AARWR semi-annual business meeting
March 13, 2020
Claremont Graduate University - via Zoom
Attendees: Jason Sexton, Anna Hennessey, Roy Whitaker, Brian Clearwater, Susan Maloney, Anjeanette LeBoeuf, James Berry, John Erickson, Sakena Young-Scaggs, Marie Cartier, Yuria Celidwen, Souad Ali, Thien-Huong Ninh
Apologies: Abdullahi Gallab, Andrew Lee (resigned), Tyler Feezell (resigned)
Meeting convened at 12:11 pm
Motion to approve meeting minutes from November: Sakena motioned, Roy seconded; passed unanimously
Motion to approve financial report: Sakena motioned, James seconded, passed unanimously
Motion to approve the Agenda: Yuria motioned, Anjeanette seconded, passed unanimously
Regional Coordinator Report (Brian Clearwater)
- Financial Report and Minutes from Nov 23, 2020
- Need to develop a survey to receive feedback from people on their experience of the virtual conference.
- Motion: Create an ad hoc committee to create a survey assessing functionality and diversity: JP, Roy, Sakena, Anna, Jason, Yuria, and other members as volunteer
o Motion to utilize AAR voting system for RC election: Sakena, Marie,
discussion: concern about the protocol. Need to inquire with AAR.
Tabled: Sakena motioned, Marie seconded, passed unanimously
VP/Program Chair Report (Anna Hennessey)
- Update on the status of panels; coronavirus
- Motion to not penalize any Unit for lack of participation this year because of the nature of the virtual conference this year, extenuating circumstances.
- Motioned by Anna, Seconded by Marie, passed unanimously
- Update on 2021 mtg location: Location at IBS is in question due to scheduling issues. Anna will inquire with UC Berkeley. Board will help find a location in Northern California.
Question about the legality of recording our sessions. Do we need participants to sign a release form? Jason will look into Zoom capability of having participants agree upon entry to the Zoom meeting.
President’s report (Jason Sexton)
- Plenary speaker (updated) for 2020 mtg
- Presidential address: Black Church & Black California not to be delivered; if, possible, a presentation on Critical Study of Religion in the Era of COVID-19
- Revisit explorative question (from Brian): getting board members more engaged in regional work
- Motion: Appoint all three student representatives as co-chairs of the Graduate Student Professional Development Unit (GSPD).
- Motioned by Brian, seconded by Anna, passed unanimously
- Conference dinners discretionary question (from Yuria et al)
- Motion: an ad hoc committee be created to plan the November board meetings
- Motioned by Brian, seconded by Anna, passed unanimously
- RC will be appointed chair.
- Scope of committee: Location must be appropriate to a business meeting so ensure that members can hear each other.
- has a private room with a door that closes (or equivalent), good acoustics for speaking/hearing
- Deadline to secure a reservation: TBD
- That the cost of the meal will be reasonable. Budget for November Board meeting: $1,000
- Scope approved unanimously
- Motion: At Board Dinners, alcoholic drinks are paid privately.
- Motioned by Roy, seconded by Sakena: motion failed.
- New Motion: alcoholic drinks are capped at one drink (per glass)
- Motioned by Jason, seconded by Marie. 4 yays, none opposed, 4 abstained. Motion carries.
- More than one speaker at AARWR conference?
- Current policy is that one person can only present once per conference, with exception of GSPD. We still want to confirm that one cannot present the same paper at two different units.
- Motion: Policy File amendment p.20: Limit on number of papers is 2 distinct papers within units per conference.
- Anna motioned, Jason seconded. passed unanimously.
- Removal of unit: 19th Century. Tabled.
- Raise travel scholarship amounts?
- Motion: Increase travel award amount to $250, at 4 awards per year:
- motioned by Sakena, Seconded by Roy
- amendment: $500 at $250/each and the other $500 allocated at the discretion of the President.
- Motion carries with a vote of 5-1
- Stipend for keynotes traveling: more than just the stipend? Airfare & lodging? Extend plenary time?
- Black Caucus name (to include “Womanist”)?
- Sakena confirmed the rationale for the creation of the Black Caucus is for all Black scholars to have a place within our region, even if they are not womanist scholars, or any other school of thought. Purpose was to mirror the Black Scholars of Religion group at national.
- Fee for retirees in a local community?
- student reps: NorCal, SoCal, AZ
- HI/Islands rep
- Conference Manager, Regional Coordinator, VP-elect
- Which officers should have PhDs? RC?
- Marie shared that only the President need have Ph.D.
- Travel awards: N/A
- Paper award winners:
- “21st Century Tenant-Owner Practices: Lingering Colonial Ritual of Domination.” Dr. Nancy Quiñones (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)
- “A Comparative Study on Japanese Zen Buddhism Architecture and Catholic Architecture.” Daniel Lai, Seattle Pacific University
- “Exploring (Self)Compassion In Multiracial Identity Development.” Aizaiah Yong, Claremont School of Theology
- “Mictlan: Our Shared Home. Funerary Rites and Ethics of Belonging in Indigenous Precolonial Mexico.” Yuria Celidwen, Pacifica Graduate Institute
- the AAR/WR document the (inclusive) process used to make this decision (you had many stakeholders, especially the inclusion of your unit/section chairs),
- AAR/WR provide a written evaluation from all participants, which gathers a wide range of views on how this "new AAR/WR conference" impacted them (JP & Brian on this)
- AAR/WR request time (through Katherine Downey, AAR national Regions Director) to do a report/presentation at Boston 2020 AAR national board meeting.
- This should be an in-person request for an AAR/WR board member to present, not simply a written report.
- Motion: nominate Anna Hennessey to present to the national AAR board on our experience with the virtual meeting and reimburse her travel/lodging. Pending approval to the agenda by the AAR board.
- Motioned by Brian, seconded by Jason, passed unanimously
- suggestion deals with recognition and assistance: In light of all the work done and the future tasks to complete the conference reports, I feel the work and time of Anna, Brian and JP should be recognized by the board, and compensated.
- Brian and JP declined the honor and both recommended Anna be the sole recipient of compensation.
- Motion: Recognize Anna Hennessey for her extra work and compensate her with $1000 motioned by Sakena, seconded by Anjeanette. passed unanimously.
Conference Manager (JP Paxton)
- received 160 papers, 11 needed to drop out, 24 units
- Thanks to Jacob Perez for stepping into co-chair position of Latinx American Religion Unit
- Update on facility for 2020 meeting
- Option for future conferences to have virtual pre-conference events to make it accessible to everyone regardless of travel. Idea to make them free so also no financial limitation.
Motion to change the name of Diversity Advocate, to Diversity and Inclusion Advocate
Motioned by Sakena, seconded by Anjeanette, passed unanimously
VP-elect report (Roy Whitaker):
- Confirmation to host AARWR 2022 at UNLV, include faculty rep + events & planning
- Theme next year: Religion and Popular Culture
- Motion: revising part of the “Hosting Institutions” language in the policy file (on page 19). It says the conference rotates between a few geographical locations. I’d like to propose expanding it out to include Nevada, as UNLV is there
“The Operating Agreement, 4.03, states that the annual conference rotates between three geographical areas: Southern California, Northern California, and Arizona”
change to “historically” The Region can expand this to include Nevada, Hawaii, and Pacific Islands, which are also included in our Region.
Roy, Sakena, passed Unanimously
Marie announced the Queer Caucus will hold a virtual meeting on Saturday.
Recommendation to get a Zoom account by the region.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.