January 18th, 2016
The Board of Directors for the Alberta Public Interest Research Group would like to apologize for our lack of transparency and responsiveness in response to the community criticism towards APIRG’s programming “Getting Beyond Words.” In response to this criticism, our staff members, justin and daley, and their co-facilitator Brooke Leifso, immediately and proactively (October 23rd, 2015) drafted an apology letter, which is available here. The letter responded to the criticism, and expressed a desire for accountability to all affected parties. The letter also detailed the consultation process for how the workshops were built, the structure of the programming, and relevant financial information.
justin and daley sent us, the Board of Directors and their employers, the letter and requested that we approve it for immediate publication on all of APIRG’s social media outlets, as well as justin and daley’s personal online presence. The Board failed to approve the letter through inaction. This inaction has impacted our staff; they were left without direction or employer input on the status of the workshop. The Board’s inaction has also led to a perception outside the organization that our staff did not consider or interact with community criticism of APIRG’s programming. This is not true. daley and justin continue to be reflexive in their personal work, and did their best within their roles in the organization to address criticism as it arose. The two staff members have consistently demonstrated to us as their employers that they are receptive to criticism and practicing transparency. We are truly sorry for the lack of decisive action from the Board, as well as the lack of transparency as we internally worked through these issues.
In response to this situation, the Board has formulated plans for how to proceed for the rest of the year, and how to be accountable to both our staff and our communities. We are planning to hold a Community Consultation and Talk Back in the near future to address concerns about the organization and how it functions, and to canvas for input on the future directions of APIRG’s work. All of us–Board and staff–continue to strive to improve the methods through which we contribute to positive social change, and to develop ways to support the people in our communities who are engaged in necessary and radical political work.
APIRG Board of Directors