Meeting Minutes: November 20th, 2019

Section numbers will refer to item numbers in the meeting agenda, which you can find here.
See our shared Google Drive folder for the raw notes

Present: Abram, Ricardo, Mushira, Pearl, Lola, Tamara, Audrey, and Jiesha.

Proxies: Lydia, Nino, Teresa, Hyunsoo, Michael, Frankie, Kavya, and Adriana.

Note taker: Audrey

2. Discussion – What does people of color mean to us? (Ricardo, 20 minutes)

Discussion proceeded by sharing our thoughts, experiences, and familiarity with the concept of POC. We discussed some of our own research on race, the way in which POC is a US concept and what it means to negotiate the concept with experiences and politics outside the US context, POC with regard to indigenous and black peoples, and navigating such discussions while respecting boundaries of our own knowledge and access to experience.

We noted that it was a topic and conversation we’ll continue to have, and discussed how we maintain space for the conversation.

3. Report – Executive Board update (Tamara and Lola, 10 minutes)

Tamara attended last week’s board meeting (11/13) and Lola attended this week’s (11/20). Together they shared an update on conversations happening at the board level. Questions arose regarding the planning of a celebration and the space of equity committee at the board level.

9. Discussion – Executive Council, GTFF and GMM (Ricardo, 20 minutes)

Following discussion of the board item, we elected to change the agenda and move discussion of council to follow the board update, as the topics were closely connected. At issue was how the caucus wanted to be represented at the council, and what items we would want on a General Membership Meeting (GMM) agenda should the council vote to hold a GMM (which it ultimately did not).

Mushira and Pearl are also chairs of the International GE caucus, and they requested that I proxy their caucus’ position on the GMM: they are opposed to holding another Fall GMM on the premise that Week 10 GMMs are difficult to attend for many members, whether they are enrolled in classes or facing large amounts of GE work at that time.

The POC caucus concluded it was against another Fall GMM on the basis that we are still squaring away our goals and believe having more time would allow us to make more concentrated points at an early Winter GMM.

4. Discussion – Caucus charter (Ricardo, 10 minutes)

We took time to review the long charter I wrote. The process of adopting a charter is important for our caucus’ long-term health, and the more time and eyes we have to review and write it the better. We spent some time discussing the mechanics of voting and procedures for how we navigate the possibility of restricting membership in the service of the health of the caucus and its members. We will likely not vote on adopting our charter until next year, and in the meantime everyone’s encouraged to open up the Google document and ask questions or make suggestions.

5. Discussion – Caucus name (Audrey, 15 minutes)

Audrey proposed renaming the caucus to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color Caucus (BIPOCC). The discussion we had was partly an extension of the conversation we began earlier when we discussed what “people of color” meant to us. We discussed the way in which BIPOCC addresses the hyper-visibility of black people and the invisibility of indigenous people with regard to the history of the term “POC.”

We discussed the logic of extending the acronym of “POC” and what it means to be inclusive in our name, as well as the context of our name outside the US and with regard to the experiences of Asian and Pacific Islanders. We discussed the name with regard to the spaces of other caucuses, our own goals, and our existence with regard to GTFF. As this item was a discussion item, we resolved to continue discussing the idea and also reflecting on what other possibilities of names we would feel good about.

6. Discussion – Caucus statement (Ricardo, 10 minutes)

The link is here. We discussed amending the current statement so that we don’t directly quote violent and hateful language, and what values our statement should reflect. Discussion occurred around focusing our statement, including land acknowledgement, including indigenous peoples, addressing whiteness, and perhaps goals for GTFF at large. We also discussed writing separate statements. All members are encouraged to read and directly write in edits (as the document is set to ‘comment’ mode).

7. Discussion – Coordination with International and Asian/Pacific Islander Caucuses (Hyunsoo, 15 minutes)

The original submitter of this item was not present, but we still had a discussion around collaborating with other caucuses. We concluded that while we are open to the idea, we have a significant amount of work to do with regard to clarifying our own structure and goals before we can properly collaborate and coordinate with other groups. We emphasized moving at a slower pace, building a space that can support joy, and working on defining our own caucus.

8. Discussion – AY Goals (Ricardo, 15 minutes)

Link is here. We ran out of time to discuss goals, but members should still open up the document and add any comments they’d like.

Announcements and check-outs
  • Sunrise Eugene is having a walk to the courthouse for (presumably from campus) at 12pm on December 6th, 2019. They will hold a rally there at 1pm. The event is called “Climate Strike for our Future.” The designer of our buttons, Avery Temple, is an organizer for Sunrise Eugene and has supported our caucus before. We should aim to support them in kind.
  • Jiesha mentioned a community POC event coming soon, and this item will be updated as get details.
  • Lola mentioned a teach-in happening on November 26h concerning Latin America, specifically the political situation in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile. The event is put on in part by the Center for Latinx and Latin American Studies (CLLAS). Link here. The event is in Lillis Hall 111.
  • Mushira mentioned there will be an International Caucus meeting on Tuesday. The time has not been set, but it will be between 4 and 6pm.

-ric