Webinar presenters Alexandra Appleton and Claire Barrera answered a number of your questions after their presentation, Building a Community Advisory Board for those Impacted by Violence. Here are just a few of their responses.
Audience Question: If you could share how you list the organizational name on your resume. So, do you actually list the advisory board name in full, or how do you do that?
Alexandra Appleton: That’s a really good question. So, it depends on the purpose of what I’m trying to achieve, like what’s my goal. I have done that because that’s an integral piece of like my passion. However, I’ve chosen which and when and what. As of right now, I do include sex trafficking on my resume. However, I haven’t always felt as enthusiastic as including it now, I think the more time it’s been since I’ve been doing that, then it’s been easier for me, at least. I have heard that there is a concern, and some folks don’t feel comfortable doing that, and so figuring out ways that we can share our expertise or figuring out names that are more culturally and trauma-informed in regard to CAB names. That would be a good idea.
Audience Question: What were some of the goals and accomplishments of your CAB, and how did you determine them?
Claire Barrera: Alexandra, you were going to touch base on that. You’re going to cover that. So, you answer it.
Alexandra Appleton: Some of our goals were to continue the CAB, by any means necessary. Make sure that we have a great list of asks and demands in regard to housing and economic social services. We focused on cultivating what would an ultimate housing option be for victims and survivors. We went over some other things; we participated in a county-commissioner proclamation and we supported the Sex Trafficking Awareness Month in Multnomah County. It depended on the political climate. I think we just all came together and said, what do we need? A lot of it was focused around the same thing. Safer spaces, and better services, culturally responsive services. And then from there, we just started to brainstorm and there was a lot of TA that was provided, like a lot of compiling all these notes, so we could come back and then work from those notes. In conversation, things just happen organically, I can tell you, I’ve been on so many boards, and with this board, there were no issues. It just happened. It was like we came; we set ground rules one time and decided what we want to do that day. If we didn’t get to it, then we made sure that we got to it next time. We’re going to do as much as we can within this time, and we’re going to validate and acknowledge what we did do, and then we’re going to pass the baton off. I hope that answered him and provided some context.
Claire Barrera: I was just going to add to that. I think a goal that a lot of folks accomplished, was to experience like some healing, that it’s like, empowering and healing to participate, and take, take some power back of, like, honoring the expertise you all have and like the care for each other in the CAB among the members, and like listening with each other. And, I mean, I think that should be a goal of any community advisory board with people with lived experiences to offer some healing and growth for the people involved.
Alexandra Appleton: I appreciate you saying that, I would have to agree 100%. It was more about acknowledging everybody in their space and acknowledging our emotions in and pretty much loving on each other as much as because within those two hours we loved as much as we could replenishing our vessels.
Audience Question: Could you maybe talk about what that onboarding process actually looked like for new board members?
Claire Barrera: Well, I’ll let you speak to your experience in a minute, but I was just going to say, I didn’t do the onboarding. That was done by the other facilitator. But it really was like meeting individually with each person, and at this point, it was virtual, and walking them through all those things that I mentioned were like helping them fill out documents to get paid. Walking them through the different expectations, talking them through creating a self-care and safety plan. What else? Alexandra, what was your experience with it?
Alexandra Appleton: I mean, it was a lot. It was in regards to all the complexities in your roles and responsibilities, what we’re trying to achieve. It was very transparent in regard to the restrictions and what could be accomplished, what couldn’t be accomplished. If there was a question that we had, if the answer wasn’t readily available, then folks went out to get those answers. The transparency across the board was good. And again, this was something that I had never experienced before. Onboarding could look very different but that intentional onboarding during COVID-19 and was a lot of work because we all had our own access needs. But because all of our different access needs were being met, and they were being met fairly, we felt that coming in, and so that’s what made the difference.
Audience Question: Many advisory boards provide a financial stipend. Is there any advice you can provide on what an appropriate stipend might be?
Claire Barrera: Sure, I can talk about this because this is something I think a lot about in different types of work I do. In my other job. I frequently, we frequently have for focus groups and things like that. And I will say, that, my opinion is, you should pay people as much as you possibly can. If you have the money, pay them a lot. You know, I think that there’s this idea that, we should, we have a belief under capitalism that we should pay the minimum because we want to squeeze as much product out as we can for as little as possible, and that is not the correct or ethical way to do things, particularly when you’re paying people with lived experience. There’s also this idea that you know people should work their way up a ladder, I also don’t agree with that. I think lived experience already at the top of the expertise ladder. So, you know, if I’d had my way? I think I would have gone to the higher level of what people get paid to consult for work. I do consulting work, and I know my higher, my upper level is like 3 or 400 that an hour. That’s, I think what I would have paid. We really felt that like where we were at, which was $100 per meeting I believe is what we ended up paying Alexandra, correct me if I’m wrong, was like the bare minimum and we would have done more if we’d had a higher budget for it. Would you add anything to that, Alexandra?
Alexandra Appleton: Yeah, this was the highest that I’ve ever been paid. I’ve been paid from 0 to 50. I’ve never been able to create a consulting rate document up to this point because I was adequately getting paid. And I noticed a change in how folks showed up, I noticed a change in how it made me feel when I showed up. I know I’m worth this month but much, but now it’s on paper. Now, I have my tax return, background check unit can’t deny that. You can’t deny what I’m doing. That’s a game-changer and then that makes me feel like I can achieve more and that I’m not perfect, but I’m willing to like to work at it. So, pay them the most as you can then forecast that payment long term, and then it’s not only just a stipend. There are also other budgetary concerns that we didn’t get to in this, in this presentation. Be thinking about all those other needs that you’ll need when COVID’s over, after COVID when you’re actually doing this in real person. Because those financial considerations will be much different. And we don’t want to like, say, okay, well, because we’re going to provide childcare and transportation, we’re not going to be able to pay you $75. We need to figure out ways to pay $75 and re-allocate money or however that gets done, to where we can do that in addition to the $75, for transportation, the childcare, the food, all those extra things that we need to survive.
Audience Question: How did you manage expectations within the CAB, between system actors and the sponsor, the public, for what the CAB would be able to achieve in terms of their policy recommendations?
Claire Barrera: Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s been a huge amount of generous eagerness from the community all the systems, all the actors you just mentioned in that question, will have all been extremely respectful and eager to hear from the Community Advisory Board. And we actually haven’t yet been able to publicly share all the Community Advisory Board’s requests and demands. So, but I think people have been just, like, come, please, tell us, please tell us. So, it hasn’t been challenging to manage expectations. I do think that there was a lot of advocacy on, behalf of Natalie, and her position in the DOCJ to just let people know, like, we’re going to be supporting and bringing forward whatever the Committee Advisory Board says as expertise, and protecting the board from people asking too much, or wanting to be exploitive. So, there’s, the CAB basically, has complete control over what’s happening, and I think that is really important when you’re managing different actors and expectations, to make sure you protect the board from exploitation. And one of the ways you do that is by giving them as much power and control as you can.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of Building a Community Advisory Board for those Impacted by Violence.