Dear Mass NOW family,
I want to thank everyone who came to our Town Hall discussions to help us work through our affiliation with National NOW and decisions around how we move forward: dissolve, disaffiliate or dig in. Members can view the presentation in the Member portal here.
After conversations with many TQBIPOC members and coalition partners, the Mass NOW Board has decided not to dissolve, but to dig in. We know this is not the easy path. We believe we can leverage Mass NOW’s platform and NOW’s network to mobilize around an anti-racist, intersectional feminist agenda – but first, we need to be intentional about our process.
We’re thankful to the resigning Mass NOW board members who attended and shared their concerns not just about National NOW, but the ways that Mass NOW’s structure and my own leadership have perpetuated white supremacy culture. We know the struggles we face as a small, grassroots organization are not unique and are committed to creating structures of public accountability and a racial justice action plan within our membership and board recruitment.
To help us create this process and action plan, I’m thrilled to welcome back Bria Gambrell as our Senior Feminist Organizer. Bria joined Mass NOW in 2019 as our social media intern, while completing her Masters in Public Policy and Masters of Art in Gender/Cultural Studies from Simmons University. We were lucky to have her return in 2020 as our Communications Manager before the pandemic, and now she’ll be rejoining the Mass NOW team to help with our ongoing racial justice strategic planning. Previously, she worked to advance racial equity in legal aid practices across the state as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. Together Bria and I are hoping to meet as many of you as we can! In the meantime, here is our action plan:
- Move our annual state conference to March 2021, upon which our members will elect new board members. We expect to have 3-5 open seats and aim to have at least 50% WOC board.
- Revisit grievance policy & create mechanisms for upward feedback and evaluation of staff, consultants, board & members.
- Create structural changes to address conflicts with a paid president/volunteer board relationship including clear deliverables.
- Survey Mass NOW members on demographic composition and feminist priorities.
- Fundraise to support additional organizer capacity.
While Mass NOW is virtual, please check out one of the following feminist conversations:
- Day in the Life of a Menstrual Activist Series with Bria Gadsen of Love Your Menses & Leimary Llopez from YW Southeastern Massachusetts
- The Fight for Women’s Suffrage: Looking Back Marching Forward by Suffrage100MA – featuring me!
- Election Day GOTV Pop Up conversation on SPARK FM with DJ Why Sham and Jacob Urena
This Sunday 6-8PM, tune into Trans Resistance’s facebook page to watch Trans Day of Remembrance, co sponsored by Mass NOW. Stay tuned for more action alerts around our menstrual equity agenda & more!