August 31, 2017

Earlier this week, I sent an email sharing the news of an exciting restructure of our Field department, now called Chapter Engagement. We wanted to be sure everyone had a chance to see it, so we are sharing it again here in the PFLAG Voice. As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or reach out to Jamie Curtis, Director of Chapter Engagement, at jcurtis@pflag.org. We thank you, as always, for all that you do, and for letting us be of service!

PFLAG National staff members work hard to serve the crucial needs of PFLAG members like you, who are advocating tirelessly to effect critical, lasting change in local communities, cities, states, and even at the Federal level.

Since last fall, we have seen an influx of people into existing chapters, an increase in requests to start new chapters, and the rise of mobilization by families and allies. Our chapter network continues to grow and change, but what doesn’t change is our primary purpose of serving you and advancing our mission in these dynamic times, all with a staff size that remains the same. This requires us to think differently, so we have been evaluating our current staff structure and approach.

We know that the strength of PFLAG lies in how we work together as a chapter network and with our partners. We are collectively stronger when individual chapters and members engage in strategies to be part of the larger voice of PFLAG. Our strategies and staffing model must:

  • Take into account the need for rapid-response advocacy;
  • Increase our educational offerings and widen their reach to diverse audiences;
  • Expand our coalition and program partner connections; and
  • Provide the tools and resources needed to strengthen our ever-evolving and expanding support structure.

Our reflection and evaluation has led us to an invigorating restructure of our chapter network support model, which we know will provide our members an even higher level of service. Going forward, we are reorganizing along support, education, and advocacy lines. This change will allow us to build out our partnerships, expertise, and additional opportunities in each area in the upcoming year as we continue to fight against rollbacks in progress for which we have all fought so hard.

What will this mean for you?

Instead of one go-to person on the PFLAG National staff covering a geographic region, members will now have the opportunity to connect with multiple staff members based on program specialty areas, allowing us to build more knowledge and expand our offering of materials on the topics that are important to you. Our invaluable volunteer Regional Directors will serve more deeply as mentors, putting their own years of experience serving their own chapters to excellent use to benefit you and your chapter.

A new structure needs new dedicated leadership, and I am happy to announce that we have promoted longtime Field & Policy staffer Jamie Curtis to the position of Director of Chapter Engagement. No one has spent more time engaged in chapter work than Jamie--with 14 years of service to PFLAG under her belt--and I know she is the right leader for this job at the right time.

We have created an FAQ about this restructure that we hope will answer your most pressing questions, including how the work will be divided among our staff. Our staff listing also includes how the new work breaks down. If you have any questions or concerns beyond that FAQ, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or Jamie Curtis, via email at jcurtis@pflag.org.

In addition to restructuring our chapter engagement model, we are continuing efforts already in progress, including:

  • Implementing a new advanced phone system in the national offices through our partnership with TechSoup;
  • Working with Out in Tech to provide more features on our website, and expand and strengthen our chapter hub;
  • Working with volunteers--including board member Isolda Atayde and leaders of the National Federation of the Blind--to translate our publications to increase and diversify readership; and
  • Revamping our current publications ordering process to improve fulfillment.
  • Continuing the expansion of our online academy learning sessions (including the on-demand feature for access any time that is convenient for you).
  • Working with a new generous donor who, like you, wants us to build out the PFLAG store to offer more branded materials.

The work of PFLAG is never done, and neither is our quest to improve how we advance our mission. We look forward to providing you continued excellent support in the years ahead, all in service of PFLAG’s vision to create a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

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