Fwd: [Us-general] MES BoD Statement on Diversity, Tolerance and Current Events

Hey folks,
Below are some words from our BOD on our social stances as a club. Good stuff!
Thank you,

Bryan Himebaugh
US2005043660
DC – DMH AZ D010

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Jen Kuiper <mergryphon@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 9:37 PM
Subject: [Us-general] MES BoD Statement on Diversity, Tolerance and Current Events
To: <us-announce@lists.mindseyesociety.org>, US General <us-general@lists.mindseyesociety.org>

Good Evening,

The MES Board of Directors wanted to reach out and reaffirm our commitments
to our membership.  This is a trying time – a time of social upheaval,
chaos and uncertainty. A time when we must acknowledge that some, if not
many, of our members are scared, angry, anxious or hurting; especially
those members who are part of marginalized and vulnerable populations.
While our organization was created to support role-playing games, we are
also a social organization with a vested interest in supporting our members
and our communities, be they global or local.

*Black Lives Matter*. Our country was created on the backs of slaves, and
inequality and systemic racism have been present in our society from its
beginnings. Those of us with privilege must understand how we have arrived
at this point. But, we can do more. We can listen. We can learn. Silence is
acceptance; now is the time to speak and act. We are not perfect. But we
can stand against and condemn injustice. We can hear Black voices speaking
Truth. We can stand as allies. We can protest. We can be supportive. We can
work harder to fulfill our mission and vision of being a safe place. We can
*be* the change we want to see in our communities.

We, as an organization, stand firmly by our mission statement of striving
to create a welcoming and inclusive social environment, and our vision
statement that embraces diversity: “Our members come from all walks of
life, brought together by our love of interactive role play. Our diversity
gives us strength, helps us grow as people.”

Our Vision statement further calls us to be responsible, to use our voices
constructively when we see something with which we do not agree, or believe
does not align with those values. It calls us to listen to each other and
constantly strive to do what is best for the good of all. It calls us to be
generous citizens, both within the MES and society at large. We donate
time, money and manpower to charities. Not because we have to, but because
it gives us a sense of community and pride in our organization. It calls us
to be cooperative, to be constantly vigilant to ensure the comfort, health
and safety of all of our members, especially the vulnerable and/or
marginalized. This is more important than the stories we seek to tell.

This dedication to diversity, tolerance, inclusion and respect for everyone
must include those most vulnerable. To that end we encourage our members,
as always but especially in uncertain times, to be involved in charities
and organizations that promote our mission and values, that support
vulnerable communities.

Our organization has always encouraged understanding history, and its broad
tapestry — both it’s good and it's bad — to weave our stories into, and
learn from. Take this time to be open to learn, and better understand, the
history and structure of systemic racism and discrimination in all its
forms. (bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES) Understanding will lead to creating an
even more tolerant environment in our games for all members as they touch
on or cover historical events and themes; why it is important to address,
or be inclusive of these themes, in ways that will not discomfort or offend
the vulnerable.

Our vision calls for us to be strong supporters of philanthropy and
community service, and our members have contributed hundreds of thousands
of dollars, thousands of pints of blood and countless hours volunteering to
any number of causes from cleaning up parks to handing out meals at
homeless shelters. These uncertain times expand our opportunities to
continue these goals, and lend extra support — if we are able — to those
most in need.

Our Code of Conduct prohibits harassment or discrimination based on race,
gender, gender expression, religion, age, national origin, sexual
orientation, color, disability status, veteran status, or any mental or
physical limitations. We, as the board, and in speaking for our National
Officers, will not accept violations of these policies. Anyone subject to,
witnessing, or becoming aware of such harassing or discriminatory behavior
is encouraged, as always, to report it to MES officers, or the Board of
Directors.

We wish for you all to stay safe, but to support those values, at large as
well as around you and each other. We encourage our members to be involved
in their communities. Look for places for your domain to support the
vulnerable in your area — peacefully protest as a group (while maintaining
safe social distancing), volunteer time or resources to local social
movement organizations and charities, food banks or kitchens that
specifically help minority populations — or globally by donating time or
resources to larger charities (either individually or as a Domain or Region)
supporting the most vulnerable. To this end, the National Coordinator will
be adding these charitable and supportive endeavors to the upcoming
National Charity Drive.

Most of all, support your local members. Check in with them often. We
should be able, and unafraid, to turn to each other in this time of need.
We are all in this together.

Jen Kuiper

on behalf of the Board of Directors, with contributions from, and approval
of, the newly elected Directors whose terms will officially begin on July
1st. (Michael Dyer, Holly Houtikier, Nikki Fox, Abby Estes, Jen Kuiper,
Jennifer Rastegar, Robert Recckia, Nycci Daniels, Victoria Boyd.)

———

How can you as individuals, and/or your Domains and Regions help?
<https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_HWUW8FoY5ySw7JqcNzzhccWC-1oRBs3IZLAhCFuaXc/edit?usp=sharing>
*__________________*
*Jen Kuiper*
US2002021118
MES Director, Trustee
mergryphon@gmail.com
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