This afternoon, I was running errands looking for the proper attire for a black tie event. I’m going to an LGBTQ gala tonight and it’s formal, but the only dress I have is my wedding dress and my fashion sense is slim to none. Anywho, I digress. As I was trying to find a black tie (because I just can’t bring myself to wear a dress), I got a text message saying “Why didn’t I know that there was a JTI event today???” My response was “What JTI event today? There wasn’t one.” The next response “The fliers said it was a JTI event.”
Herein lies a weakness of JTI. We organize in the virtual space for the most part. We talk online, text message, email, and call each other. Willow and I barely see each other in person. In fact, in San Francisco on Thursday, we saw each other for only the 2nd time since the launch of JTI. Organizing online can sometimes lead to mixed messages. JTI-national did not have any event today, but some of our organizers may have chosen to have an event in their city for something local. JTI seeks to empower our members to stand up for what they believe in locally and nationally. Because of this, sometimes there will be events that a member holds that Willow and I or JTI-national are not a part of. Most of our organizers follow the protocol of checking in before listing JTI as endorsing an event that is not officially a JTI event.
So, this text message led me to thinking about this weakness, and wondering how we can fix it. We do have an Official JTI Events page that speaks to events or protests endorsed, hosted, or sponsored by JTI. We have an Other Events page, which speaks to events that we want to help get the word out on, but they are not run by, hosted by, endorsed, or sponsored by us. Still, there seems to be confusion out there, and we’re curious about how you think we should help to clear up this confusion? We do not want to become an organization that makes all the decisions of what to do, without listening to the needs of our members. This is why we’ve used The IMPACT the way we do and why we do not treat our organizers like employees… these organizers are what make us a success, we do not make them a success, and we want our actions to show our appreciation for them. We will NEVER tell our organizers that they cannot have an event without our approval. So how do we clear up the confusion when an event is held in our name, that isn’t actually one JTI is behind or even aware of?
We want to continue learning from you and working with and for you. Willow is at Camp Courage today. She is learning how to help provide more support for our organizers so that we can better serve you. That is one step, but we know there are more. So what do you think?