We at the Backbone Campaign have always championed the voices of the oppressed. To protect the vulnerable is foundational to what we do and is at our core.
The current attack being waged by a small group of former Board members and CSOs upon Backbone and its director is intentionally misleading, one-sided, and is not representative of the many ways Backbone shows up and stands up. It ignores the developmental work we’ve done and changes we’ve made. This attack is especially unfortunate given the scale of the challenges we face as a society and the urgency of this particular moment.
Dialogue, disagreement and debate are expected and welcome. Spirited exchange catalyzes understanding, insights, and growth. But those outcomes depend on engaging our fellow activists with respect and care, so that we fortify the solidarity our shared cause depends upon.
We strive to lead by example in recognizing and taking action to address white supremacy, racism, sexual harassment, patriarchy, and all forms of oppression . Upon receiving reports of an incident at last year’s Action Camp, the staff took proportionate and timely action. They investigated the allegations and reported them to the board, who then took appropriate measures including, but not limited to removing a board member and making an official apology.
The process of instituting positive change and becoming a better organization has commenced and is ongoing. The current board of directors bring with them a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences and talents. Together, board and staff have instituted new organizational policies, engaged in ongoing anti-patriarchy and anti-oppression trainings, and made long needed staffing changes.
We all have room to grow, but Backbone Campaign's Board of Directors have full confidence in the integrity of our process, the actions taken, and our Executive Director, Bill Moyer.
We stand by, and are proud of, our body of work. For 15 years, Backbone has been dedicated to providing creative strategies, support, and training opportunities for change agents across the nation. Our influence and positive impacts are beyond dispute. Despite the ongoing and recent attacks, we continue to expand our impact and solidarity work across the country.
Backbone will keep its focus on listening to our community partners, engaging in constructive dialogue, treating each other with respect, and fighting for future generations. Keeping that focus is our generation’s calling. Thanks to all who are also keeping that focus – and rising to that calling.
As always, we are here to stand with you. We urge you to Stand with Backbone.
Mary Lou Finley
PS - If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions we want to hear from you. Please send inquiries you have on this matter to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will get back to you as soon as we can.