Encompass works on racial justice in the animal protection movement. I joined the Board of Directors in 2020 and participated in several activities, including writing an essay that was published in a book. You can check out the book to get an idea of our mission and values.
This spring, we were faced with a few existential questions that nonprofits face: who is going to lead our work? Can we get funding for our primary work? What is our primary work that fits with our mission?
I didn’t have clear answers to any of these questions. I thought we could try to figure out the answers and attempt to carry forward. The worst potential outcomes I foresaw was that we squander funds and interest in our mission and have internal conflict on how to proceed. I thought that Encompass’ work to facilitate racial justice in the animal protection movement was still important and needed, and trying to figure out how this organization could continue – and maintain the great momentum we had built – was wise.
But my argument and viewpoint did not prevail, the majority of the Board voted to dissolve and disband. At the moment of the vote to intend to disband, I could have stepped away. I felt disappointed and confused. I chose to stay on the Board of Directors for the remaining months to facilitate disbanding in the best way possible, and contribute to keeping the momentum of our mission. And until now, I didn’t share my views publicly for the sake of ensuring that the disbanding went as well as possible, which was my responsibility as a board member. Now that we’re further along, I want folks to know that I did not agree with that decision. Indeed, if somebody wants to take the work of Encompass and form a new organization doing similar work, I enthusiastically support that.
All things considered I was happy with the process and I felt that the board worked together constructively and listened to everything I had to say. I trust that the rest of the board acted in good faith and with integrity. I didn’t – and don’t – have a critique of the decision-making process, so that has reduced my negative feelings associated with the outcome.
I think the mission of Encompass is important, and I hope to contribute to it in other realms of my participation in social change. I encourage you to do the same, to donate to organizations, volunteer, participate in your organization’s racial justice work, participate in racial justice movements in other ways of your life, to learn more and be open to growth. I am happy to talk to you about continuing this work.