Members Only: Reinstate Mat Davis Back on the Board of Directors for Indy Food Co-op
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Happy Holidays Indy Food Cooperative Members,
My name is Mat Davis, I have been apart of the Indy Food Co-op and Pogues Run Grocer community for more than 7 years and I'm a native Near Eastsider. Most recently, I became the second black board member since the Co-op’s inception; the first black person from Rivoli Park neighborhood. If you haven't heard, I was kicked off of the board because I put pressure on the board president and my peers to continue an investigation of racially motivated harassment issues I was experiencing with the store managers(Nate Roberts and Wolfgang Dawson). This was occurring both at the co-op and outside of the store. Their reasoning for voting me off was that I missed 2 meetings(Section 5.2 of the by-laws), which is a policy that couldn't be enforced in my case because I gave proper notice to 2 different board presidents about how I wouldn't attend meetings or spend money at the store until it was resolved. I was reassured by them that the recommendations I brought up when they received my grievance, would be properly and promptly addressed. This is why the board voting me off is retaliation against me and is another example of their issue with discrimination. From there, you know the story....if you don't, it's attached here. I have been completely disrespected by them, slandered with unfounded stereotypes/lies and my character and professionalism brought into question, all because I was following the by-laws and conduct policy for board members of the Co-op on how to resolve an issue within the Co-op. And to this day, NO ONE from the board has reached out to me to try to resolve this! I have 5 very clear requests I have presented to the board and the community:
- Keep Mat Davis on the board of Pogues Run Coop and apologize for the racially motivated harassment/retaliation
- Formally apologize to cooperative membership, Near Eastside residents and supporters for enabling racial discrimination
- Termination or some other consequence for store managers, in compliance with original conduct policy they agreed to uphold
- Commit to attending professional development training on racial equity and implicit bias to prevent continued behaviors within the store and the community
- Present strategic plan to the community about how Pogues Run plans to refocus its efforts on its original mission of food access
The board has expressed interest in poorly executing my recommendations without me! Every request I laid out is centered on me being back on the board so we can properly handle our issues with race and class privilege.
Here is a letter explaining the entire story and requests to the membership of the cooperative: Mat Davis Letter to PRG to Address Racial Discrimination
This is PRG's horrible response to the members about the whole issue. This disrespectful letter clearly shows the problems we will address once I am reinstated: Letter from Board of Directors
Here is another cryptic and confusing response from the board after feeling the pressure from members and customers: Public Response from Pogue's Run Board
Here are the by-laws, and to be technical; the board has not lived up to its commitments to Section 2.1 or attempting to resolve things in good faith our issues through informal negotiation laid out in 3.6: Indy Food Co-op By-Laws
I am sharing this with the members of Pogue's Run Grocer/Indy Food Cooperative to sign and support me being reinstated as a director on the board, so that we can make PRG live up to it's original goals. I am looking for at least 50 members to sign this petition to support me being reinstated at a special members meeting January 12, 2018 6pm @ Brookside Community Church 1035 N Olney St, Indianapolis, IN 46201 to settle this issue! Please support and see you at the meeting.
In Good Faith and Cooperation.....
Today: Mat is counting on you
Mat Davis needs your help with “Indy Food Co-op Members: Members Only: Reinstate Mat Davis Back on the Board of Directors for Indy Food Co-op”. Join Mat and 22 supporters today.