VAD 1. How much time and energy do you have to devote to ADF work? In particular, do you have confidence you are prepared to assume all the responsibilities of the Archdruid if you are called upon to do so unexpectedly?
I do currently devote a lot of time and energy into my work for ADF. When I became a member of the Mother Grove a few years ago, I paired down the number of positions I had within the organization in order to make sure that I had the appropriate amount of time to dedicate to my role. If I were to need to step into the ArchDruid position, I would resign from the few positions that I do have left on my plate. By leaving those positions, it would give me more available time and allow me to focus my attention and confidently take on the responsibilities of ArchDruid.
VAD 2. How will your role as the Vice Archdruid be involved with the other officers of the Mother Grove in order to make sure that everyone is working together in a harmonious and productive manner that benefits the ADF community as a whole?
Collaboration and communication are vital for the Mother Grove to be successful. I think one of the biggest advantages I in working with the other officers is that I have been a part of the Mother Grove for the past three years. This experience has allowed me to foster relationships with those who will be staying on the board this year. Building these types of relationships allows for people to work together more harmoniously because it’s easier to interpret tone and intent in text communication from someone you know. However, I also recognize that there will be new faces as well. My goal to make sure everyone is working together would be to host social Zoom meetings for informal interactions and team-building activities.
As far as productivity goes, I believe that we have started to move in the right direction already. We have reduced the voting period for action items and started hosting Monthly Zoom meetings instead of Quarterly IRC meetings. All of these actions have allowed for better communication, faster decision making, and more productive interactions from the Mother Grove.
While we’ve made progress, I also recognize that there are still improvements that can be made. Utilizing some sort of project planning application would help keep us on task and make sure that nothing gets missed. I’d also like to see a handbook created for the Mother Grove to help make sure everyone is on the same page and has an understanding of the expectations of their role and roles of other officers on the board. All of these things would make the Mother Grove a more unified group, which leads to a harmonious, productive Mother Grove.
1. What vision do you see for the future of ADF, and what efforts do you plan to do to make that happen?
I see ADF as an organization that encourages right practice and reciprocity. My vision for ADF is that it can be a safe space for all of our members. My hope is that as an organization we can move toward communicating effectively without hostility or animosity. I want to see our focus return to building reciprocal relationships with hospitality. I want us move away from the perceived divisions within members and the related feeling that people have to “choose sides.” I truly believe that is the area that we most need to see repaired at this time.
As part of the current Mother Grove, I know there have been missteps through the years, but I know we have tried to move in the right direction. We have tried to increase our transparency by sharing agendas and meetings notes. We have publicly posted our actions and asked for members to give feedback on decisions we need to make. We also plan to continue hosting quarterly MG zoom sessions to allow members to ask questions and get to know the people who are serving the organization. As part of the Mother Grove, I think we need to be examples of good hosts, and gracious guests in our communication. Ultimately, I know that there are still processes we can improve and changes that we need to make. I also recognize that those items will take time. The best thing I can do as a single member of the Mother Grove is to be willing to listen to our members, take the feedback, and do the best that I can for the organization as a whole. I can hold onto my own integrity and make sure that I am taking right action.
2. If you are elected to your position, what is the first change you want to work toward on behalf of our members?
If I were elected to the Mother Grove, my first task to undertake would be to do a review of our organizational documents so that I can formally request that any gendered language to be updated or removed. There are numerous documents within our organization that reflect the gender binary. I think updating these references allows us to take one small step toward feeling more welcoming toward the LGBTQIA+ community, which is something that I feel is very important.
I also want to continue our efforts with community outreach, producing more content for social media and our refreshed website to promote the amazing work our members are doing and sharing them with the general Pagan community.
3. Serving on the Mother Grove is a huge commitment of time and energy. How will you fit your potential Mother Grove role into your life?
I have been a part of the Mother Grove for the past three years, so for me being on the board is already a part of my “normal.” I work in technology, so I have the advantage of sitting at a computer for hours nearly every day. I have also taken the time to categorize my Mother Grove email in a way that it is a priority in my inbox so that I can view and respond to those messages in a timely manner.
4. If elected, do you have a willingness to serve your entire term, or if you are not elected, do you intend to remain as a member?
Absolutely. I have been in leadership roles within ADF for over a decade at this point and have never resigned from a position prior to my term ending. I am dedicated to this organization and I have no plans to leave, even if I were not elected as Vice ArchDruid
5. Given the position you are running for, what efforts are you planning to do to promote transparency in your work?
I try to be a very open book. I have a blog where I discuss my personal practice and the activities that I am currently undertaking as an individual. I’m also happy to have conversations and answer questions people may have. As part of the Mother Grove, I will ensure that we continue to share agendas and meeting notes, and have discussions with members as we make important decisions. However, I also hope that people understand that there may be situations in the future where information must be kept confidential for the safety and wellness of those involved.
6. How quickly do you believe it reasonable to answer emails or some other form of messaging (not accounting for family emergencies, ritual prep, scheduled time away, or something else unexpected) on behalf of our membership?
I believe that timely communication is very important to our organization, especially because so much of our interaction happens digitally. I try to maintain a 24-48 hour response time to most things. There may be situations that it takes longer than that, but I believe that is my personal goal for general communication.
7. Given the amount of qualified possible volunteers within our community, what thoughts do you have to more actively engage them?
I think utilizing the newly created Volunteer Coordinator position to ask for members to fill roles will be a huge step forward in this area. As Social Media Manager, I also personally reach out to members to ask them to share their skills and creations which acts as outreach, but also allows their work to be appreciated and highlighted. I also believe that if we were to create a more harmonious organization that has more positive communication and interactions in general, more people would be willing to volunteer to take on leadership roles.
8. What are your thoughts on promoting outreach within the Pagan community?
I think promoting outreach is vitally important to the Pagan community. Pagans in general are a minority in the world. I know from experience that it can be very lonely and isolating. By providing resources to the general community, we are aiding our peers. It may be a good form of membership recruitment, but I truly believe outreach is more than that. By reaching out to our fellow Pagans, we give them tools, knowledge and resources to people who may not have them otherwise, including non-Pagans who are trying to understand what we believe. Additionally, outreach is something that I think can help provide legitimacy to our religion, by allowing people of other faiths to see our practice and understand that we aren’t a danger or a threat, but people who believe differently than them.
9. There have been concerns raised related to sexist/misogynistic language, inappropriate behaviors, and challenges to inclusivity within ADF. What actions have you done within ADF or within other organizations to address these issues?
Within ADF, I have strived to actively work against sexism and misogyny by being myself and taking on roles, and having a positive impact in them despite any negative commentary from others. I’ve actively tried to promote positive interactions.
Within other organizations, including my professional career, I have taken part in diversity committees and pride events to better understand the concerns and issues related to other minorities that I may not understand as a cis-white-female. I’ve also taken courses about Diversity Awareness. I work diligently to try to build my own understanding and be sensitive to the ideas, expectations, and experiences of others.
10. How do you envision ensuring that that ADF members--whether those in a grove or solitary, within the United States or globally--are truly represented and their concerns addressed?
I think the key here is to listen to the members and to act accordingly. An important part of that is recognizing that the loudest voices may not be the majority, so to seek opinions from a wide variety of people, including grove, solitary, and global members from across the many spectrums we see in our membership. By allowing those voices to be heard, I think that we can do what is best for our membership. However, it may require the extra effort to reach out to those members to find out where they stand on different issues.
11. What thoughts do you have to promote Mother Grove transparency for ADF members?
I believe I have addressed this topic numerous times in my answers here, but I will reiterate it once again:
We have worked to increase our transparency by sharing agendas and meetings notes and asking for direct feedback before decisions or changes are made. My goal will be to ensure that we continue these actions and make improvements or adjustments as needed along the way.
12. How have you already served ADF, and how do you envision those experiences will be helpful for the entire organization?
I have worn many, many hats throughout the past 12 years in ADF, and I’m very proud of those efforts (you can see my history below) Ultimately, my experiences have given me a very deep understanding of the different subgroups, policies, and procedures. Reviewing and updating bylaws has given me familiarity with our groups and the processes they follow, and what things work well and what could be revamped. Leadership roles in a variety of subgroups has allowed me to see the wonderful gifts that each group truly is. Additionally, my experience as a member of the Mother Grove has set me up in a position that I will be able to hit the ground running.
Here is a list of the positions I have held within ADF: