Global BIPOC Advisory Board

Sunday, October 11 2020
8:30 PM (GMT+3)
Meeting Length:
90 mins

Meeting 2 Minutes

MeFi Staff:
Travelingthyme, cortex, LobsterMitten, restless_nomad, Eyebrows McGee
Board Members:
aielen, brainwane, corb, hurdy gurdy girl, lucidium
  1. Roll Call/Introductions

    Roll Call and Introductions for new members. A note for all members: Please take care to specify when your identity should be omitted from public notes in the interest of privacy.
  2. Approval of Previous Minutes

    Approval of Meeting #1 minutes. Discussion of any suggested revisions to be made.

    1 abstention
    4 approvals
    Minutes are approved.

  3. Publishing of Minutes Proposal

    Thyme's proposal to continually publish minutes within 24 hours and allow for revisions at the start of each meeting.
    • Member proposes a 24 hour deadline for the board to review and approve minutes prior to publishing.
      • Member seconds.
      • Approved unanimously
    • Member Suggestion: Note when motions have been moved/seconded/carried without names, and if someone specifically wants recognition, they can specify. Approved - not unanimously (abstention)
  4. Meeting Channel Privacy Policy

    Policy for meeting channels and transcript access. Will those who were not present for previous meetings have access to the board's discussions or will each meeting channel remain private and accessible only to those who were present?
    • Member moves to keep meeting channels private and only accessible to those who were present, second. Policy is to have minutes accessible, and meeting channels locked.
    • Thyme will adopt this policy by locking Meeting 1 channel, and locking channel for meeting 2 after the meeting. Approved - not unanimously (abstention)
    • Suggestion to resolve the question of how to manage members who leave the board permanently.
    • A suggestion is made to allow a member who has left the board to receive an export of their own comments, and access to channels will be revoked. Second.
    • Move and second to defer the issue of inactive members to a later meeting.
    • Noted to discuss board member terms and rotation at a future meeting.
  5. Ground Rules

    Policy for meeting channels and transcript access. Will those who were not present for previous meetings have access to the board's discussions or will each meeting channel remain private and accessible only to those who were present?
    1. Community agreements
      Meeting agreement suggestions. Possible discussion about the meaning of community.
    2. Moderator participation
      Discussing the role of staff at board meetings.
      • Member feels that mods should be present at meetings. If there is a needed moment of private conversation with board members-only, there can be a private channel to withdraw to for some time, and reconvene back to the general meeting channel.
      • Member suggests that mods agree not to share access or links to the space and make good faith effort to listen
      • Mods should not dominate the conversation
      • Aielen would prefer that non-BIPOC mods not be present. Suggested that the space remain BIPOC-only and if a discussion with non-BIPOC mods is needed, that can be kept to a separate channel.
      • Recommendation made to discuss item 6 to make a better informed decision.
  6. Role of the advisory board

    Determining the function of the board and its priorities.
    Roles of the board could range from setting big-picture priorities for the site, advice on microaggressions policy, setting and monitoring progress measures, determining development priorities such as flag button redesign, and more.
    • Member suggests that it is best to focus on policy and development priorities advice (on mod policy and onsite programming) as well as feedback on things that have happened on the site that could be improved; Secondary focus could be monitoring progress measures as an accountability check.
    • Suggestion for the board to take a proactive role in making the space inviting and safe, while also reactive by giving mods advice on how to handle emerging or existing situations. Both will be necessary.
    • A question is raised about whether the board envisions that policies must be cleared through the advisory board or where the board can offer feedback but still be overridden? Member sees value in both.
    • Member asks to hear from cortex on this issue
      • Cortex aims to empower the board to drive site goals. If there is an issue of business and resource roadblocks, working together with the board to find a workable solution is the goal.
    • Additional questions raised about the inclusion of the advisory board in publicly appealing for more resources and other related business solutions for example, donation drives.
      • Cortex is willing to include resource appeals in the fundraising process and having a discussion with board about needs e.g. MetaTalk.
    • Members express the need for transparency around budget and staff resources.
    • Member suggests that staff draft an official statement of commitment to board decisions with the goal of answering some questions related to the role of the board, what they could expect to be taken from their work on the board. It is preferred to focus on principles rather than the financial aspect where things are a matter of practicality.
    • It is noted that some projected budget and estimates for resources would be of value.
    • LobsterMitten asks if there are any topics from Item 12 (or other site things) that stand out and would be good points of discussion for the next meeting?
      • Member would like to hear about how recruitment takes place, if there is advertising, knowledge about where MeFi gets members and if there has been a survey?
      • Brainwane would like to better understand the actual trends of site membership, posting/commenting frequency, what is currently known about demographic data so the board can be well-informed when discussing goals.
        • LobsterMitten: these are all things MeFi needs to do and she is taking note.
      • Aielen shares that they would like to see a summary of what admin/mods are currently doing and planning for policies on BIPOC user engagement, moderation, and resolution of past MeTa issues that have been brought up so that the group has the same understanding of what's in progress, planned and aware of current mod intentions.
  7. Decision-Making Process

    Determining the most effective and consistent way to make decisions as a group. Example: After a discussion, a proposal is made and members vote with a thumbs up, or down. Also important to consider whether voting results remain anonymous or OK to publish?
  8. Renaming Board

  9. Feedback and Communication

    Exploring communication avenues to encourage BIPOC engagement with the board. Discussion of feedback systems that allow more members to access, consider and share feedback on future projects and priorities. Examples: polls and surveys.
  10. Budget Update

    Details regarding board honorarium budget.
  11. Priorities Moving Forward

    Discussion between staff and members about what site-specific matters they would like to prioritize and offer feedback on. Some possible options listed below.
  12. Possible discussion items for next meeting

    • Big-Picture solutions to increasing membership of BIPOC and/or non-US members.
    • Discussing the potential recruitment of other members for the board
    • Progress measures
    • Reducing microaggressions
    • Slur filter feedback
    • Flag button redesign
    • Reviewing policy decisions
    • Improving feedback and communication methods
    • Increasing consistency and transparency in moderating
    • User Survey

Additional notes:

For the next 2 months, Thyme will be unavailable to facilitate two meetings per month due to personal matters. The group has agreed to convene once a month for two months.