The following is a Call for Letters to go to the Out Youth Board of Directors to let them know how we feel and what we want.
We, the members of the Out Youth Family, are calling out for letters from youth, staff, interns, volunteers, donors, friends, and all other members that identify with this family and this community and believe in this mission to be presented to the Board of Out Youth at the next board meeting on September 12th.
In light of the decision to eliminate the programing director’s position, members of the Out Youth family are feeling hurt and betrayed by the board and upset that the voices of the staff, youth, and community were not brought to the table to make a decision of such magnitude that affects every aspect of the organization. The elimination of this position without notice means that programming and the services offered to the queer/trans youth of Austin will suffer, and the ability to manage interns and volunteers will decrease significantly because there was no time for such tasks to be handed off and delegated. Furthermore, it has been a part of Out Youth’s history and culture to not only be given fair notice of a member’s departure, but also to host a celebration of their achievements, contributions, and overall experience with this organization. Lisa Rogers was not given fair notice of her time at Out Youth coming to an end and the community was not given any chance to say goodbye or wish her well on her next endeavors.
Beyond this decision, members of this community are feeling aggravation over the lack of transparency around the board, a lack of financial responsibility to the organization, and an overall lack of competency. We are calling for:
- complete restructuring of the board that will include youth positions on the board and advisory council
- a restructuring of the current bylaws
- meeting minutes and budget proposals be sent out and made public to all members of the organization
- all board members be current donors to the organization and held accountable for meeting fundraising deadlines
- autonomy of the Executive Director on matters of staffing and staff positions,
- mandatory and regular training for all board members
- the resignation of the board chair Aubrey Wilkerson
We are asking for letters of solidarity and support to deliver to the board concerning these issues. Please feel free to contribute personal stories, your own feelings about the matter , and what you wish to see in the future from the board of Out Youth.
Email letters to: Ginger Yachinich at firstname.lastname@example.org
Physical copies to Ginger or Tameika Hannah or Morgan Collado.
We are also asking that folks post videos of themselves reading their letters to the Out Youth Family or the Out Youth facebook wall.