Meeting Minutes – Safer Spaces – 12.11.11

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[posted retroactively for Working Group compliance]

Safer Spaces Meeting Notes – 12/11/2011

 

In attendance: A’yen (facilitator), Winter (scribbler), Matt, Alexander, James, Fanya (chrono-guardian), Angela, Leah

 

Agenda:

Intros

Reportbacks (Spokescouncil, Housing)

Grievance Process

Safer Spaces/Support Spokescouncil Merge Proposal

Open Roles/Support for People Stepping Back

Community Agreement Update

Accountability

Announcements

 

REPORTBACKS

Spokescouncil (more detailed notes can be found on nycga.net)

  • Mon: Alexander attended. Lots of hostility and aggression. There was acknowledgement in SC that things aren’t going well for the body; conversations about where SC is heading. Proposal to continue the discussion at 60 Wall.
  • Wed: Angela attended. There was a facilitation meeting beforehand where they discussed stepping back at SC. People expressed frustration in having anybody facilitate the meeting. People shared stories and experiences; more of an open forum space for people to address their concerns/needs through stack. People expressed that they want more space for that.
  • Fri: Fanya attended. More detailed meeting notes can be found on the listserv. Most of the time was comprised of WG reportbacks. In last hour, there were 4 agenda items that were to be discussed and the group had to decide which was most urgent. Group chose to address the Immigration Day/Unconference scheduling conflict. Housing wanted to be ratified (no consensus on housing matter).

Housing

  • There have been escalating incidents at the housing locations.
  • There is a request to have the 6-step process put into place in those locations. José and Leah to meet at Park Slope church Monday evening to share info about it. James talked to the pastor at SPSA.
  • More overnight shifts are needed at each of the housing locations. Support brings a different perspective about how to deal with certain incidents like interpersonal harm which aren’t in line with what Safer Spaces practices. We need to find a way to be more involved.
  • The Yonkers housing location might be problematic, requires some investigation

 

GRIEVANCE PROCESS

  • There was a meeting with members of Facilitation, Mediation, Support, Safer Spaces, and a few others to discuss what spaces can allow/acknowledge grievances. [name redacted] is working on those meeting notes and will send them out to groups that have a stake in the matter.
  • Working groups will be encourages to replicate the discussion and come up with ideas about a space that allows for grievances
  • The idea of a “listening committee” where groups can require a couple people to come help them express grievances
  • James: It would be great to have a way to get feedback to the system to address any concerns/needs

 

SAFER SPACES/SUPPORT SPOKESCOUNCIL MERGE PROPOSAL

  • Support proposed that they merge with Safer Spaces during Spokescouncil so there is one spoke for both groups; possibly being proposed so Support knows that they have a spoke representing them?
  • Consensus that we don’t want to merge the two groups for various reasons
  • Friendly Amendment: Not to merge but to share info discovered at meetings and check in with Support about their Spokecouncil needs (consensus! Approved.)

 

OPEN ROLES/SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE STEPPING BACK

  • There are a few members of Safer Spaces stepping back for personal reasons. How can we support them, if needed/wanted?
  • This was Winter’s last meeting as he is stepping back from the movement for about 2 months. He is passing on the duties of checking the Gmail acct, Twitter, and giving up armbands. He is still available to make more armbands if needed. You can contact him by email if you are interested in offering support.
  • James, Fanya, and Matt expressed an interest in taking over the Gmail account. Fanya said they could take over Twitter. Good to have multiple people doing tasks.
  • ACTION: Winter will put out a call on the listserv for additional people to check the Gmail and Twitter accounts.
  • ACTION: Fanya will create a labeling system for the Gmail account.

 

COMMUNITY AGREEMENT UPDATE

  • Leah: It’s difficult to discuss accountability without having a community agreement in place
  • Ayen: mentioned ideas of rewriting the CA to make it more accessible and posting it in all occupied spaces; still awaiting GA approval; putting it up on its own URL
  • Alexander: The CA needs to be adopted by the members of Safer Spaces and encourage others to, not just the working groups we reached out to, but individuals we encounter.
  • A’yen: Proposal to rewrite the CA to make it more accessible (simplify language) – approved!
  • ACTION: A’yen, Matt, James, Alexander, and Leah will work on rewriting it. Alexander will take a first pass at it.
  • Matt: Let’s just write the CA and make it be a proposal. Caucuses and working groups have had ample opportunity to offer feedback.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

  • An accountability meeting resulted in the idea of having Safer Spaces create a process for dealing with harm in the churches.
  • In the event of physical violence, Safer Spaces would approach the perpetuator about going through a heavily-facilitated circle process (also if the survivor chose to participate). If perpetuator declines, they would be asked to leave the movement.
  • Leah POI: Rusa(sp?) from Mediation expressed an interest in being involved in the circle process for physical violence cases
  • Q: What was the process in the park? Why is that not being implemented in the churches? A: There was the 6-step process and doing what the survivior wanted. In most scenarios, the perpetuators were kicked out of the park and monitored through various methods. It’s not being implemented in the churches because the people that were involved in Community Watch in the park are not the same people in the churches. Community Alliance doesn’t even exist anymore. The people “in charge” at the churches don’t know the 6-step process.
  • Ayen: Do we want to approach about implementing the 6-step process? [up twinkles]
  • Ayen read Maryse’s letter that was sent to the people in charge at SPSA church. Two proposals from the letter: 1) Do we, Safer Spaces, want to endorse the letter? [yes] 2) Do we want to join Support in stepping back if no change is made regarding the QPP and the institution of an accountability process? [No. We don’t want to step back, but we don’t like the system that is in place.]
  • Ideas: Do we just respond when called? Backing up occupiers and having 9/10 approval about person working the door at the churches.
  • Consensus on not stepping back, but taking the time to think about what our role is.
  • Leah: Are people cool with going forward with the circle accountability process? [up twinkles]

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Nikki will be sending an email out about Quorum Forum proposal
  • A’yen’s birthday was last Saturday and Fanya’s is this upcoming Friday
  • In lieu of this Wednesday’s Spokecouncil meeting, there will be an anti-oppression training (Unity Hall, 235 West 23rd Street, Manhattan, 7-10pm)
  • ACTION: Spokes are needed for Monday & Friday’s meetings; Matt can if he’s not facilitating. Alexander may be able to if Matt is doing facilitation. James possibly available for Friday, but not confirmed. Is there anyone that can commit to be the spoke at Friday’s meeting?

 

ACTION SUMMARY

  • ACTION: Winter will put out a call on the listserv for additional people to check the Gmail and Twitter accounts.
  • ACTION: Fanya will create a labeling system for the Gmail account.
  • ACTION: A’yen, Matt, James, Alexander, and Leah will work on rewriting it. Alexander will take a first pass at it.
  • ACTION: Spokes are needed for Monday & Friday’s meetings; Matt can if he’s not facilitating. Alexander may be able to if Matt is doing facilitation. James possibly available for Friday, but not confirmed. Is there anyone that can commit to be the spoke at Friday’s meeting?

 

 

Tabled for next meeting:

Visions and Goals document (edits for isms section)

New Spaces

Using Safer Spaces money for food at housing locations

Support Training Update (Do we want to continue weekly support trainings?)

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