Home

ABOUT US
- History
- Past projects
- Current members

HOW WE WORK
- How we work
- How members make proposals to the coalition
- OF e-mail list

- OF discussion list

MEMBERSHIP
- Membership requirements
- Membership application process
- Membership application forms

CONTACT US
Administrative folk

All content copyright Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition. All rights reserved.

HOW WE WORK
Our Freedom undertakes educational, informational, and advocacy projects directed at mainstream media, government, and cultural institutions as one of the many voices of the U.S. Pagan movement. We represent ourselves and/or our organizations, not all Pagans. We are a voice of the American Pagan movement, not the voice. Our projects encourage accuracy, fairness, and civil rights for Pagans.

Any Our Freedom coalition member may propose an item for joint action. Not all members sign onto all projects. See past projects for listings of who supported each project.

Each project is supported or not on its merits as determined by each coalition member. A project developed by the Our Freedom coalition does not necessarily indicate support by every coalition member, it only indicates that no member of the coalition blocked the project.

DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES

    • Decision-making in any charrettes/committees for OF projects is consensus-based.

    • Decisions regarding Our Freedom e-mail list mechanics (traffic, civility, conduct, etc) are made by the co-moderators. These decisions are informed by feedback from list members, whether through private e-mail or through formal surveys. Likewise, decisions regarding Our Freedom Round Table e-mail list mechanics are handled by that list's moderators.

    Membership applications are posted to the OF list for comment. See Application Process for more details.

    • Decisions regarding projects are done on an individual basis (rather than through consensus). As we have always done, individuals and organizations can choose to co-sign a project or not. Full participation and approval by all OF Full and Signatory members is not necessary for projects to be completed. In those cases, silence = stand aside (see below). See How to Make a Proposal for more details.

OF uses the consensus mechanics* of raising concerns, "standing aside," and "blocking" in order to make sure no projects go out which members have serious reservations about. For this to work, it is incumbent on list members to communicate concerns or blocks as early in the process as possible. Comment periods of three weeks are standard for each project. Members forfeit their right to block if they miss a comment period due to being off-line.

We realize that a 3-week comment period means that some of our projects will not be timely; however, this is preferable to issuing projects which members cannot support. Members wanting to do their own projects without the 3-week comment period are free to do so, as long as they do not issue the project under the OF name and take only minimum bandwidth on the OF list to organize the project. See How to Make a Proposal for more details.

*Terminology:
"Raising concerns": Every project is improved through member commentary. Members who raise concerns help clarify the project's intent and improve its accuracy. We encourage all members to give feedback (positive and negative) on every project.

"Stand aside": This is when a decision is being made which you don't agree with, but you don't disagree strongly enough to block it. It's also used when you're indifferent to a proposal. It's best to raise concerns before deciding to stand aside. As an example, you may not think a certain press release is a good idea, but it's not something you'd block. In that case, you would "stand aside" by simply not co-signing the press release.

"Block": A block stops the project until the concern raised is addressed. It indicates you have a very strong reservation which you feel has not been listened to. A block would only occur after you've raised reservations and feel you have not been heard. Blocking is an extreme safety measure, used only as a last resort. If a project or application is blocked, it can be re-worked to meet all participants' objectives or can be dropped. Blocks are not necessary if we are truly listening to each other.