Accomplished Work of MASC

Timeline of General Updates for the Multicultural Audit Steering Committee

Last Updated on Monday, March 18, 2019


Monday, March 18, 2019: MASC Report for March 2019 Continuing Sessions (March 2019 PhYM MASC Report Final) and (MASC Successful Proposal)

Thursday, November 15, 2018: ZOOM  Peace and Progress! MASC held a second ZOOM meeting on November 15, 2018. The Call:  The meeting started a few minutes earlier with “Let it Snow” playing in the background to mark the occasion of the first snow (smile) of Autumn.  The meeting commenced at 7:30 PM and ended to 8:18 PM. We are respectful of Friends’ time.

After the clerk provided updates, a few questions related to transparency, minutes, and scope of committee emerged. Transparency: Our process has never been hidden, it is just that we could not articulate the continuing revelation that was happening in the process of creating the RFP. Now, that we can and have articulated aspects of a counterculture that can be gathered, we are on our way. Next, Minutes: Our meetings are more worship sharing, so actionable items that emerged from the worship indicate the sense of meeting. Lastly, Scope of Work: The Call for Nominations and The Invite to serve on the committee outline the scope of the MASC’s work. Yet, we know that Continuing Revelation is vital and crucial to our work and we will continue to embrace that.

The only action item that emerged was to remind, via the website, the larger PhYM community of the tasks associated with MASC. And, we will articulate how we will continue to allow revelation and Spirit guide this work.  Continuing Revelation: MASC member Howard, in a call to the Clerk, after the ZOOM meeting, was insightful and full of wisdom regarding Continuing Revelation. He talked about the nature of this work and how we must continue to make space for revelation. Thank you Howard! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018: Committee Members shared information of ZOOM Meeting with their contacts. MASC Clerk published a reflection as she answers critical questions about why PhYM is conducting an audit: How Quakers Lunch

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 7:30 PM: ZOOM Call: This ZOOM call went well. Nine Friends joined the call. The meeting was complete in 20 minutes. The energy was  pleasant.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018: ZOOM info released and updated on PhYM’s calendar. The Clerk sent out information that conveyed a ZOOM Meeting would occur on Wednesday and Thursday, although the meeting was to be only ONE day (Thursday). But, to minimize confusion and accommodate calendars and possible Friends, the Clerk scheduled to have the “Update” meeting on both Wednesday and  Thursday. The information can be found on the following post: ZOOM Meetings

Monday, November 5, 2018: Communicated with PhYM webmaster, Malcolm, who graciously and promptly took care of requests of MASC Clerk.

Sunday, November 4, 2018:

  • MASC Clerk posted a recap of November Continuing Sessions: Recap
  • MASC Clerk updated website.

Saturday, November 3, 2018: Multicultural Audit Steering Committee report is received at Annual Sessions. For the official recap, see: Recap

Friday, November 2, 2018: Met its target dates, the Multicultural Audit Steering Committee (MASC):

  • Posted the Request for Proposals (RFP) from Independent Consulting Services for a Multicultural Community Assessment in Diversity and Inclusion to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s MASC-related page. For more information, see: RFP

  • Clerk updated MASC’s page.
  • For MASC’s Retreat (September 2018) Minutes. Thank you Laura Pickering Ford: Minutes

September 25-November 1, 2018: Multicultural Audit Steering Committee (MASC)  had a flurry of activities preparing for release of Request for Proposals and Continuing Sessions:

  • We revised a calendar and incorporated the date of the March Continuing Sessions.
  • We completed a cover letter to the Request for Proposal, along with created and discussing a Rubric for Evaluation of Proposals (a small sprints within the committee did this). The Committee members combed through final draft of RFP.
  • On Halloween, we held a delightful and positive ZOOM meeting to discuss the MASC’s presentation at Continuing Sessions.
  • The Clerk sent PhYM Continuing Sessions Coordinator Meg Rose and Clerk Chris Lucca, an Advanced Report of the MASC on Tuesday morning, October 30.
  • The high energy of the MASC is rightfully high because unlike other organizations that have written mission and value statements, along with strategic plans with measurable, quantifiable benchmarks and goals related to specific targets, this committee initially received imprecise ideas and indistinct budget. Yet, RFP needed specifics.
  • In under a year, this committee has created a RFP that aims to hire a consultant who can help PhYM assess and strengthen its beloved community that desires meaningful diversity and inclusion.
  • Starting on Thursday, November 1, 2018,  invitations were sent to potential consultants (still seeking more potential consultants).

August-September 21-23, 2018: Multicultural Audit Steering Committee (MASC) had a retreat at Pendle Hill in Wallingford PA:

  • $2, 242 was the investment cost of three-day retreat; costs were kept at minimum by the Clerk.
  • Laura Pickering Ford (Harrisburg MM) served as Secretary and typed the minutes.
  • Committee members, specifically those who attended the full retreat, threshed and agreed to work on generating a list of consultants and re-imaging a timeline that would ensure more time for consultants to consider applying and for the community to participate.
  • PhYM paid Pendle Hill within two weeks of invoice.


April 2018-July 2018: (Narrative is needed here, so no easy bullet points): The Multicultural Audit Steering Committee (MASC) created a draft, with some specifics, of a Request for Proposals (RFP) on May 19, 2018 and again established an ambitious  timeline to get a finalist by July 2018 Annual Sessions. Compounding  the very limited range of an assessment created by the limited RFP was the fact that the committee only had a potential consultant list of five and, with a short turn-around time was limiting who could be hired. Also, during this time, the now deceased PhYM Clerk, resigned in last March. Her resignation created a quandary for PhYM about how to do the work usually assigned to one PhYM Clerk. After much deliberation, the clerks of various councils created a temporary multiple-clerk model. Unsure it was wise to continue with such a leadership model knowing the gravity of the implications of this work, particularly the needed relationship among the MASC Clerk, PhYM Clerk, and General Secretary, the MASC Clerk put the work on hiatus without communicating with the full committee. Also,  the MASC Clerk had reservations about proceeding forward after hearing rather troubling statements for two members of the committee that essentially marginalized most of the members of the Quaker community. Consequently, instead of giving a Report at Annual Sessions in July, the MASC Clerk presented a reflection, which she presented as such. Members of the committee has not read the reflection in advance. Also, at Annual Sessions, after much threshing and vetting, the PhYM Community, for this first time since starting its newest iteration to dismantle systemic bias and prejudice in January 2015, in positive agreement affirmed the MASC and supported one of the member’s request for a MASC retreat. Also, to the delight of the Clerk, at this sessions,  PhYM returned to its model of one clerk: Chris Lucca.

January-March 2018:  The Multicultural Audit Steering Committee (MASC) had several phone calls where members shared various ideas, created an ambitious timeline that completed the process of finding a consultant in 12 weeks (this included constructing and distributing an Request for Proposals (RFP) without knowing exactly how to articulate PhYM, reviewing proposals, interviewing potential consultants, and strengthening community with this process. Several committee members realized this was too ambitious and presented at the spring Continuing Sessions stating such. In their presentation at the Spring Continuing Sessions, MASC explained that they saw their work as worship and one that would require more community input to better articulate PhYM needed.

12.10.17: The Clerk’s Reflection of the First Gathering of the Multicultural Audit Steering Committee, where 19 Friends met, held on Saturday, Dec. 9th at Arch Street Meeting, affirmed the purpose of, encouraged each other, participated engagingly, and delivered their best fruits. About this meeting, the Clerk remarked,  “My cup runneth over with JOY and encouragement. – tonya thames taylor

12.9.17: The Gather was successful. Nineteen Friends formed a synergy that was magical. So magical, one Friend let the happy tears flow. We ended up meeting from 11:15 AM-2:30 PM.

12.7.17: The Clerk reached out to committee members who had yet to respond to initial email. And, the Clerk sent an email to the committee in regards to the initial meeting on 12.9.17.

12.6.17: Website updates completed. Also, the Clerk decided not to use Zoom for the initial meeting (the issue came to the attention of the Clerk on Wednesday, 12.6). For upcoming meetings, Zoom will be employed/used.

11.30.17: Director of Arch Street Meeting House Lynne Calamia affirms Clerk tonya thames taylor’s suggestion to update catering list. An enthusiastic Lynne remarked, “Thanks for this suggestion for our approved caterer’s list.  The current list was in place when I started here and we haven’t really sat down to reevaluate who’s on the list and who isn’t in over 5 years.  It sounds like it’s time for a refresh.  I’ll talk to staff about it.

11.30.17: PYM’s Community Engagement Coordinator Tricia Coscia gleefully and promptly ordered a “curriculum” book that Clerk tonya thames taylor suggests will ground the committee’s work. Book title will be revealed on 12.9.17.  Tricia and tonya kicked around some themes for the committee that may go beyond committee work: “Connecting Community, Exercising Love.”

11.27.17:  Woman and minority-owned catering company submitted all insurances and certificates to Arch Street and  PYM’s Controller Cliessa Nagle.

11.24-12.4.2017: Received statements about why members wanted to serve the committee.

11.24.17:  Clerk tonya thames taylor sends “Welcome” email and video, invitation to gather,  PhYM designated page link, and survey to members of the Multicultural Audit Steering Committee.

11.21-22.17:  Clerk tonya thames taylor designs dedicated webpage on Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s website. thames taylor is responsible for the scripting and images for the website.

11.21.17:  Clerk tonya thames taylor secures Arch Street Meeting House for first meeting to be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017, 11 AM-2 PM at Arch Street Meeting House. She wanted Arch Street to pay homage to the faith journey of Quaker and Abolitionist Grace B. Douglass: Grace Douglass

11.20.17: Clerk tonya thames taylor posts a “Welcome” video to the members of the Multicultural Audit Steering Committee on Youtube. Before sharing with the committee on Friday, November 24, the video had over 100 views because she shared it for review to her support team: MASC Youtube Video

11.14-20.17: Clerk tonya thames taylor works with various Friends and offices of PhYM. She shared the following with PYM Clerk and Leadership and General Secretary: Team Effort Deserves Recognition: I am so appreciative of the energy of both Lynne Calamia and Tarra Raspanti over at Arch Street. Lynne got the ball rolling by instructing me to complete the required reservation form. From there, Tarra promptly answered my emails and addressed my concerns. The helpful tone of her emails was so welcoming, so what I needed. Another person who deserves a generous and LOUD round of applause is Malcolm McAtee at PhYM. Malcolm, in less than 10 minutes after speaking with me, set up the committee’s Google Group and my editorial access to the committee’s dedicated page on PYM’s website (I am still working on this…smile). Cliessa Nagle at PhYM rocks! She answered my many questions in a matter that made me feel that the questions were good ones (smile). She was patient as I struggled to find the right concepts and language to receive the information I sought. Anthony Taylor of Fallowfield Monthly Meeting proved to be a living saint as he withstood the chill of a windy Sunday on November 19. He patiently recorded my NUMEROUS takes for the first video I made for the committee. Thank you many times over Lynne, Tarra, Malcolm, Cliessa, and Anthony. With enthusiasm, joy, and a clear mind, I can declare that you all (y’all as we say down south) have made this administrative learning curve enjoyable.” 

11.7-14: Clerk tonya thames taylor discerns where to meet and embarks upon an administrative learning curve. Also, on 11.11, Clerk tonya thames taylor is appointed to a three-year term on the Friends Historical Society.

11.6.17: Clerk tonya thames taylor works with Malcolm McAtee of PYM to secure Google Group and designated webpage.

11.4. 17:  tonya thames taylor of Fallowfield MM (PA), Western Quarter, announced as Clerk of Committee. She introduces the committee members at Continuing Sessions at Arch Street Meeting House with song, fellowship, encouragement, and enthusiasm.  Committee members present stood. Joyous event overall.

10.24. 17: Committee populated after threshing of nominations submitted throughout the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting;  Clerk Penny Colgan Davis and Administrative, Nomination, and Quaker Life Councils were active in this process.

August-early October 2017: Call for Nominations to serve on an audit committee made.