18 January 2017

Meeting minutes for January 2017

Meeting minutes for Wednesday, 18 January 2016

In attendance: Barbara, Jeff, Colin, Tilo, Marsha

Welcome and Introductions

  • 2016 Write for Rights: 109 cards, 11 petitions, $335.47 received from Ten Thousand Villages for our community shopping event
  • Dues: Please give $35 annual chapter dues to Tilo
  • Barbara asked for members willing to be auxiliary coordinator who can create agendas and run meetings when she is unable to attend
    • Jeff volunteered to take on this role
    • Marsha will be Jeff's backup
    • Jeff will run the March, April, and May meetings

  • Ali Shariati (Iran): hunger-striking prisoner of conscience in poor health (UA 257/16)
  • Mohammed Sadiq Kabudvand (Iran)
  • Xu Youchen (China): veteran human rights activist sentenced to death (UA 3/17)
  • Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, and Ahmed Raza Naseer (Pakistan): four human rights activists who have been missing (presumably detained by the state) since early January (UA 5/17)
New Business
  • Movie night at Tilo's house in lieu of regular meeting on 15 February , 7:30 p.m.
    • We will choose the film that evening
      • 13th (about the 13th amendment) (trailer here)
      • The House I Live In (about the war on drugs) (trailer here; full film on YouTube for $1.99)
      • Bitter Lake (about how Saudi Arabia exported Wahhibism) (full film here)
    • Barbara will post an announcement to the Google Group and ask for RSVPs so Tilo knows how many people to expect
    • Members can bring snacks to share if they like (but it's not necessary)

Outreach/Membership Campaign
  • Follow-up to last month's discussion (led by Struan) about outreach campaigns 
    • Marsha
      • presented a list of local events that welcome nonprofit/local groups (where we could have a book sale, sell t-shirts, etc.)
        • possibilities: Good Neighbor Day (4 July, Downingtown); West Chester Growers' Market (Saturdays from May through November, WC), Malvern festivals in spring and fall, Eagleview Farmer's Market (Thursdays)
        • members present agreed that at least some of these are very viable options for our group (given our size and location)
        • Marsha will do a bit more research and bring an updated list for the March meeting
      • discussed places that might let us post flyers about our group
        • Marsha will ask Kimberton Whole Foods, Chester County Library, Henrietta Hankin Library, Lionville YMCA
        • Can Michele post one at Tredyffrin Library?
        • Maybe Tilo can ask the Unitarian church in West Chester to post a flyer (and perhaps mention our group in a newsletter or other media?)
        • Can other members check other YMCAs, other libraries, other venues?
        • Marsha will make sure our flyer is up to date and send out a revised version to everyone (print at home and e-mail/post as widely as possible)
      • drafted a letter for AIUSA to distribute to local AIUSA members (since AIUSA won't give us their contact info); will time it to be an invitation to our March meeting
    • Discussion about having a talk and book signing by Eric Fair (author of Consequence, a memoir about being an interrogator Abu Ghraib)
      • Maybe Tilo can ask the Unitarian Congregation of West Chester to host and cosponsor?
      • Barbara pointed out that an event like this will require a lot of work to promote, and unless three or four other members of our group help with that task it just won't work
      • Marsha asked about having other local groups cosponsor this event (and help with promotion)—maybe invite Philly group to cosponsor or even host? (Barbara pointed out that if Philly group hosts, though, then the event is no longer what we intended: a vehicle to promote our group in our local area.)
      • Eric Fair is likely to charge a hefty speaker's fee that is outside our budget (another reason to get other groups on board to sponsor this)
    • Jeff
      • Hasn't yet asked Noam Chomsky if he can talk to our group
      • Has contacted Kevin Ferris (Chester County editor of The Inquirer) but hasn't heard back yet; maybe will have report next month
      • spoke with Kathleen Lucas about his idea to handwrite letters to local AIUSA members to invite them to our group
        • She loves the idea and says she will facilitate getting him the contact info
        • Unclear if she will actually hand over a list or if he will have to sit in the AIUSA office and look at it there
        • If we get a list, perhaps at a future meeting we could all take some time to handwrite a few notes (based on the same form letter)
    • Social media and tech for our group
      • Barb has created a FB page and an Instagram account just for our chapter
        • Barb and Ovette planning to chat about how Ovette can manage the Instagram page
        • Barb will add Colin as admin to the FB page so he can help there; maybe he can help with Twitter and Instagram too
      • Discussion about the best way to share files within our group
        • Google Groups no longer supports file sharing
        • Google Docs is an option but requires a Gmail account (which not everyone has)
        • Dropbox is another option to consider
        • But do we have that many files we need to share with each other?

Upcoming Events
  • Movie night (in lieu of February meeting): Wednesday, 15 February, 7:30 p.m., Tilo's house in West Chester, PA
  • March meeting: Wednesday, 15 March, 7:30 p..m, Wegmans in Malvern, PA

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