CLICK HERE to download a PDF version of the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) Bylaws.
Article I – Name & Purpose
Section 1 — Name: The name of the organization shall be BLUU. It shall be a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Minnesota.
Section 2 — Purpose: BLUU is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The purpose of this organization is a religious community for Black Unitarian Universalists, who are committed to living out our Unitarian Universalist faith through culturally relevant and affirming expressions of our diverse experiences as diasporic African descendants and Black people.
Article II – Membership
Section 1 — Membership: To be a member (BLUU Beloved) of the organization, a person must be 18 or over and needs to have done four of the following things, and one from each category.
- Be a member of Team Sankofa
- Have applied, signed up to join or have served in any variety of capacities:
on the BLUU Ministerial Network
on the BLUU Financial Transparency Group
on the BLUU Advisory Board
on the Worship Team
- Have served on any pastoral care, worship, or organizing team for in-person gatherings.
- Have committed to paying your dues or have paid dues, or requested a waiver of dues.
- Be a BLUUBox Subscriber
- Signed up on Patreon
- Fundraise at your church/congregation or covenantal community for BLUU, if you are affiliated at a congregation.
- Attend at least three online worship services each year.
- Be signed up to receive Daily Affirmations.
- Have attended in person (or have plans to attend) at least one BLUU gathering (this includes large gatherings like The Revival, Convening, GA Healing Space, or smaller ones like the BLUUBlackPanther events).
- Be a part of the closed FB group. Introduce yourself, actively contribute and engage and support other members in the group.
- Have signed up for the mailing list.
- Commit to attending the annual meeting in person or through online virtual access.
- Attend one New2BLUU Session (held monthly online).
Section 2 — Voting and Modified Consensus – If a member is in good standing, they are eligible for voting on proposals and issues put forth by the Organizing Collective Board of Directors.
Article III – Board of Directors
Section 1 — Board role, size, and compensation: The board is responsible for overall policy, direction of the association, and delegating responsibility of day-to-day operations to the staff and committees. The board shall have up to ten (10), but not fewer than three (3) members. The board members may receive reasonable compensation for their duties.
Section 2 — Terms: All board members, other than the ex officio board member, shall serve two-year terms, but are eligible for re-election or reappointment for up to five consecutive terms.
Section 3 — Meetings and notice: The board shall meet at least quarterly, at an agreed-upon time and place. An official board meeting requires that each board member have written notice at least two weeks in advance. Board meetings can be held in-person or via videoconference.
Section 4 — Board elections: During the last quarter of each fiscal year of the organization, the board of directors shall elect Directors to replace those whose terms will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This election shall take place during a regular meeting of the directors, called in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws.
Section 5 — Election procedures: New directors shall be elected by a majority of directors present at such a meeting, provided there is a quorum present. Members or existing directors can nominate people to serve on the Board when there is an open position. Directors so elected shall serve a term beginning on the first day of the next fiscal year.
Section 6 — Quorum: A quorum must be attended by at least fifty percent of board members for business transactions to take place and motions to pass.
Section 7 — Decision-making: Decisions regarding regular business transactions will be made based on a modified consensus agreement. Decisions regarding director removal from the board, amendments to these bylaws, and the hiring and firing of staff shall be made based on unanimous consensus.
Section 8 — Positions and Duties: There shall be three positions on the board, consisting of a chair, vice-chair, and treasurer. Terms for officers are Two Consecutive 2-year terms. They are nominated and elected within the OC. Their duties are as follows:
The Chair shall plan two retreats each year for the OC. And gather updates and reports on our organizing progress and goals from the BLUU Community Organizer and report back to the OC. The position of chair shall be filled in alignment with the skills needed to fulfill the duties of the position, as appointed by the OC.
The Vice-chair shall chair committees on special subjects as designated by the board. The vice-chair will lead the Advisory Team, assist in fundraising plan implementation and gather reports from the FTG to share with the OC monthly. The position of vice-chair shall be filled in alignment with the skills needed to fulfill the duties of the position, as appointed by the OC.
The Treasurer shall make a report at the third board meeting of the month. The treasurer shall sit on the Financial transparency group, assist in the preparation of the budget, help develop fundraising plans, and make financial information available to board members and the public. The director filling the role of the treasurer for the Board will also fill the role of the treasurer as an officer of the organization. The position of treasurer shall be filled in alignment with the skills needed to fulfill the duties of the position, as appointed by the OC.
Section 8 — Vacancies: When a vacancy on the board exists mid-term, the vice-chair must receive nominations for new members from present board members two weeks in advance of a board meeting. These nominations shall be sent out to board members with the regular board meeting announcement, to be voted upon at the next board meeting. These vacancies will be filled only to the end of the particular board member’s term.
Section 9 — Resignation, termination, and absences: Resignation from the board must be in writing and received by the vice-chair. A board member shall be terminated from the board due to excess absences, more than two unexcused absences from board meetings in a year. A board member may be removed for other reasons by a two-thirds vote of the remaining directors.
Section 10 — Special meetings: Special meetings of the board shall be called upon the request of the Chair or one-third of the board. Notices of special meetings shall be sent out by the vice-chair to each board member at least two weeks in advance.
Article IV – Committees
Section 1 — Committee Formation: The board may create committees as needed such as: fundraising, financial transparency group, public relations, data collection, etc. The board Chair appoints all committee chairs.
Section 2 — Executive Committee: The chair, vice-chair, and treasurer serve as members of the Executive Committee.
Article V – Shared Leadership
Section 1— Organizing Collective operates as the Board of Directors for BLUU. And shall be known as the Organizing Collective Board or Organizing Collective Board of Directors.
Section 2 — Financial Transparency Group and the Board: The Financial Transparency Group is lead by the Executive Director and guides the Board in financial oversight and reporting. The Board of Directors maintains decision-making for the organizational budget and all financial decisions.
Section 3 — Communication: Only board members, staff, or committee members are permitted to speak in an official capacity about the business of the organization.
Article VI – Director and Staff
Section 1 — Executive Director: The board may hire an executive director. The executive director would have day-to-day responsibilities for the organization, including carrying out the organization’s goals and policies. The executive director would attend all board meetings, report on the progress of the organization, answer questions of the board members and carry out the duties described in the job description. The board can designate other duties as necessary and in consultation with the Executive Director.
Section 2 — Staff: The board may hire staff to carry out the organization’s goals and policies, with such specific position titles, job descriptions, and duties as deemed necessary by the board. The Executive Director is responsible for staff coordination and communication.
Article VII – Board and Guidance Groups
Section 1 – Organizing Collective Board – Advisement and Guidance: The board will appoint through private and open nomination processes members to the following guidance groups: The Advisory Team, The Financial Transparency Group, and the Elders Council.
Section 1A – Advisory Team – Guidance and Input: Shall be a team of not more than 12 people. Nominations can be open or through appointment by the Board. The goal of this group is to advise the Board in governing and building the organization. For major decisions regarding the trajectory of the organization, the Board will seek in writing, in-person, and/or through virtual consultation, the Advisory Team’s input. The Board will stay in regular communication with the Advisory Team which can convene meetings as necessary and will have at least one in-person planning meeting per year. Terms of this group are two-years and members may serve three terms. The Group will be managed by the vice-chair.
Section 1B– The Financial Transparency Group – Financial Oversight – Shall be a team of 5-8 people. Nominations can be open or through appointment by the Board. The goals of this group are: 1) To support transparency around financial expenditures and plans; 2) To help build trust within the BLUU community and the wider UU community; 3) To evaluate how the BLUU budget expenditures are matching up with the working goals of BLUU. Terms of this group are two-years and members may serve three terms. The group will be managed by the Executive Director.
Section 1C – The Elders Council – 360 Degree Vision – The Elders council is an unlimited term appointment and uncapped by numbers, understanding that financially supporting our Elders to attend in-person gatherings is a component of this Council. Elders can choose to depart the council or be asked to leave at the discretion of the Board, in accordance with our working agreements. The BLUU 360 Council provides advice and guidance to the board. They offer direct support to BLUU leadership through historical insight, experience, and wisdom. They serve as ambassadors of BLUU’s goals and vision and endeavor to protect the integrity of the organization. The group will be managed by a member of the Board, as appointed liaison to the Elders 360 Council.
Article VIII – Amendments
Section 1 — Amendments: These bylaws may be amended when necessary by unanimous consensus of the board of directors. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the vice-chair to be sent out with regular board announcements.
These bylaws were approved at a meeting of the board of directors by unanimous acclamation, in the meeting or writing from all members of the OC on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Amendments approved Thursday, March 14, 2019, unanimously by the Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective Board of Directors.