Wednesday, February 20, 2008

NCRM In Crisis: Was The LCRMCOC Doublecrossed???

February 20, 2008


Mr. Herb Hilliard

Chairperson of Nominating Commmittee

The Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation, Inc.

450 Mulberry Street

Memphis, TN 38103

RE: The Selection of New Members to the Board of Directors of the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation, Inc.

Dear Mr. Hilliard:

Please be advised that this letter confirms in writing our telephone conversation on today, February 20, 2008, regarding the above referenced matter.

More specifically, you advised that approximately twenty (20) minutes before the start of our telephone conversation this afternoon, the Nominating Committee had just completed its final list of names to be submitted to the Foundation's Board of Directors for its final approval on February 21, 2008.

You offered to share with me the final list of nominees, notwithstanding the fact that designated Representatives from the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Community Oversight Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Oversight Committee) and designated Representatives from the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators (hereinafter referred to as the Black Caucus) did not jointly participate, as promised and as agreed to by Beverly Robertson and Gregory Duckett, in the selection of the final list of names. Therefore, I declined to receive your final list of names because the Foundation's Representatives failed to honor their agreement to allow us to participate in the selection process.

You further advised, much to my disbelief, that there was never

an intention on your part or on the part of Ms.Robertson, Mr.

Duckett and/or anyone else connected with the Foundation's Board

of Directors to involve us in the joint participation process of

reaching a consensus as to the final list of nominees to submit

to the Foundation's Board of Directors at its February 21st

annual meeting.

I advised that I had a very clear understanding, as well as the

Representatives from the Oversight Committee and Representatives

from the Black Caucus, that Ms. Robertson and Mr. Duckett had

agreed to our being jointly involved in the selection process,

with the goal of reaching a consensus on 6 nominees. From you

and Ms. Robertson, I now understand that the number has been

expanded to 7 nominees because a current board member has

recently resigned.

In an effort to involve us in the selection process, we met with

Ms. Robertson and Mr. Duckett on January 25, 2008 at the

University of Memphis. Subsequently, a follow-up meeting had

been scheduled and planned by Ms. Robertson and Mr.

Duckett for February 9, 2008. It was canceled due to a

scheduling conflict on the part of Mr. Duckett. A second

follow-up meeting was arranged by Ms. Robertson with the

understanding that Mr. Duckett would be present; however, only

Ms. Robertson appeared. She explained that the meeting could

not go forward because the Nominating Committee was having some

difficulty with the narrowed list of 8 or 9 names. Please keep

in mind that at both times, Representatives from the Oversight

Committee and the Black Caucus were ready, willing and able to

come together to reach a consensus. We had no reason to believe

that the meetings were canceled on purpose or that they were

not sincere in their efforts to involve us.

Finally, the Representatives from the Oversight Committee and

Representatives from the Black Caucus were willing to work

together with Representatives from the Foundation to resolve

the matter to the satisfaction of all parties involved. We are

very disappointed that we were unable to reach a solution

to create a Board of Directors more representative of the

community in general and the civil rights movement in



LAURICE E. SMITH, Chairperson



Cc: Beverly Robertson, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Gregory Duckett,

William Lucy, Foundation Board Members, Oversight Committee

Members, Black Caucus Member

*Listen To Judge D'Army Bailey Discuss The NCRM In Crisis On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio:

No comments: