Community Liaison FAQ
We acknowledge serious allegations have been raised publicly regarding sexism, homophobia and transphobia, and are committed to fully understanding and addressing these concerns. We want to keep hearing from you, and also thank our members and supporters who have responded to our requests for input. We are hearing you, and we are doing our best to incorporate and respond to a range of feedback.
We take these issues seriously, and care deeply about the culture and experiences of the organization’s staff and members, past, present and future. Our boards and staff have been listening and working together to identify next steps of action. As part of our commitment to investigate all concerns brought to us and seek concrete ways to move forward, and because of our deep commitment to the well-being of our community to retain a community liaison, to conduct a fact-finding investigation.
Please see our public announcement regarding Elisa Dozono’s appointment as Community Liaison here.
What is the Community Liaison role?
Elisa Dozono will be available to document concerns from any community member, collect written statements, conduct follow-up investigations, and will send the collected information directly to the APANO and APANO Communities United Fund Boards. She will also review the organization’s personnel policies and procedures and HR materials and processes. The main goal of the Community Liaison is to provide factual documentation from a third party, of concerns for the Boards to provide a basis for any future action. The report will detail the response, inform how future concerns should be handled, and inform restorative processes. The position reports directly to the Board Chairs, based on the scope of work outlined in our Nov 30 announcement, and is working independently of any current staff.
How was the Community Liaison selected?
The Community Liaison position and scope of work was established by the APANO and APANO Communities United Fund (CUF) Boards, building on our intentions for a thorough process to respond to requests for a full accounting of concerns and previous and future actions taken, and to fulfill the duties of the Board for the oversight of the organization. The Boards are ultimately responsible for the governance of the organizations and oversight of the Executive Director. Like other nonprofit corporations, all of APANO and APANO CUF’s activities and affairs are directed solely by the board of directors. The directors have fiduciary (legal or ethical) duties to the organization. By law, every action by the board members must be done in good faith, with reasonable care, and in a way the director believes to be in the best interests of the corporation. After receiving input and reviewing multiple candidates, the boards approved engaging Elisa Dozono. See our current board members here.
Elisa Dozono was selected for her highly regarded skills and experience as an investigator and ability to conduct a fair process that will provide a comprehensive and impartial report. She is a respected Japanese American community member; served as President of the Oregon Asian Bar Association, and currently serves on the board of the ACLU and Oregon Law Foundation, which protects the rights of immigrant, refugee and LGBTQ communities.
What relationship does the Community Liaison have with APANO?
As a founder of OAPABA and Emerge Oregon, Elisa Dozono has been a consistent supporter of APANO’s mission, Roots to Rise capital campaign, and helping Asian and Pacific Islanders achieve community leadership positions. She has worked with one board member on a pro bono clinic with OAPABA and the IRCO Asian Family Center; she otherwise has no personal or professional relationships with current staff, board, or executive leadership. As a standard practice, prior to accepting any new client or assignment, legal firms complete a comprehensive conflict of interest screening, to ensure none exist. Prior to accepting this engagement, Miller Nash, the firm where Ms. Dozono is a partner, determined that no conflicts of interest existed with any APANO Board or staff members.
When will the investigation be completed?
We recognize the urgency of concerns that have been raised publicly, and the need to move forward with healing and organizational changes. The Community Liaison will complete collection of concerns on January 15, 2018, and provide a report to the APANO and APANO Communities United Fund Boards by end of January 2018. The Boards will review the report, consider all options, and make public the action steps the organization will take. We have no preconceived notion about the outcome of this process, and all options are on the table for whatever resolution is needed.
Also of concern is a legal complaint of gender discrimination made by one former employee through the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). We are cooperating fully in this investigation. We received the BOLI complaint in the days leading up to a November 5th letter from former employees and volunteers, a group that includes the BOLI complainant. Ms. Dozono is not representing APANO or any of our employees or board in the BOLI case.
What will the next steps be?
Elisa Dozono will conclude her fact-finding and provide a report to the Boards in January 2018. The Boards plan to make the findings of the investigation public, to the extent possible while protecting confidentiality, and announce initial steps that will be taken as a result. All options are on the table. We plan to convene members to discuss and further inform next steps starting in February 2018. We hope this report will provide a common basis and starting point for this conversation on next steps.
We are committed to this process and encourage concerned community members to make use of it. In order to maintain the integrity of the process, we encourage you to contact Elisa Dozono directly with your questions. We will do our best, however we may not have the capacity to be able to respond to individual questions.
Raahi Reddy, Chair
Simon Tam, Chair
APANO Communities United Fund