The Top 3 Highlights from Our 2021 AGM
We had our online AGM last month! Our leadership team, Board of Directors, and some of our staff team met with some of our biggest supporters and closest friends to officially wrap up 2020. “Good riddance, 2020”, we say!
Last year, we wrote a blog post sharing what we learned from our first online AGM.
Now, we are sharing our top three highlights from this year’s AGM. If you were able to make it, thank you for sharing a part of your evening with us! If you missed it, no worries. Sign up for our newsletter to learn about our next events and all about what we are up to.
Here are some of the exciting things that came out of our 2021 AGM:
Highlight #1: We Released Our 2020 Impact Report
We took a different approach this year than in years past because we wanted to tell our story in a new way: through the voices of the youth, supportive employers, and programming team who make it all possible. We also tried out a theme for this one, and we landed on “Safety Net”, which we felt encapsulated our approach in 2020.
Highlight #2: We Updated Our By-Laws
Did she just say she was excited about updated by-laws?? *YAWN* Hear me out!
In 2020, our Governance Committee worked extremely hard to update the by-laws that regulate how we operate as a charity. The purpose of these changes was to make our Board and organization more equitable and to remove barriers for future Board members and committee volunteers to work with our organization.
Specifically, we wanted to use gender-inclusive language, and to introduce a policy that would allow Board and committee members with diverse, lived experience to receive an honorarium to support them in giving their time to us. And at our 2021 AGM, we did that!
The changes we are making are a great step toward creating a Zero Ceiling where the people we serve are also the ones leading our organization. And according to Nikki Best, our Governance Committee Chair, they are also one of the first examples of a charity formalizing these practices that she knows of (and she knows a lot!).
Here is the specific resolution that was passed at the AGM:
6. Special Resolution to Amend Zero Ceiling Bylaw No. 1
• Member resolution to amend the bylaw THAT the members of the Zero Ceiling Society of Canada amend Bylaw No. 1 by:
i. Adding the words “and identities” after the word “genders” in section 1.02 (Interpretation);
ii. Adding section 5.02 called “Director Honorariums” which states “Honoraria may be paid to directors of the board subject to the policies of the Corporation.”; and
iii. Adding the sentence “Honoraria may be paid to members of the committees subject to the policies of the Corporation.” to section 6.05 (Committees).
If you want to learn more about these changes, why we wanted to make them, and how we are implementing them, you can contact our Co-Executive Director, Chris Wrightson by email: chris@ZEROCEILING.org.
Highlight #3: We Committed to Decolonizing and Diversifying Zero Ceiling
For years people have been asking how to diversify their orgs. This is discouraging. We’ve had endless DEI workshops, various “white papers” and articles, and at least one puppet show. What the heck is going on? Why do we suck so much at diversifying?
— Vu Le, nonprofitaf.com
In the last few years, we have all had conversations around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) at nearly every level of society. We have overwhelmingly concluded that we need more of it, and Zero Ceiling wants to be there yesterday. However, our sector is learning the hard lesson that in order to accomplish diversity, you have to make changes at every level of your organization and engage in changing the world outside of it as well. Racialized and marginalized individuals need to be included in the changes. We need to dismantle the old systems and erect new ones. We need to abandon our fears and discomfort to put ourselves at the front lines of a scary fight. Literal lives depend on it.
The change to our by-laws is a big step in the right direction. But it is only one. At our AGM, our leadership team made the commitment to creating these changes within Zero Ceiling. Part of that will be how we hire and retain staff and volunteers, part of that will be our approach to programming and operations. But another part of that will be how we engage in our community. And we invite all of our friends and supporters to learn along with us! More on that coming soon.
In the meantime, we are ready to start. If you were at our AGM, you would know that some of our Directors completed their terms and we have some room on our Board. If you or someone you know want to learn more about joining the Zero Ceiling Board of Directors in 2021, you can get in touch with Chris chris@ZEROCEILING.org.