As you are probably aware, the PCDC contra committee recently mandated that all callers at PCDC contra dances (2nd, 4th, 5th Saturdays and special events) use nongendered role terms at these dances. The email exchanges around both role terms and the new mandate policy have been intense. It will be so much better to discuss these heartfelt issues in person. Therefore, the PCDC board invites you to attend a meeting for that very purpose on Tuesday, June 7th, 7:00 pm at Fulton Hall, 68 SW Miles, Portland, advance registration required. Registration information and Covid protocols are at the end of this message. We encourage every PCDC member who has an interest in these topics to attend. Because this is a meeting about PCDC policies at PCDC dances, attendance is for PCDC members only.
Please bring something you can jot down a few notes on. The meeting will be recorded in case something said needs to be referenced later.
It is important that everyone attending the meeting understands its intent from the very beginning. It will be simply an opportunity for PCDC members to respectfully express their personal experiences with and feelings about role terms, gendered and nongendered, as PCDC grapples with the best way to address an issue that has the potential to seriously divide us. It is a chance for us to get to know each other better. It will not be an opportunity to present policy, to actively convert anyone to a point of view, or to rebut an opinion expressed by another. Rather, it will be an opportunity to look to the future and listen to all perspectives as well as expressing your own. There may be time for some dialogue with each other after the first round of speaking. There will certainly be an opportunity for positive sharing before we close.
Although speaking is not required of attendees, anyone who wishes to speak will have an opportunity to do so. Speakers will be called upon in random order and must adhere to a strict time limit (possibly 3 minutes or less) determined in part by the number of participants who wish to speak. Speakers will talk without interruption or response. It is very important that everyone feels comfortable expressing their viewpoint and that each viewpoint is respected, especially when opinions differ. Hostile or accusatory words will simply not be allowed.
Here are some talking points suggestions:
Your feelings/opinions about gendered and nongendered role terms
Your feelings/opinions about mandates
The direction you would like to see PCDC take in the future re role terms
Responding or retoring to/disagreeing with/questioning something someone else has said
Usually, the most effective speech comes straight from the heart, delivered spontaneously with perhaps a few notes. We hope this approach works for you. However, we recognize that some people are reluctant to speak in public. For those in that camp, we suggest writing out comments to read. If reading your own comments feels daunting, you may give them to someone else to read on your behalf as long as you are clearly identified as the author. (Keep in mind that pre-written remarks will also be subject to a time limit.)
If you would like to express your opinion but cannot attend the meeting, you may submit brief written comments that will be read at the end of the meeting as time allows. Email these comments to email@example.com making clear that you wish them to be read aloud. Comments without this designation, including email received prior to this message, will not be included as part of the meeting.
Although this meeting is sponsored by the PCDC board, we will come to it as equals regardless of age, years of dance experience, or positions on committees or the board. Christine Appleberry (outgoing chair) and I (Sue Songer, incoming chair) will organize and facilitate the meeting. As we look to the future, we are hopeful and even confident that the meeting will result in a heartfelt, civil collective experience that will strengthen us in the long run.
PCDC Covid protocols will be in effect during the meeting.
You must show proof of vaccination including at least one booster (if eligible), an email address for contact tracing (should that become necessary), and a signed waiver if these things are not on record. Many of you have already supplied this information.
We will increase ventilation by opening doors and providing fans. (Dress for cool temperature.)
We hope you will be able to attend, but if you have been knowingly exposed to Covid prior to the meeting or if you are experiencing any Covid-related symptoms, please do not attend even if you have a negative result from a Covid test.
We will email attendees a few days after the meeting asking anyone who has tested positive for Covid in those few days to let us know. Should that happen, we will inform everyone who came to the meeting about the positive test result.
The Portland Contra Committee meets (usually) on 2nd Monday's to support the needs of Contra dance events and dancers.
Meeting locations vary and may be online. Meetings are open to all PCDC members. If interested in attending, volunteering, or would like a Zoom link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.