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Caucus or Affinity Groups: Writing Congregational Bylaws
Governance for Congregations, Bylaws & Policies

As a congregation becomes diverse in membership, it may want to consider having caucus and affinity groups as part of its organizational structure. These groups may have representation on the board and may provide a voice for minority racial identity, ethnic identity, and sexual orientation and identity, among others.

Sample Provision

Example 1: All Souls shall institutionalize Caucus- or Affinity Groups into its decision-making process as another way to create an inclusive environment where the best possible non-oppressive decision may be reached. As with the Standing Committees of the Committee of the Whole, Caucus- or Affinity Groups shall be created at the discretion of the Committee of the Whole and each group shall be an official body of the congregation, afforded the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as other Standing Committees. The People of Color Caucus shall be a Standing Caucus with a representative on the board. Other groups may also form caucuses.

Caucuses shall exist to evaluate the potentially oppressive impact specific institutional- and/or organizational decisions and/or decisions regarding policy may have on members of the congregation who identify themselves as members of a group that has been historically marginalized and disenfranchised in larger society.

Membership in any caucus and/or affinity group shall be open to any person who publicly lives and/or self-identifies as being a member of the specific target group for which the affinity group or caucus has been formed.

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