In the wake of recent drama, a petition is circulating that calls for the restructuring of the Society’s leadership. It is organized by Iselda de Narbonne, who recently advocated for transparency in the Wistric case, and whose partner Aeron Harper wrote the A Tale of Six Sanctions report.
The petition is light on specifics about the changes being called for, and I’m not convinced that the “call in a consultant” approach is guaranteed to solve things — but I can sympathize with the central thrust of the initiative: something fundamental about the Society’s system of leadership and governance is out of alignment, and significant change is required to address it.
The petition was originally announced on Facebook, but I’ve gathered the relevant links for the convenience of folks who avoid that platform.
The text of the petition is attached below, and is included on the signature forms. There is also a Petition FAQ that explains the context, answers a few questions, and describes the two ways to submit signatures.
Over the coming months, the petition organizers will collate the signatures, deliver them to the Board, and publicize the results.
Signing the petition requires jumping through a couple of hoops in order to comply with the Society Seneschal’s recent policy interpretation regarding online petitions.
Online: Print, Sign and Upload
Offline: Print, Sign and Postal Mail
You can sign a paper copy of the petition and send it to the organizers via postal mail at P.O. Box 212, 10125 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20901.
Petition to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) Board of Directors
Subject: Statement of no confidence, and petition to the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism Inc. to restructure the organization.
We, the undersigned donors and stakeholders of the Society for Creative Anachronism Inc. (SCA) find that the SCA’s Board of Directors, President, and certain other officers have failed in their duty of care toward the organization.
We have seen a string of unsupportable decisions made by the board and by society officers with little or no transparency, little or no justification through their governing documents or tax-exempt purpose, and in some cases in direct violation of the governing documents. Many of these decisions seem to favor certain classes of members over the safety and wellbeing of others, based on rank or chosen activity. They have led to inconsistent and unequal application of internal procedures, and a lack of transparency in decision-making. That inconsistency can and has led to mistreatment of our volunteers, without whom we could not maintain the organization. The Board of Directors and society officers, on the whole, seem either unable or unwilling to apply the organization’s rules and governing documents consistently, in accordance with state and federal law.
We call on the Board of Directors to restructure the organization in order to ensure good management of funds and volunteers, to ensure the longevity of the organization and to ensure that our tax-exempt purpose is being carried out in accordance with federal and California law.
We expect this will involve a change in the size and composition of both the Board of Directors and the corporate staff, and we note that the organization has the funds to accomplish this. We call on the Board of Directors to hire a full time corporate president. This individual should have a professional background in nonprofits and organizational leadership that is not restricted to the SCA.
Although there are a number of specific changes that we believe would be prudent, we stop short of offering any other specific suggestions. Rather, we call on the Board of Directors to enlist outside expertise, either in the form of a consultant, a president with experience running other educational nonprofits, or a combination of the two to advise the board on how best to restructure the corporate side of the organization. We call on the Board of Directors to listen to and implement that guidance. We also call on the Board of Directors to make that guidance publicly available so that we, the organization’s donors and other stakeholders, can expediently audit the process at our convenience.