ad hoc Growing Diverse Leadership Committee Annual Reports

The text of recently received Annual Reports are below, with the most recently received at the top and older reports below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the year listed below.

2016 Report  

2016 Annual Report

The Growing Diverse Leadership Committee was established at Annual Session 2015. However, appointment of committee members to the Committee did not occur until the following October. The committee met monthly starting in November, through July of this year. The format of the group is five core members who serve the committee directly, and fifteen members who are appointed because of their service on other committees.

In the first year of this three-year program, we are in the planning stage, and beginning the execution stage – information gathering. The second year will focus on execution of programs, and the third year will focus on analyzing the impact of the programs we have done.

We are using a typical strategic planning approach to determine our activities, applying the BYM Vision and the goals and objectives of this program to identify strategies and programs to reach those goals. While the BYM Vision does not change, the phrasing of the goals and objectives have been edited slightly. The part of the Vision that applies to this program is as follows:

Baltimore Yearly Meeting is a worshiping community, gathered in the presence of the Divine, affirming that of God in every person. The Yearly Meeting knits Friends from the Chesapeake to the Appalachians into the larger Religious Society of Friends. As Quakers, we seek to know and follow God’s will for us as a gathered people, to speak the truth that is revealed to us, and to listen to the truth that is revealed to others.

We aspire to listen deeply and inclusively to each other, to actively welcome all, and to attend in joy and faith to the Inward Teacher, whom some call Light, some call Spirit, and some call Christ.

The goal as we are currently writing it is:

To bring innovation and vitality to local Meetings within the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends in ways that will increase and sustain multicultural and intergenerational community in all facets of the spiritual life of Meetings and will serve to strengthen Baltimore Yearly Meeting and the Religious Society of Friends.

The objectives, as we are currently writing them:

  1. Increase and sustain the participation of people of color in the spiritual life of pilot Meetings by X(?) percent by December 2018.
  2. Increase and sustain the participation of young adults in the spiritual life of pilot Meetings by X(?) percent by December 2018.

Our first initiative is to gather information. We requested demographics from Local Meetings on age and ethnicity to establish a baseline, so we can see if our programs make a difference at the end of the three-year program. We are researching efforts of other faith communities to change their demographics to see what has been successful, and doing surveys/focus groups with both Young Adults and People of Color who do and do not attend Local Meetings to learn what could be done differently and what shouldn’t change. We are identifying a liaison at interested Local Meetings that we can communicate with to offer support as they establish a small group within the Meeting and carry out activities to increase younger attenders and attenders of color. Contact David Etheridge if you would like to be the liaison for your Meeting.

In the coming year, we will host programs to increase participation of young adults and people of color in BYM and its Meetings. We envision this to include workshops around communicating across differences, evaluation of traditions and physical space to see if they are welcoming to people from every background, identifying routes to leadership, and efforts to increase attendance at Local Meetings (potentially FGC’s Growing Our Meetings project).