by Catherine D. Willis
reciprocity. I give, I get, you give, you get, and ultimately we all benefit. The payoffs vary, of course. Inequities abound, sometimes glaringly so. Nevertheless, with membership comes responsibility. Our institutions have obligations too, though it may be hard to recognize them in light of the greedfest that took place on Wall Street in recent years. Just where do accountability and transparency fit in? I've raised these questions broadly relative to the nonprofit groups that serve our community. A more pointed, 20-question survey went out to nonprofit executives and boards of directors in the first part of January, but it yielded few immediate responses. Most reported a need for full board discussion of prospective replies. Hence, an article overviewing the status of Spokane area GLBTQ organizations will reach Q View readers next month. Special thanks go to Farand Gunnels of the Pride Foundation, Jennifer Foster-Fausett of Odyssey
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. ..." Seventeenth century sexist language notwithstanding, I've always found John Donne's often quoted meditation enormously heartening. The concept of our common connectedness is central to my personal spirituality, so maybe I see things through a particularly shaded lens. I wasn't exaggerating last month when I wrote about gifts of time and money and declared, "The shared giving binds us." We don't need to dance across life's stage singing "We are family," but it wouldn't hurt us to stand together, to speak up for our own self-interests, and to vigorously support those who carry the torch for the issues that affect our lives and the lives of those we love. Membership in a community be it a family (biological or selfdefined), a neighborhood, the Inland Northwest, Washington or the entire world involves
for all of us
Youth Center, and Wayne Shull of Emmanuel Metropolitan Community Church for providing quick and thoughtful answers to some admittedly tough questions. Let me now offer a mea culpa. I should have disclosed this truth last month: I have been attending board meetings as a Friend of OutSpokane since June of 2008. I was invited to join the nonprofit's board, in fact, but declined because the organization lacks insurance coverage to protect their directors against liability exposure. I believe board service is demanding enough without the addition of unnecessary risks. That said, I have no official ties with any GLBTQ nonprofits at this time, though I readily share my skills when asked. I consider it the price of community membership. Have you paid your dues lately?
© 2008, End o' the Rainbow Enterprises
Catherine D. Willis is a writer, editor and community activist who has served on nearly two dozen neighborhood, corporate and community boards and committees over a period of 30 years.
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| February 2009 | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | www.qviewnorthwest.com