Community Guidelines

ACW Community Engagement Guidelines

Rhoda Olsen’s Values. I think we are already doing most of this!
Make it FUN!!

As we move through this transition period- I think it is critically important that we have clear ACW Community Engagement Guidelines or Help Barbara get through these next two months.

Context: In my previous life, I developed and directed the first online teacher licensure program in the United States.  13 professors worked for me and I worked for a dozen people above me.  I developed these guidelines and they have served me well when organizing and implementing programs in a digital world.  Let’s start with this DRAFT (!)  and update for the 21st century!

I arise around 5ish and do all my corresponding. I started this in my academic days- no one bothered me on the phone before 8 ; / 0  Some of you arise at 11:00. That is fine!  We just need to know what our times are. Oftentimes, when I ask you for something- I am on hold for what I need to do until you respond. Sometimes it is time sensitive. While we are re-orging and inventing ADP, it is not uncommon for me to have 20-30 action items on my “to-do” list every day.

Let’s edit what is below!  Need your help!

When asked to RSVP a meeting-   Just “Reply”- no need to “Reply All”.

Send meeting confirmation the day before if you are the convener.

When you are communicating, put the people who need to take action on the “To” line.  Those who may need to know should be put on the “Cc” line. If you are on the Cc line and have relevant data which may impact the topic – then chime in. Use your judgement regarding Reply or Reply All.

If the Subject changes… change the Subject line on the email.

Committee Leaders: While we are in this transition period, please Cc Barbara on all communications.

Interns should check copy with Barbara first for anything which goes out beyond our task forces. This is temporary. We need to get to know each other!  I do not think we have even had our first anniversary yet!!

When you send an email with a task attached -include preferred completion date.  When you receive an email with a task attached, please let the sender know you have received it and when you might get to it. You can say” I can’t do this” or “I can get this done by Sunday” or “I am on this”. Just REPLY!  If there is something in the email you do not want to deal with…just ignoring the question is not an effective option. When I have to post 3 times to get an answer- it makes my work unmanageable. Thanks so much for doing this for me.  Email is not infallible, and this is a way for us to beat the poltergeists!

Interpersonal Dynamics.

Assume good Intentions.  Become a data driven person.  When something sounds improbable-it probably is. Collect the data BEFORE you draw conclusions.

If you have an issue with one of your ACW fellow members- approach THEM to resolve.  If that is unsuccessful, then go to your Committee Chair and only then, the director.  If you have a problem with a director, please ALWAYS feel invited to approach them. Do it FIRST. Before you complain to others.

Select one “data processing buddy”.  Check in with each other about issues.  Be vaults (for each other.

ACW is a Collective.  We are striving to empower all our voices. This includes the youth, the elders, our BIPOC and marginalized members.  ALL need to have their voices honored.  This gets messy. Embrace it.

When we have reached consensus- then it is time for everyone to get on board and support the outcome.  Please do not keep discussing the outcome.  Sometimes your view prevails- sometimes it does not.

The directors are in charge of managing the money.  This needs to be carefully considered on many levels.  What is our long game?  Who are potential major donors?  Who has influence in granting institutions.  Who is doing an extraordinary amount of work. Who is contributing a specialized skill set.
No one in a non-profit is ever adequately compensated. We are in it for something else.  We ARE working, however, towards the goal of the core staff making a living wage.

Understand, when we get a large donation or grant, most of it is already spent.


Cognitive Dissonance occurs when what you believe to be true is in direct conflict with what you see to be true. It happens when you realize that your truth is truth- not THE truth.

Every community enjoys many different people with different life journeys which have brought them to different belief systems. Conflict emerges when one person or group believes that their truth is THE truth. There are 7 billion people on the planet.  Statistically it is improbable, and breathtakingly arrogant,  to believe that YOUR truth is THE truth.

REAL social change can be effected when the participants collect data from each other, participate in authentic dialogue AND commit to action plans.