Oversight Committee to Beverly Robinson, Director of the .
SENT VIA FACSIMILES TO 901/521-9740, 901/227-6845 & VIA
Ms. Beverly Robertson, Executive Director
c/o National Civil
Mr. Gregory Duckett
Senior Vice President, Corporate Counsel
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation
Dear Ms. Robertson and Mr. Duckett:
Please be advised that the purpose of this letter is to confirm in writing the main points of discussion and/or agreements during the meeting on January 25, 2008 between the both of you, as Representatives from the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation, and us (Representatives from the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Community Oversight Committee and Representatives from the Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus). We were advised that Mr. Herb Hilliard, Chair of the Nominating Committee would not able to attend.
NOMINATIONS FROM LCRMCOC. The final list of Nominations for a Diverse NCRM Board of Directors was submitted to the both of you from the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Community Oversight Committee (LCRMCOC) Representatives. Along with the list of nominations, we submitted biographical information on each of our nominees, with the exception of Minister Suhkura Yahwah, who came to the meeting and agreed to submit his biographical information directly to the Museum on
Next, we discussed your two (2) page outline submitted for our information and review. The outline included, inter alia, the size of the current board (31 members), the 3 expiring terms, the increase in the size of the board from 31 to 34 members, the total number of 6 board vacancies to be filled, and the names submitted to you directly via website, board member recommendations and other recommendations from various other sources. You also provided for our information a detailed list of all the current board members, their addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. However, it did not include the requested information of their board term expiration dates and/or the dates on which they will rotate off of the board. You agreed to provide same.
Notwithstanding the information I had received from Herb Hilliard during a telephone conversation with him on
Furthermore, during the discussions, you advised that it is absolutely
essential that one of the 6 vacancies to be filled must be a nominee who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or who has an accounting background/experience and skills.
SELECTION PROCESS. We discussed the selection process. We were advised that the selection process includes, inter alia, the nomination committee, which is composed of 6 members from the Board of Directors. It will review and evaluate all 64 names that were submitted on or before the deadline date of
During the meeting, we expressed serious concerns that the selection process as described above did not go far enough to include the community's input and participation. We also expressed the community's fear that none of its top tier nominees would be selected, notwithstanding your assurances that we should trust the process and trust the ability of the nomination committee members to be fair, objective, open-minded and sincere in complying with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Additionally, we discussed various ideas and ways to open the selection process to include more community participation in selecting the final six nominations to be submitted at the February 21st annual meeting. As a result of the discussion, you agreed to seriously consider adding two additional steps to the selection process.
The First Suggested Step to Add to the Selection Process would be to select from the 64 names submitted, a short list or a semi-final list of nominees. The persons who made the short list or semi-final list of nominees would have the option to appear before the nominating committee or their designated spokespersons and make a final appeal or plea as to why they should be selected and what strengths, skills, and abilities they would bring to the board of directors.
The Second Suggested Step to Add to the Selection Process would be to disclose the names of the final 6 nominees a week before the February 21st annual meeting. It was agreed that you would contact us as soon as a decision was made on whether to include one or both of the additional suggested steps to the selection process in order to allow more community participation in the overall spirit of openness in moving toward the goal of have a more diverse Board of Directors. We urge you to add the two additional steps.
It was clarified during the meeting, that nominations can be made from the floor at the February 21st annual meeting by any board member present for the full body to consider and vote upon in filling the 6 vacancies.
During the meeting, we also discussed the possibility of choosing nominees from our list to fill any future vacancies that will occur, in light of the fact that there were so many strong candidates nominated and only 6 vacancies available to be filled. You advised that this was not possible and that each selection process begins anew. However, you were open to the idea of utilizing our list of nominees for consideration in filling positions on the "Friends of the Museum" and the National Advisory Council.
Lastly, we presented to you a letter, dated
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was our understanding that the nomination committee intends to expedite the selection process and will get back with us as soon as possible regarding the recommended changes to the selection process. I can be reached at 901/327-7977 or
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much for the valuable dialogue and your cooperation in working together toward reaching our shared and common goals of making the National Civil Rights Museum the best in these United States and elsewhere around the world.
Sincerely, LAURICE E.SMITH, Chairperson
LAURICE E.SMITH, Chairperson
cc: Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Herb Hilliard, State Rep. Barbara Cooper and G. A. Hardaway, Cynthia Pelak, et al.
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