Letter to the Membership

from the SGC International Board of Directors

by | Sep 10, 2020 | SGCItoday | 0 comments

Dear Members,

We are announcing new initiatives in response to a recent call for organizational change generated by the membership and from an introspective review by the board. We acknowledge these claims and reassert our dedication and commitment to creating a non-profit that is equitable, accessible, and relevant to our printmaking community. 

Recent weeks have brought an intense period of organizational reassessment. We have taken the time to square our organization as it exists against those ideals that were laid out before us. We are seeking new members to fill open positions within our board who are committed to doing the work required to create real change along with us. We are dedicated to listening to and standing by this community, our members, and our employees.

The executive board is composed of volunteers drawn from the membership. Consequently, the board fundamentally reflects representative and shared governance. We welcome all efforts to constructively reform the organization, and are working to expand leadership opportunities at SGCI. We are a community that shares values regarding civil discourse, collaboration, and collegiality. As we continue to reform our organization we must dedicate ourselves to working together in a restorative manner and avoid strategies that rely on divisiveness.    

It has come to our attention that there are some misunderstandings of the concrete work performed by the board and staff over the past several years. It would be an institutional loss to disregard this work without understanding it fully, as much of the work completed by former board members can address many of the questions asked about SGCI over the past few weeks. We want to direct those with questions about past work to the SGCI Executive Board Reports. These reports contain information about the financial transparency of our organization, the work of the previous boards, and the Program Coordinator, who executes their duties at the direction of the Board in an administrative capacity and supporting role. As we continue the work of enhancing the organization in ways that align with our members’ needs, we must also consider the operational requirements of this dynamic and multifaceted nonprofit organization that we’ve built. In the coming weeks and months, we will be rolling out a number of new reform-based initiatives that prioritize the members’ concerns while bolstering the good work that has been done by past leaders and boards. Initiatives will include: 

  • Prioritizing DEI consultation.           
  • Forming a Finance Subcommittee: We seek 2 members to sit on the subcommittee. This work will consist primarily of research to report back to the committee in order to create formal recommendations to the board and further financial transparency to the membership.
  • Forming a By-Laws Subcommittee: We seek 2 active members to sit on the subcommittee who have never served on SGCI’s board. This work will consist of reviewing and updating the bylaws and constitution, making recommendations to the board, and ensuring legality and clarity in our structure. 
  • Revisiting our current ethics policies to form a more cohesive Code of Conduct for the membership, executive board, and employees. We will share this Code of Conduct and invite members to comment on the policy before enacting it.

In addition to our regular board activities, we are also continuing to work on:

  • Finalizing the venue conference contract for Madison 2022.
  • Providing a healthy workspace for our staff.

To inform you of our ongoing commitment to update our best practices as a non-profit organization, we will be using our Facebook and Instagram pages to post an info series which will help clarify many of the questions surrounding how SGCI operates, what funds it has, how voting takes place, and more. The info series will be archived on our website, at Organizational FAQ, and we hope by using different channels, this series will get out to more members and provide answers for many frequently asked questions. Please continue to share your questions, comments, or concerns to The Listening Channel, our newly established source for reaching out to the executive board with your concerns. You can also report anonymously by visiting the link https://sgcinternation.wpengine.com/about/contact/

Finally, we also must acknowledge that our announcement is overdue. Although we have had a change in President and shift in board positions, we did not act fast enough to anticipate the responses from our membership during this time of crisis. We have proceeded with caution after seeking both legal and HR counsel and this has also caused us some delay. We extend our gratitude to the past leadership of SGCI and hope to continue in the tradition of the positive changes they created. As we have transitioned into our roles on the board, we have met new challenges and centered the importance of crucial social movements in our organization. We hope you will continue to join us as the next chapter of SGCI takes form, and our commitment to advancement transforms our future. 

Sincerely,

SGC International Executive Board

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