Accountability and Reconciliation: SUUSI’s CAT

What is the CAT?

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CAT, or our Covenant and Accountability Team, is a group of both lay persons and ministry professionals trained in conflict resolution and reconciliation processes to engage conflicts that may arise, that SUUSI may grow as a community of mutual care and responsibility.

SUUSI’s CAT Charter, or, How’s it Work?

The SUUSI Covenant and Accountability Team Charter, affirmed by the SUUSI Board on November 21, 2020, puts forth CAT’s charge to guide our living into our best SUUSI selves.

SUUSI Covenant and Accountability Team Charter

General Purpose: The purpose of the Covenant Accountability Team is to support SUUSI participants in living into the SUUSI mission to live into our best selves and our Unitarian Universalist principle to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all people.

Recognizing that systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories, the Covenant Accountability Team will serve the SUUSI community by listening and engaging with people who have experienced problems of oppression while at SUUSI.

Reporting and Chain of Command: The Covenant Accountability Team volunteers are recruited and hired through a collaborative process between the SUUSI Board President, SUUSI Director, and the Nurture Staff Director initiated by the Nurture Staff Director.

The Covenant Accountability Team will report to the SUUSI Board President, SUUSI Director, and Nurture Staff Director the generalities of the issues and engagements in which they have been involved, and will make recommendations as to any actions that may need to be taken by the SUUSI leadership teams. The Team will consult with the Leadership Team with regard to issues that may be needed to be formally reported as a grievance or incident.

Staffing: The Covenant Accountability Team shall consist of five volunteers. Each will receive half credit for serving as SUUSI staff. They will be asked to serve on the Team for three (3) years. The first year the Team is in place, three members will serve for three years and two members will serve for two years. Every effort will be made to staff the team with people who hold a variety of identities related to age, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity. Members of the Covenant Accountability Team may not serve on the SUUSI Board or Core Staff while serving on the Team. 

Schedules for being on-call will be developed in collaboration with the Nurture Staff Director.

Leadership: Each year, the Team will select one person from among their team to serve as the primary point of contact for that year. This person will be the primary contact for the Board President, SUUSI Director, and Nurture Staff Director.

Function and Responsibilities: The lead member of the Team will arrive at SUUSI on Friday so they can meet with the Board President, SUUSI Director, and Nurture Staff Director, to be briefed on any issues or concerns that may have arisen or may be of concern; and, to develop their schedule for the week and determine protocols for their work together. The remaining members of the Team will arrive on Saturday.

Accountability: The Covenant Accountability Team is accountable to the SUUSI Community, and will report regularly to the Community regarding the general aspects of issues that are emerging.

Communication: The Team will speak with one voice regarding any recommended actions for grievances that are brought to them. The Team will communicate regularly with the Nurture Staff Director during SUUSI and will have at least one meeting with the Board President, SUUSI Director, and Nurture Staff Director during the week of SUUSI. They will provide a report to the SUUSI Board, 

SUUSI Director and Nurture Staff Director within two weeks of the end of SUUSI that summarizes the issues within the Community and recommendations for the following SUUSI.

The Team will communicate with the SUUSI Community via the daily NUUS, reports during worship services and other venues and events to increase awareness and educate the community the ways in which we can more fully support people in our community who are part of traditionally oppressed populations.

Authority: The Covenant Accountability Team has no authority to remove SUUSI participants from the Community; however, they may make recommendations to the Board President and SUUSI Director regarding issues that may warrant a participants’ removal.

Should an incident come before the Covenant Accountability Team that involves either the Board President, SUUSI Director, the Nurture Staff Director, or with any member of the Board of Trustees or Core Staff, they will have the authority to engage them in a process of mediation and will not be subjected to intimidation.

Should an incident come before the Board of Trustees, SUUSI Director, or Nurture Staff Director in which a member of the Covenant Accountability Team has engaged in behaviors that have caused emotional, spiritual, or physical harm to someone in the community, the Board President, SUUSI Director and Nurture Staff Director will listen to and engage with the people involved to seek reconciliation and determine the best course of action with regard to that person’s status on the Team.

What if I experience conflict, harm, or need support for a personal issue at SUUSI?

To get support from SUUSI Pastoral Care or the CAT (Covenant and Accountability Team)

Call 66-ASK-SUUSI, and press 2