How We Operate

  1. We organize ourselves through a non-hierarchical organizing board that strives to represent the diversity of our community and is accountable for its actions.  This board is ever flowing and flexible but requires commitment.
  2. The Organizing Board members must commit a certain amount of time to the community.  These members must also show up to meetings (virtually at least) and participate in work groups.  
  3. Organizing board includes a representative of each committee and a membership organizer, secretarial organizer, & operations organizer.
    1. Committee Representative:  While this person does not need to be the “Leader” of the committee they are the liaison between the committee and the organizing board and help guide the collective as a whole.
    2. Membership Organizer serves to maintain membership, answer/field any questions members have, and vet new members.
    3. Secretarial Organizer serves to schedule meetings, ensure notes are taken, send out reminders to members
    4. Operations Organizer ensures logistical needs of collective are met. This includes website, listserv, email list, data management, etc.
    5. General Organizer helps out with any/all functions.  Can be more than one person.
  4. Committees begin as subcommittees under support of an existing committee or an organizer.  If a subcommittee would like to become a full fledged committee, it would propose to be so to the Organizing Board.
  5. General members have less of a commitment but are able to attend any of the meetings and have an equal vote in consensus decision making that organizing board members have.
  6. The organizing board operates on consensus supported by our mission, values, and the following principles of consensus decision making:
    1. Consensus Decision Making: Decisions are made by agreement rather than by majority vote.
    2. Inclusiveness: To the extent possible, ensure all necessary stakeholders and interests are represented or, at a minimum, approve of the decision.
    3. Accountability: Our decisions are accountable to our mission, values and greater interests of the community we serve.
    4. Facilitation: The facilitator is accountable to all participants, impartial, manages the process, ensures the ground rules are followed, and helps to maintain a productive climate for communication and problem solving. If no member can maintain impartiality, an outside impartial facilitator can be proposed.   
    5. Flexibility: Issues can be addressed by any process that members feel is suitable to the situation.
    6. Shared Control/Ground Rules: All board members, including the facilitator, share the responsibility for setting and maintaining the ground rules for a process and for creating outcomes.
    7. Commitment to Implementation: We all commit to carrying out the agreement and no one will block or obstruct the decision or its implementation

Levels of Consensus

  • I can say an unqualified “yes!”
  • I can live with/accept the decision.
  • I do not fully agree with the decision, however, I will not block it and will support it.


  • No – Requires more discussion.


  • ⅔ of Board must be present for an official meeting to occur and for any decision to be made.  
    • Example:
      • Board of 5: 3 must be present
      • Board of 6: 4 must be present
      • Board of 7: 5 must be present
      • Board of 8: 6 must be present
  1. General Membership gives the organizing board the autonomy to make decisions on behalf of the collective but reserves the right to challenge decisions made at a future meeting or via email.
  2. Record Keeping: Notes should be kept of any official meeting or decision making process and distributed via google docs.
  3. Membership requires new and existing individuals to agree with spirit of our current values, mission, and operating agreements.
  4. We will organize by a committee structure focusing on needs of the group.  Each organizing board member will be one of the facilitators of the committee.
  5. Members must identify as Iraqi.
  6. Allies are welcome to participate in meetings, events, etc, only when agreed upon by membership either on a general or individual basis.
  7. The Organizing Board meets twice a month.  One of those meetings will be closed (although members can request to join) to discuss progress and organizing initiatives. The second meeting will include the board, committee members and general membership to explore ideas and to give updates. These meetings will likely happen via an online conferencing system like Google Hangouts, though if more than one member is in a specific region, we encourage that those people meet together to join our meeting.
  8. We also encourage that local communities have recurring in-person meetings with those in their city/region.
  9. We never meet without reason and without action, therefore every meeting should end with an action plan.