Here are the notes from our CAIROC meeting on Monday. They are sort of
lengthy, but I removed personally identifiable information (eg. who
said what), for the sake of preserving a sense of safety. I welcome
any feedback. (If you want to skip over the minutes, and go directly
to action items, there is a To Do list at the end, naming what tasks
people agreed to take on!)
The next meeting is Monday,November 15th at 7pm, Room 218 in CIIS.
Nov. 8, 2010
Who was there: Danni, Emiko, Evan, Heath, Jacks, Liz, Sarah, Sascha, Tara
At the meeting tonight, we set an agenda to discuss feedback/concerns
over the last two events (the Bob Whitaker talk and Crooked Beauty
screening), and then to look toward the future, discussing our vision
and the upcoming events (the Ethan Watters talk, the Hearing Voices
event, and the anti-oppression training).
Some of the concerns people raised were in regard to: money,
vision/what we want to do with Icarus, building capacities, and how we
Money: We have raised about $1,000 from the past two events. What are
we using the money for? Are we going to give money to National Icarus,
like we had discussed a few months ago? We still need to address these
questions, as well as appoint a treasurer.
Another concern regards who is taking up space, leading to some
interpersonal conflict between individuals. The folks in question will
have discussion to work through the emergent issues.
In terms of growth, do we want lessons in rowing before we get more
people on the ship, in a metaphorical sense? We talked about training
in facilitation, training in trauma, and building our own capacities
before we expand outward. But, other people wonder why is building our
core capacity mutually exclusive from building our base? The more
people who know how to facilitate, etc, then the more people there
will be to take on these commitments.
Funding for National Icarus – then became us taking on more
responsibilities as a group and becoming CAIROC – have we bit off more
than we can chew? Are there different models for people who can help
us? Other groups?
We talked about Icarus and its values which we want to promote, but
are wondering whether it is sufficiently available for people in the
world – is it our responsibility for get our message out there so
people can find us?
Also, we talked about needing more clearly defined roles.
Another thing that came up is the idea of institutional memory and
tracing back the history of Icarus. For example, when we started
CAIROC, we talked about it as an experiment, and that we might, in a
few months, realize that we’ve taken on more than we can handle. So,
this is where we are right now we are at a healthy part of our growth
Organizational memory: there was a point where there were funding
streams for Icarus and those have dried up and there’s a couple people
holding people together here and there. It doesn’t seem very useful to
recreate that structure.
Other concerns that came up: Some people are not sure what the
organization is doing, in terms of what the vision is. It would be
useful for us to talk about Icarus national’s mission and vision
statement. Sometimes it feels like Icarus is all over the place. He’s
realizing that there is so much! Everyone has different interests,
maybe there will be an overall vision but will be different
committees. We have slightly ideological different positions,
especially politically. It can be hard to be part of this group
sometimes, that it feels like there are longterm friendships here, not
sure how to fit in as a new person. There seems to be a firestorm of
ideas – and it’s cool but it’s so quick and not sure how to get in
there, as a new person. Appreciates the energy but isn’t sure how to
fit into it sometimes. The history that people have here means that we
have been doing this for a long time and it builds this way that we
interact with each other – it takes time.
Concern: where is the organizing in the organizing meeting? Feels like
this meeting was misrepresented as an organizing meeting when we
mostly focused on support. Had a ton of ideas and didn’t get to
address them at all in this meeting. Wants to talk about ways to
spread our message and allow everyone access to read our guides and
our readers. Feels like we’re keeping a secret for a select few. A
response to this: We try to have mental health support in the core of
all our meetings, so agendas might change as the mood changes. We are
getting a sense of what people have problems with. We are interested
in building support into the organizing that is going on. People who
have been involved with Icarus for a long time have seen the necessity
in building our capacities before we try to move outward and involve
more people. Icarus has gotten a lot of publicity in the past: We’ve
been in the NY Times, been all over the place. And it is really
important to build capacity for all of the new people who come in. We
have a chronic problem in Icarus where people think it’s so cool and
want to volunteer but we don’t have a volunteer coordinator. We want
to have a procedure for who’s on our speakers bureau, etc.. for when
we reach out to social services agencies in the Bay Area, and are
ready to expand outward.
Looking Toward the future:
A proposal to address these concerns in more depth: We want to have a
retreat day where we craft a vision statement and roles for folks.
When/where/how? Do we know anyone who can help lead the retreat?
Someone outside of our group who can help facilitate it? Kiran does
this constantly, did it with Icarus national. What about Ruckus
At the beginning of Bay Area Icarus, we had no connection with
national organizing structure and now that we are talking about it,
some people feel alienated from it. What/who are National Icarus? How
do we feel about them now?
National wants to have a regional powwow once a season, so people from
a region can get together and meet each other.
Anti-oppression workshop is on Dec. 11th
A vision of hope: All of these conversations about organization have
been talked about so much in the past. The hardest thing about Icarus
national organizing is that people were all over the place. But we’re
all in the same place! We can actually work through things together.
NEXT MEETING WILL BE: next Monday, Nov 15th. We will talk about money,
who will be treasurer, other logistics for Ethan Watters event, and
more details about the retreat .
Heath made flyers for his Ron Coleman Hearing Voices event on Weds,
Dec. 17th. He usually does all-day trainings but this is from 4 to
7pm. Icarus can have a table there. Jacks and Sascha can go to it.
Jacks will talk to Kiran about facilitating our retreat.
Liz will look into other organizations that can facilitate our retreat.
We will set agendas for the meetings via email before the meetings!
That way, people can come in with printed agendas ready to go!
Danni will call Angel and request all of the distro stuff sent to us!
Hopefully in time for the Hearing Voices event on Nov 17th.
Emiko and Danni will apply for funding from CIIS for Ethan Watters.