Constitution

PREAMBLE

Our mission is to cultivate greater awareness of social justice issues in Faulkner County and to advocate for greater social and political equality. We are a non-partisan, service-oriented group of grassroots activists and advocates. We define social justice as the belief that we each have inherent rights as human beings, and inequality is destructive to our goals as a democratic society. Social justice advocacy endeavors to bring about dignity and equal treatment for all people—regardless of their race, sex, age, class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity, physical or mental ability, citizenship status, veterans status, or level of education. People of all political affiliations should strive to eliminate injustice; inequality, prejudice, and bias are human problems requiring human solutions. Everyone must work together to build a healthier, more equitable, society for future generations.

Article I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Faulkner County Coalition for Social Justice, abbreviated as “CSJ” or “the Coalition.”

Organizations that join the Coalition may be referred to as “member organizations” or “affiliated organizations.”

Article II. PURPOSE

The Coalition for Social Justice exists to magnify and support social justice activism in Faulkner County. Our primary purpose is to facilitate communication and coordination among agents of social change who are working for peace, equality, and justice, including (but not limited to) our affiliated organizations. Social justice advocates seek to combat biases and prejudices that exist in society, support and encourage people in their communities who lack a voice, and protest laws and regulations that deny any group access to fair resources and equal opportunity.

We also provide the broader Faulkner County community with opportunities to learn about social justice, through education, training, non-violent activism, service projects, and community organizing.

Article III. MEMBERSHIP

Section I: Definition and Non-Discrimination Policy

Members may join as individuals or as affiliated organizations.

Individual memberships: Individual membership is open to any resident of Central Arkansas who is committed to social justice work in some form. This organization shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, immigration or citizenship status, disability, or status as a veteran.

Organizational memberships: Organizations in Faulkner County may apply for membership if they are a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is political and/or social advocacy for economic, political, educational, and/or social equality. Charities and government agencies (federal, state, or local) are not eligible for membership. Organizations that discriminate against (or exclude from membership) any group listed above will not be considered eligible.

Interested organizations may contact the Chairperson/President regarding application procedures. Membership records will be maintained by the Secretary.

All members of affiliated organizations are also considered members of the Coalition of Social Justice. Individual voting rights, however, will be contingent upon payment of dues.

Section II: Dues

Dues will be collected and recorded by the Treasurer. Dues for individuals are $20 per calendar year, or $10 per calendar year (for students, seniors, and veterans). Only members who are current on their dues, and thus are in “good standing,” will be accorded voting rights.

Dues for member organizations are as follows: $30 per calendar year. Payment of dues will allow up to five (5) members of the affiliated organization’s leadership team or Executive Board to vote in CSJ elections and on amendments. Other members of affiliated organizations who wish to vote will be required to pay individual dues.

The Treasurer will provide a brief financial report at each quarterly meeting.

Section III: Responsibilities

Individual members will be accepted upon payment of dues. We do expect individual members to uphold the beliefs and tenets of social justice as defined in our Preamble and Article II.

Affiliated organizations will sign a commitment statement when they join the Coalition, affirming their belief in (and commitment to) social justice. Member organizations will also commit to sending at least one (1) delegate to each quarterly meeting to report on their activities and community engagement. Member organizations will also commit to volunteering at, participating in, or co-sponsoring at least one (1) Coalition event per calendar year.

Section IV: Removal

Member organizations may be removed if they fail to volunteer or participate in quarterly meetings or other events for one (1) consecutive calendar year. Removal in such cases will be determined by a simple majority vote of CSJ officers and one (1) representative from each of the other member organizations in good standing.

Members—whether individuals or organizations—may be removed from membership at any time if they exhibit attitudes or behavior that is violent, harmful, or that otherwise jeopardizes the safety of other CSJ members. Organizations may also be removed if they discriminate against any group listed in Article II, Section I. The decision to remove a member or member organization in such cases will be made by a simple majority vote of CSJ officers and one (1) representative from each member organization in good standing.

Article IV. ORGANIZATION

Section I: Officers and Delegates

Elected offices on the Executive Board will consist of a Chairperson/President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Communications Director. No single person may serve in more than two roles at any given time.

In addition, each member group will choose a delegate to represent their organization at leadership meetings (held as needed) and at quarterly meetings. Member organizations will determine their own process for choosing delegates.

Section II: Elections and Appointments

Elections for executive officers will be held biannually in November of odd-numbered years.

An election committee consisting of three (3) members in good standing will be formed by September of the election year in order to administer the election. No more than two (2) officers may serve on the election committee.

Elections for executive officers will begin with an open call for nominations. Nominations (including self-nominations) will be sent to the election committee and must be received at least two (2) weeks prior to the election. The candidates, as well as the date and time of the election, will be announced at least seven (7) days in advance, on social media and through official email.

Elections will be conducted in person via secret ballot. The counting of ballots and determination of election results will be conducted by at least two (2) members of the election committee, including no more than one (1) executive officer. Election results will be announced within two (2) days of the election.

Should an officer resign or otherwise leave the organization when an election is not set to occur within sixty (60) days, a special election will be called by the highest-ranking executive officer who remains a member, to be held within thirty (30) days of the resignation. Special elections will follow the aforementioned process.

Section III: Terms of Office

Elected officers will take office the following calendar year, on January 1.

Officers will serve two-year terms by calendar year. There is no maximum on the number of years that an officer may serve.

Section V: Officer Powers and Responsibilities

Executive Board members must have demonstrated commitment to social justice values; strong written and oral communication skills; strong organizational skills; experience working with others; basic computer literacy (e.g. MS Word, email); and ideally a presence on social media.

All Executive Board members will be responsible for managing the public Facebook page, checking the official CSJ email account, and planning trainings, fundraising activities, and other events.

Primary duties of the Chairperson/President will include: scheduling and facilitating quarterly meetings and leadership meetings; serving as the primary media contact; and other administrative responsibilities as needed.

Primary duties of the Secretary will include: printing and distributing meeting agendas; recording and promptly distributing meeting minutes; writing the email newsletter; and updating the membership list and other member records.

Primary duties of the Treasurer will include: collecting and recording dues; managing financial accounts; and providing a financial report at each quarterly meeting.

Primary duties of the Communications Director will include: managing the Coalition’s Twitter and Instagram accounts and maintaining the organization’s website.

Should an officer violate the terms of this constitution, or exhibit attitudes or behavior that is violent, harmful, or that otherwise jeopardizes the safety of other CSJ members, they may be removed. The decision to remove an officer will be made by a simple majority vote of CSJ members in good standing.

Article V. MEETINGS

Meetings will be held quarterly, in February, May, August, and November, specific dates and times to be determined. Special events and other meetings may occur as needed.

Quarterly meetings will be open to the public, free of charge.

Article VI. QUORUM

A quorum will be defined as one half (1/2) of the current membership, defined as members in good standing. A quorum is required for all votes on amendments.

Article VII. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENTS

Section I: Adoption and Ratification

This constitution will be adopted immediately upon ratification.

Section II: Amendments

Any member in good standing may propose amendments. Upon proposal, an amendment committee will be formed, consisting of at least three (3) members in good standing, including no more than two (2) current officers. The amendment committee will draft the text of the amendment, in consultation with the member who proposed its addition. They will present it to the main body for discussion and revision at least thirty (30) days prior to the vote.

Voting on amendments will occur in person via secret ballot. The date and time of the vote will be announced at least seven (7) days in advance, on social media and through official email. The results will be counted and verified by at least two (2) members of the amendments committee.

Once an amendment passes, the Chairperson/President will add it to the Constitution and promptly distribute a new constitution to members.