Thank you for your interest in learning more about the African American Ambassadors Group (AAAG). Mayor Elorza began meeting regularly with the African American Ambassador Group on May 14 to discuss the disproportionate number of African Americans impacted by COVID-19. Due to the population of our capital city of Providence, the virus impacted people hard and there was a great concern of our most vulnerable residents.
The group has since evolved to meet weekly and discuss and advance a social justice agenda for the City of Providence. This group you will be joining grew rapidly in numbers in a very grassroots way. Community leaders and allies quickly came together to meet weekly via Zoom to find ways to brainstorm, collaborate, and try to find solutions to unresolved issues that have been plaguing our city for centuries.
Over the last few months, it is clear that there is so much more work to do!
Ambassadors have created eight sub-groups regarding the areas in our city that need our immediate attention. Joining the Ambassador Group, you will be joining one of the following subgroups: Arts and Culture, Education Reform, Food Insecurities, Housing Insecurity and Eviction Defense, Internal Policy Reform, Mental Wellness, Police Advisory, Truth-telling and Reconciliation and Youth Voice.
Joining this group does require agreeing to the guiding principles and norms established by this group. For your reference, both are outlined below. When community members fill out the engagement form for this group, they will attest to agreeing to these principles and norms.
PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM:
- Attack the Issue not the Person
- Bring your community with you
- State views and ask genuine questions
- Share all relevant information
- Use specific examples and agree on what important words mean
- Explain reasoning and intent
- Focus on interests, not positions
- Test assumptions and inferences
- Jointly design next steps
- Discuss undiscussable issues
- Maintain confidentiality
- Collaborate internally and externally
- Be decisive and bold
- Maintain transparency
- Be accountable to each other and to our communities
- All members are required to fill out the engagement form and attest to agreement on guiding principles and group norms
- Due to the updated version of Zoom, the waiting room feature will be enabled. Members who have filled out the engagement form will be allowed into the meetings. A first and last name is required to be admitted into the Zoom call.
- Facilitators will redirect conversation to stay focused and stick to the agenda
- Everyone has joined this group because this is our passion. It’s a privilege to be in this space among fellow community members.
- One voice, one mic
- A timer will be used during open discussion (when the timer goes off the mic will be muted)
- If someone disregards guiding principles or norms, two warnings will be verbally given. If someone does not realign feedback, this will lead to being muted by the meeting facilitators. Similarly, if someone disregards principles and norms in the chat, they will be provided two warnings. If disregard continues, someone will be removed from the Zoom meeting and the Restorative Justice Committee will be activated.
- Restorative Justice Committee is comprised of members of the AAAG. Committee members will meet individually with anyone who does not adhere to guiding principles or norms through a restorative conversation. If members do not feel an issue can be resolved, they may vote to remove a community member from attending future meetings until adherence can be met.
- Step up and step back – give other members opportunities to speak their minds
- Provide space for the quieter voices on the call
- Assume good intentions
- Tension is not always a bad thing and sometimes leads to growth. Tensions will be addressed immediately and will create teachable moments.
- Challenge the idea and not the person – no personal attacks (per guiding principles)
- Be respectful to other views
- Come prepared with evidence, data and solutions
- People have emotions, but we need to be respectful