Some names have been obscured; for events where exact time is unknown, events have been listed chronologically to the best of the original sources’ memory. Time zones throughout the document vary based on the primary location of the event.
(exact time unknown) - A discussion happened in a private chapter leader channel in local GDI Minneapolis Slack. In this discussion, a black chapter leader (CL1) was marginalized by two white chapter leaders (CL2 & CL3). This discussion ended w/ CL1 & CL2 indicating that they’d like to step down as Chapter Leaders. CL1 and CL2 send resignation letters to GDI HQ.
4:00pm CT - Lanice’s original tweet calling out GDI MPLS
~11:00pm CT - Amy Gebhardt (4th outgoing CL who was acting in an advisory role at that time) sees the Slack discussion that occurred on 8/18 and reaches out to CL1, CL2, and CL3.
Exact time unknown - Rachel Messeck (Chapter Program Manager, GDI HQ) reaches out to CL1 to arrange a phone call about her stepping down.
Exact time unknown - Rachel reaches out to Corinne Warnshuis (Executive Director, GDI HQ) to let her know that CL1 and CL2 want to step down.
Exact time unknown - CL2 has a conversation with GDI HQ (Rachel).
Exact time unknown - CL2 emails Amy Gebhardt that following her discussion with GDI HQ, she is going to stay on as CL.
~8:40pm CT - GDI HQ (Rachel) is notified of Lanice’s tweet by Amy via Slack; CL2 & CL3 are copied.
~9:00am CT - HQ responds to Slack message from Amy that they are in a meeting but would respond soon.
~11:00am CT - Amy follows up with GDI HQ requesting urgency, sharing a draft of a response that she has authored. HQ requests that she not respond yet and to wait until they are able to meet and build on the draft.
~2:00pm CT - GDI HQ (Rachel) follows up with Amy and suggests she reach out to Lanice privately and notes that Corinne & GDI HQ would also reach out to Lanice.
~11:00pm CT - Corinne tweets a reply to Lanice’s thread from her personal Twitter account
9:00am CT - CL1 has call with Rachel & LeeAnn Kinney (Director Of Programs, GDI HQ), they discuss CL1’s resignation.
Exact time unknown - Corinne messages Amy and asks her again not to respond publicly.
10:35am CT - Community member Jenessa’s tweet re: white GDI MPLS CL’s behavior calling out CL3.
11:40 ET - Shanise (Board Secretary and Program Coordinator, GDI) learns about MN situation through Lanice’s tweet thread, and sees Jenessa’s tweet thread and shares it with the team and Corinne. Shanise asks Corinne what is going on and what next steps are. Corinne withholds information from Shanise.
Exact time unknown - CL1 shares a statement and more detailed resignation letter with GDI HQ.
Exact time unknown, midday - CL3 messages Amy and indicates that she is stepping down as CL; Amy informs Corinne of what is happening.
Exact time unknown - LeeAnn emails CL1 and apologizes on behalf of GDI HQ.
Exact time unknown, afternoon - Corinne informs Amy that CL2 and CL3 would be stepping down and that GDI HQ would draft a public statement to be shared with the GDI Minneapolis community the following day.
~10:00am CT - Corinne reaches out to Amy to work on the public statement to share with the GDI Minneapolis community and talk about next steps.
~5:26pm CT - Public statement is posted from GDI Minneapolis.
Exact time unknown - After multiple attempts to contact GDI HQ on Tuesday, August 28 with no response for 10 days (GDI HQ was on vacation from August 27th - August 31) to discuss the future of the chapter, Amy reaches out to Rachel and LeeAnn again and gets a response that they will be in touch soon.
Exact time unknown - Amy has a Google Hangout with Rachel and LeeAnn who state that a formal public response will come from Corinne and Vanessa Hurst (Co-founder/Board Chair, GDI) before GDI CL Summit (to be held on September 13th - 16th).
Exact time unknown evening - LeeAnn informs Amy that Corinne and Vanessa will draft a statement and that Amy will receive it no later than Wednesday, September 12th before Summit.
Exact time unknown - CL2 has a conversation with GDI HQ regarding information shared publicly by CL3.
Exact time unknown - Amy follows up with GDI HQ to see when she will be receiving the draft of the statement based on their commitment on September 6th; receives no response.
Exact time unknown - Amy receives response back to prior day’s message from GDI HQ that they have changed the “order of things” and the statement will now not be released until after Summit.
GDI Leadership Summit in Chicago focusing on DEI; the incidents in Minneapolis are not addressed openly with CLs during this time.
~8:30pm CT - All future GDI Minneapolis paid events are canceled; Amy emails all members via Meetup that events are canceled and they are looking for new chapter leaders.
Exact time unknown - Amy receives apology email from Corinne.
4:37pm CT - Lanice Sims receives an emailed apology from Corinne.
~5:00pm CT - Amy publishes her reflection on her time as a GDI MPLS CL on Medium.com.
Exact time unknown - Shanise emails Board Member Erica Baker requesting to schedule time to discuss her experience as a GDI employee.
Exact time unknown - Jocelyn Harper resigns as GDI Wilmington Chapter Leader
Exact time unknown - Technical.ly Delaware publishes article about Jocelyn Harper’s resignation as a CL.
Exact time unknown - GDI Board of Directors meet and discuss the events that took place in Minneapolis and Summit; no minutes are published for this event and Shanise is asked not to attend minutes before the meeting while staff are also excluded from the meeting.
Exact date/time unknown - A few days following the October Board meeting, Shanise speaks with Brenda Jin and Janelle Jolley from the Board about her experience at GDI. Each call was over 2 hours long. At this time, Brenda confirms that Erica saw “more than 1 concerning email” and that even though she has not replied, she is aware of the situation.
5:00pm CT - Corinne sends an email to some of the GDI network with a public apology for what happened in Minneapolis via Meetup.com.
10:39am ET - LeeAnn announces on GDI National Slack to all GDI Chapter Leaders that Shanise has resigned her position from GDI, effective two days later on Friday, November 23th.
9:00am ET - An interview with Shanise Barona with Kim Crayton on #causeascene podcast is released; the interview details Shanise’s experiences being marginalized by members of the GDI HQ team while she was a member of the staff.
10:30am ET - Executive Director Corinne Warnshuis speaks on a panel at Founder Factory; ‘It takes a village! Hear from national leaders on how they build successful ecosystems’
~6:00pm ET - HQ publicly shares a Twitter status as a follow up to Shanise’s interview on #causeascene podcast.
8:00am ET - An Open Letter to the Board of Directors is shared publicly; signatories include current & former GDI Chapter Leaders, volunteers, and community members. Most distribution happened via Twitter, see Twitter Moment.
2:22pm ET - Corinne shares a document on behalf of the Board of Directors (specifically signed by Brenda Jin, Janelle Jolley, and Erica Baker) within the GDI National Slack team that is intended to be shared with the public. This document is an invitation to the entire GDI community to two open Town Hall forums on Friday, January 11, 2019 wherein community members are invited to express their feedback on recent events. This invitation has not been made public through GDI’s official channels at the time of this posting.
3:00pm ET - GDI HQ (Corinne, Bindu Jallabah - Director of Operations, GDI) and two members of the Board (Erica Baker, Brenda Jin) hold an open call with active Chapter Leaders to discuss questions, concerns, and feedback following the release of Shanise Barona’s interview on the #causeascene podcast. Some past Chapter Leaders and other former community members are also present during the call. (Note: this call was already scheduled prior to the release of the Open Letter.) During this call,
6:37pm ET - GDI HQ member Marisa Catalina Casey (Director of Marketing, GDI HQ), announces in GDI National Slack that she has just submitted her resignation, citing discrimination and disrespect towards her from other members of the leadership team.
9:00pm ET - Erica Baker (Board Member, GDI) shares a formal response to the Open Letter to the Board via GDI National Slack, a private document visible only to CLs. She also announces the resignation of Vanessa Hurst.
~5:30pm CT - GDI Board of Directors publishes a post on medium.com outlining events that have transpired and plans to move forward.
1:20pm ET - Board Treasurer Janelle Jolley participates with Q&A with Chapter Leaders in GDI National Slack. Conversation is contentious.
3:30pm ET - LeeAnn emails all active chapter leaders letting them know that there is no such thing as “hiatus” designation within GDI & that it is the discretion of HQ whether or not a chapter is active. She also requests resignation from any CL who is not interested in moving forward with the organization.
4:00pm ET - Rachel sends emails to offboarding Chapter Leaders regarding the deactivation of GDI emails by EOD Friday, January 4th. Slack access is removed on the 3rd.
3:00pm ET - Emails are sent to chapters that have ceased events/classes to warn of their pending deactivation by EOD 1/7. The date does not reflect the 1/14 deadline originally set by HQ.
5:00pm ET - HQ announces the town hall meeting times and dates via Slack and Twitter. Two sessions on Friday 1/11, 12pm and 6pm, will take place with the following video conference link: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1498823438
12:00pm - 1:00pm ET - GDI Board of Directors & members of HQ participate in Town Hall open to the public to respond to questions. Call is led by Erica Baker.
6:00pm - 7:00pm ET - GDI Board of Directors & members of HQ participate in Town Hall open to the public to respond to questions. Call is led by Brenda Jin.
Notes for both calls can be found here (open in new window)
6:32pm ET - LeeAnn McKinney sends an email to chapter leaders announcing a new chapter leader agreement coming February 6th and due by March 1st.
“New CL agreements: Keep an eye out in the next newsletter (landing in your inbox on Wednesday, February 6) for the new CL Agreement. Not much is changing in terms of the role itself, but we have rewritten aspects in the interest of providing better clarity and expectations around the role.“
4:13pm ET - GDI HQ sends email to chapter leaders saying that the new chapter leader agreements are still in legal review. The email also indicates that instructors will be expected to sign agreements going forward, as well.
“New CL agreements are in a final HR and legal assessment before sending out to chapter leaders to review.”
“Side note: This year we will also begin issuing agreements with GDI instructors.”