Post the Thirteenth or The Call for Letters

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 lovegingi@gmail.com
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.

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About witchymorgan

I'm a 22 year old womanist, sex positive, pansexual, polyamorous, queer, bruja, transwoman. Social justice activist by day, social justice activist by night. Fun! View all posts by witchymorgan

4 responses to “Post the Thirteenth or The Call for Letters

  • Donna

    WitchyMorgan —
    I’m writing just so you know that I am here and I read your demands. You are truly calling for a revolution and I am so applauding you for standing up for all of the convictions that you have. It takes great valor to do what you are doing. Again, I will tell you that I do not know the details to any of the organization or its good parts or bad parts… I met Lisa once and certainly don’t know her in the context of OY. Having said that, I do wish you luck in this quest and I truly hope you have allies here. A revolution of one is difficult… but they all start with one and, if the cause is just, sooner or later, you will have others with you…
    Good luck
    Donna

  • Megan Seaholm

    As a small-time but long-term donor to Out Youth, I will certainly send a letter to Ginger Yachinich to express my support for the concerns that witchymorgan expressed about the board.

    I have been concerned for a couple of years that the OY Board, however fine their intentions and however pure their motives, needed some basic instruction in how to be a Board/Board member. I have served on a Board or two, and I have worked for a Board. From both perspectives, I know that operations and personnel management is NOT what a Board is supposed to do. Furthermore, nothing–short of criminal behavior–excuses the treatment Lisa Rogers received when she was recently relieved of her position at OY.

    And then, can it be true that the Board was either willfully deaf or simply indifferent to the views, concerns, and opinions of the OY Staff and the OY community? Good grief!

    I want to continue to support OY because I want to continue to support its programs and the OY family. I do not want to continue to support this Board of Directors.

    In solidarity,
    Megan Seaholm
    Department of HIstory
    University of Texas at Austin

    • witchymorgan

      Thank you so much for standing in solidarity with us. The Board has been long remiss in its duty to the Out Youth Family. Moreover, their inability to listen to the community and their willful denial that they don’t listen is as harmful as it ridiculous. Its really frustrating. Please come to the board meeting if you can on monday at 6:30 at Care Communities, 4315 Guadalupe St.

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