NWCHR Survey

Compiled by Kristin Carlson, Coordinator for the Northwest Coalition for Human Rights

This summary is also available as a PDF: NWCHR Survey Summary

The full report from which the summary was created is available here: NWCHR Survey, Full Report

Overview

The Northwest Coalition for Human Rights Survey was an anonymous, ten question survey seeking input regarding organizational structure and mission for NWCHR. The survey was devised as a follow-up to the NWCHR Teleconference Meeting held on April 9, 2012 (see April 9, 2012 Minutes here: https://nwchr.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/minutes_april9_nwchrmeeting1.pdf) and will help plan the agenda for the next in-person meeting of NWCHR to be held on Saturday, June 9 from 11:00am to 3:00pm at St. Augustine’s Parish Hall, 628 South Deakin Street, Moscow, ID.

The survey was officially available online through Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com) from May 4, 2012 to May 18, 2012. Respondents were anonymous, but the survey recorded the IP addresses of the computers used to complete the surveys to prevent the same computer from completing the survey more than one time. The survey was announced several times via the NWCHR email list and was announced in the Spring-Summer issue of the NWCHR newsletter.

This document, NWCHR Survey Results Summary, provides a brief overview of the questions and responses from the survey. A comprehensive report of all responses and comments is available in the NCWHR Survey Results, Full Report document: https://nwchr.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/nwchr_survey_fullreport1.pdf.

Both this Summary and the Full Report will be used to plan the agenda for the June 9th, 2012 NWCHR Meeting. This agenda will be available soon on the NWCHR website. Likewise, recommendations and comments regarding guidelines for the steering committee and the drafting of a comprehensive charter document or statement of purpose for the Coalition will be passed on to members of the NWCHR steering committee once it is formed.

Completion Rate

50 respondents started the survey and 45 respondents completed it, making the completion rate 90%.

NWCHR Mission Statement

Respondents were asked to vote and comment on three different proposed mission statements. Majority preference was split almost evenly between Options A and C (see Full Report document for suggested edits and to read Option B):

42.9% preferred Option A:

The mission of the Northwest Coalition for Human Rights (NWCHR) is to facilitate communication and collaboration among groups and individuals who are engaged in human rights work in the Northwest so we can find common ground and create a shared vision and a unified, strengthened voice to better promote understanding of human dignity, diversity, and equal justice in our region.

44.9% preferred option C:

The mission of the Northwest Coalition for Human Rights (NWCHR) is to foster an environment that promotes respect for human dignity and diversity—thus combating prejudice and discrimination—by facilitating communication and collaboration; sharing resources, information and ideas; and supporting collective action when necessary among groups and individuals who are engaged in human rights work in the Northwest.

Agenda for June 9, 2012 Meeting

Respondents were asked to vote on main items for the June 9 Meeting Agenda. A vast majority of respondents (89%) favored including discussion and, if appropriate, finalization of NWCHR’s mission, organizational structure, and purpose. A majority (55%) favored discussion regarding a September 2012 NWCHR meeting in the Coeur d’Alene area. Less than 40% favored including a lunchtime speaker to highlight a human rights topic relevant for our region, or including time for networking and small group discussion on regional human rights issues (see suggestions for both in NCWHR Survey Results, Full Report), though several respondents noted that discussion and networking would naturally take place during lunch.

Finding the Center Human Rights Conference

Respondents were asked about their knowledge of previous Finding the Center Human Rights Conferences. About half the respondents attended at least one Conference. About 30% were aware of the Conference but never attended, and 20% were not aware of the Conference.

Purpose of NWCHR

Respondents were asked to rate the degree of importance for various proposed purposes for the Coalition. Of the five proposed purposes, a majority rated each of the following four purposes as “extremely important” and another significant percentage rated each as “fairly important:”

•   To be a confederation of member organizations and individuals who are interested in any aspect of human rights, diversity, and equal justice.

•   To serve as a communication conduit for members using online communication, including a newsletter, and annual or biannual face-to-face meetings.

•   To facilitate collaboration among members regarding areas of overlapping interest.

•   To engage in educational outreach, either through the Finding the Center Conference, or by other means.

The fifth proposed purpose, “To engage in advocacy regarding specific human rights, diversity, and equal justice issues,” was still deemed important by many, but a small number of respondents felt it should not be a purpose of the NWCHR.

Defining Coalition Membership

The majority of respondents agreed that the Coalition should be open to anyone interested in any aspect of human rights, diversity, and equal justice who wishes to network with others. Likewise, a majority agreed that both organizations and individuals should be able to join the Coalition.

Structure for NWCHR

The vast majority of respondents agreed that a structured steering committee with a chair and vice chair should be developed to guide the Coalition and organize meetings, with some administrative/secretarial assistance from the University of Idaho Office of Human Rights, Access, and Inclusion. (Reminder to readers: After June, U-Idaho’s ability to provide this assistance will become more limited, since Kristin’s position is not guaranteed after this time.)

Half of the respondents felt that steering committee representatives should volunteer themselves for nomination, and half felt that representatives should be nominated, either by a member organization or by an individual member. A few respondents noted that nominees could be indicated in both ways. A plurality of respondents (47%) agreed that nominees should be determined through an online election after the June 9 meeting, or perhaps at a fall meeting if it is decided that steering committee members should all represent member organizations/institutions (23% voted for the fall meeting).

Many respondents made specific suggestions regarding the formation of the steering committee, such as term limits, staggered rotation of representation, and ensuring diverse representation in terms of expertise, geography, and age.

Attendance for June 9, 2012

75% of respondents indicated “yes” or “maybe” when asked if they were planning to attend the June 9 meeting. 25% indicated they could not attend.

Additional Suggestions

Respondents were asked if they had additional suggestions regarding the mission statement or organizational structure for NWCHR, or regarding the plans for the June 9 meeting. Responses included:

• Concerns about the combination of publicly- and private-engaged groups in the Coalition

• Reminder that individual member groups may require a completed proposal/plan for the Coalition before they can vote to join NWCHR

• Request that steering committee members have a representative for K-12 education as well as higher education

• Statement that the Coalition should also adopt a Charter and/or Statement of Purpose and that this should be the first agenda for the first steering committee meeting.

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