Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ADF, Non-Officer Director Q&A

I was greatly honored and surprised to be nominated to sit on the ADF Mother Grove as a Non-Officer Director in 2018, but I did accept the nomination.

There are a series of questions that have been posted by the membership which I am currently trying to answer in time before the Voting phase begins. I will post my answers in this space as I am able.

Election Q&A

@@ In progress @@

Before we get started, let me just say that as an elected Non-Officer Director, my first task will be to clearly define what this position is exactly, what duties does it entail, and what are the expectations of the role. The website is not very clear on any of those details.

1. What sort of Vision do you bring to the table for the future of ADF?
Are there any *specific* problems or goals that you want to tackle? How do you hope to address those problems/goals?

I think we need to continue to apply a critical eye to our core beliefs and methods by which we operate. As the world continues to evolve, we need to evolve with it and ensure that ADF continues to meet the needs of its members while maintaining its core values and vision. It is a tricky balancing act and requires constant vigilance.

2. If you win the position you are running for, what will be the biggest obstacle you will have to overcome? How do you plan to do so?

3/4. Volunteer recruitment and burnout are big problems. Do you have any plans to address either of those issues?

Having a clear vision and being consistent in our messaging and practices will encourage more volunteer involvement. People want to support a system that has clear and defined boundaries and expectations so that everyone can contribute efficiently. Burnout occurs when people take on too much responsibility and are not supported properly. Working within our means will result in more successful projects upon which we can build.

5. What special skills would you bring to the position?

I have been an active member of my local Pagan community since 2000, taking on more leadership roles in the past 10 years. I have helped organize several Pagan conferences with the Canadian National Pagan Conference: Gaia Gathering and I have held a Board position for several years. These projects have taught me how to work well with people, but also how to keep projects in line with its vision and limitations. I am hoping these experiences have brought me some insight that I can share with the MG.

6. How will you contribute to building a culture of consent in ADF?

By taking a strong stance against all forms of bigotry, misogyny, and intolerance, while supporting inclusivity, informed consent, and celebrating what is beautiful. Sharing information is important, but elevating the ideals of taking the higher road in ensure the well-being and safety of all will catalyse this kind of change. Culture is a living, breathing being and it is our responsibility to cultivate it in a way that keeps us all safe and cared for.

7. Were it up to you, where would you take this organization 5 years from now, and how would you get us there?

As a NOD, I would not have that kind of influence. However, I would love to see ADF Canada to flourish to a point with a Canadian Arch Druid could be possible.

8. What other roles have you held within the organization, and what have you done while in them?

This would be my first official position with MG, although I am the Grove Bard for Thornhaven Grove.

9. How will you encourage ways of making ADF accessable to children (with parental consent, of course)?

In my experience, children tend to want to experience Pagan spirituality within the safe spaces of family and close friends. That being said, I would like to see a 16-21 clerical class geared towards the concerns of teens and children (8 yr+).

10. How do you view environmental issues within the context of ADF? What, if any, goals do you have to change the current actions or lack of actions currently present within ADF?

11. How do you view the role of solitary members within ADF and how do you anticipate that role will change over the course of your proposed term?

12. How would you work to make ADF as respected and legitimate as any other church in the USA, and the world.

ADF as an organization needs to reach beyond its own borders and get involved in the non - Druid world, but with an ADF Druid perspective. Not to recruit or to build a brand, but just to be actively involved in community/state/world affairs. We have spent too much time looking inwards and "supporting our own first".

13. Why doesn’t ADF have a family membership plan? 

If families are supporting ADF, then we should recognize that in terms of membership fees and resource distribution.

14. Lately, ADF has been rocked by several 'scandals' for lack of a better word, and frankly, the MG has floundered. If elected, how would you go about navigating the issues facing the organization around bringing more transparency to processes while still responding to crisis in a timely manner?

As a NOD, I don't have this kind of influence. That being said, I believe the recent crisis was handled in a timely manner, especially considering the process that was in place to ensure that everyone was consulted before taking action. People have non ADF jobs, responsibilities, time zones, and time constraints that significantly impact reaction times. 

Also keep in mind that each crisis is relatively unique and if there are no processes in place, reaction time will always be slow and clumsy. We can strive to be better (why not excellence indeed?), but let us not wish for a myriad of tragedies and scandals so that we can practice. MG is doing the best it can with the constraints it has, so let's balance a desire for excellence with a recognition of the complexities involved.

15. In real actions, how would you, if elected, improve on the great job the MG has been doing?

Everyone needs to learn how to do an Arch-Druid impersonation. ;) Bardic magic!

16. I would like to hear the candidates thoughts on strategic planning for ADF. Where do you see us in 10 years? 20 years? How are we going to get there? What are your goals on the MG?

See #12.

17. How would you ensure fair treatment of members regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexuality, or immigration status?

Have representation from each group to speak their needs to MG 4 times a year.

18. How would you look to heal divisions in the organization, bring the organization to a sense of more inclusive wholeness and create a positive vision for all members regardless of wether they are clergy, dedicants, solitaries, old-timers, newcomers, etc. Do you feel that all members are equal?

While I believe all members are equal in terms of their rights and expectations of respect, the investment of time, effort, and office should accord some members more weight. As always, respect must be earned, but having a way to recognize leaders in ADF based on their contributions to the organization cannot be a bad thing. 

19. How do you take feedback and criticism from peers and those you serve?

Excellently. Ask anyone who agrees with me. ;)

20. How do you react to people who disagree with you?

21. In response to the recent allegations against Isaac Bonewits, the ADF Mother Grove unanimously voted to provide (and fund) training for our Mother Grove, Regional Druids, and Clergy in the Consent Culture Course from Cherry Hill Seminary. [...] I would like to see our candidates briefly discuss their responses to this course, specifically regarding how it may inform their leadership decisions.

22. How are you going to improve the communication between MG members?Not with the membership, but between individual members of the Mother Grove.

No comments:

Post a Comment