December 17, 2021
To the Oregon Country Fair Board of Directors,
Your Diversity Committee is writing in response to recent events.
We acknowledge and apologize for the harm caused to members of the Board by this committee and in particular we apologize to AJ for the use of the phrase “token Board member.” Though it was not our intention, we realize the impact on AJ was that he felt humiliated and that we were discrediting his work, dedication, and qualifications. We apologize for the intent of our message getting lost in the insensitive phrasing of the concepts being referenced. We recognize AJ’s feelings around this word are strong and continue to be willing to find healing with him.
We also identify the harm caused to the Board in our untidy use of the OCF process and in particular the strain this put on Lily’s ability to facilitate the Board meeting. We acknowledge and apologize for the misogyny Lily may have experienced as a woman leading a tense meeting while a man from our committee spoke over her. We realize that trust has been diminished in Board members’ relationship to the committee and we apologize for harm caused to you and your ability to fulfill your responsibilities as Board members.
It is imperative that the Fair be more welcoming to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, to the Disabled Community, and to the LGBTQAI2S+ Community, especially trans youth. To say the least, working towards that goal has been frustrating, difficult, challenging, and painful. We remain committed to making the Fair a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable organization and hope to collaborate with the Board in protecting marginalized community members at the Oregon Country Fair, wherever we gather.
Even now, some of us have engaged with the Grievance Process in good faith, with a hope of healing.
For the purpose of fostering open and honest dialogue and discerning a way forward, we propose that an extensive and ongoing transformative justice process between the Diversity Committee and the Board of Directors be facilitated as soon as it can reasonably be scheduled.
The Diversity Committee of the Oregon Country Fair
The OCF Diversity Committee:
Diversity Committee Letter to BOD (PDF version)
December 17, 2021