Female (622; 66%), Male (291; 31%), and Other (28; 3%), with 227 skipping the gender question. The next phase of our work has begun: analyzing the many sources of data, crafting recommendations, and planning our presentation for the fall Central Committee (Oct 25-28, 2018).

FGC Institutional Assessment Timeline Completion Date

  • Early August: Data Analysis team to analyze survey responses; Identify themes from Focus Groups
  • August 8th: Distribute Data Analysis Report: Findings from survey, Focus Groups, and FGC records (CrossRoads, TF)
  • August 10th to 12th: Finalize IA Recommendations with CrossRoads’ guidance at Task Force Meeting
  • September: Update our plans for the presentation to Central Committee with the Executive Committee
  • October 25 to 28th: Present recommendations to Central Committee

During August the Data Analysis team dove into the analysis of the historical data, Focus Group notes, survey comments and responses. The Data Analysis Team reviewed their preliminary findings with CrossRoads on August 8th and with the Task Force during our face-to-face meeting August 10th–12th hosted at Red Cedar Meeting House, Lansing, MI. Eight members assembled with one member calling in to the meeting on Saturday.

We kicked off the meeting Friday night by conferencing in Ted Rau and Jerry Loch-Gonzales (Sociocracy for All authors). We employed a Sociocracy model to review and discuss one of our findings. Some aspects of the model were used throughout the weekend, including: Check-in, ADMIN (Attendance, Duration, Minutes, Information, Next Meeting), and the Proposed Agenda. However, the use of three rounds for discussion (“Clarification,” “What comes up for you?,” and “So what do we do?”) was cumbersome. While the participatory process ensured that all Friends were heard, at least one Friend felt “put on the spot” to comment when it was their turn in a round. We had not used a “pass.” For this group the process that emerged was more “free flowing” with an occasional return to a round from time-to-time. If we continue to practice using the Sociocracy model in our ongoing conference calls, the flow of rounds may become more natural. Friends also felt using three rounds might have slowed down our progress.

On Saturday, we started our day by conferencing in one of our CrossRoads consultants. We set our goals for the day’s work. We found it grounded our work when CrossRoads reminded us to be stewards of the stories that Friends have entrusted to us—a myriad of themes that arose from the survey write-in comments, the Focus Group data, and the preliminary findings from historical records and the survey. We worked diligently through the day and into the evening on Saturday night to begin to identify recommendations and testimonies from the collected information to carry forward to Central Committee (CC) in October.

On Sunday, we reviewed our notes and recommendations from Saturday with a second CrossRoads consultant and discussed how these preliminary findings and recommendations might best be shared in October. The Spirit-led work we produced during the intensive weekend is now being handed off to our Report Writing team. From now through the October CC meeting the Task Force members will meet as a large group every other week in support of the Report Writing team. (Having completed their work, the Survey, Continuum, and Matrix teams were laid down.) Per CrossRoads’ recommendation, we aim to provide CC members with an abbreviated CrossRoads workshop at the CC meeting prior to presenting our recommendations. The training will provide a common language and framework within which to discuss and discern the way forward.

The IAWG (our communications subgroup) will continue to provide these monthly updates to keep Friends connected to the process as our work continuously unfolds. IAWG also plans to write an article about our process and what was learned for a January 2019 Friends Journal issue.

The IA Task Force members:

Marvin Barnes LEYM, IAWG, Continuum team (Data Analysis)

Justin Connor  BYM, IAWG, Continuum team

Janice Domanik  ILYM, Continuum team (Report Writing)

Michael Doo BYM, Matrix Team (Report Writing)

Vanessa Julye PHLYM, IAWG, Matrix Team

Sharon Lane-Getaz  NYM, IAWG, Survey team (Data Analysis)

Carolyn Lejuste  LEYM, IAWG, Survey team (Report Writing)

Katrina McQuail CYM, Survey team

Elanna Reber PHLY, Survey team

Marijke van Roojen  NYM, Matrix Team (Data Analysis)

Dwight Wilson LEYM, Matrix Team

Keira Wilson BYM/PHLYM, Continuum team

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Why is FGC undertaking an Institutional Assessment on Racism?

Visit the Institutional Assessment on Racism homepage to learn more.