Dear AROMA Family,
As the end of the year approaches, we would like to give appreciation to our AROMA community and share some important organizational updates about where AROMA stands and where the organization is headed. As many of you know, recently the AROMA leadership team has taken time to reflect and make decisions about how to move forward in ways that best reflect our values.
During the initial organization of AROMA, our team crafted our values carefully and collectively. This process included the voices of AROMA co-founders, Guled & Misty, and other leadership team members throughout the years. We strongly believe that our work must be intentional and rooted in these shared values. AROMA’s leadership team has developed a practice of revisiting our values as a way to continue reflecting on our work, purpose, and goals. This process allows us to be accountable to our members, supporters, and community at large.
Throughout a number of meetings of the AROMA leadership team this year, we held one another accountable to these values. This year a process of evaluation was used to address concerns around our protocol for responding to oppressive situations that have the potential to jeopardize the safety of AROMA members, especially those that are the direct targets of state violence due to race and immigration status. We also reflected on leadership’s alignment with our values as it relates to collective decision-making. In responding to concerns raised around how we are honoring the values AROMA was built on, and in carrying out our mission of going deeper with our membership and ourselves, difficult decisions were made.
Specifically, members of leadership have engaged in conversations with Misty about AROMA, its direction, and how our direction reflects our values. Unfortunately, after extensive discussions and deliberation, Misty and the rest of the leadership team were not able to agree on certain values, and these differences remain unresolved. As such, AROMA’s leadership team and Misty concluded that we did not share the same values related to race, accountability, and decision making. This awareness led to the departure of Misty from her role on AROMA’s leadership team.
Over the years, Misty has contributed an incredible amount of labor towards the building, vision, and promotion of AROMA and other projects. She has a unique ability to connect with many individuals across our city and has used her gifts to bring people to our space and to promote important work in our communities. For this we are extremely grateful, and we have agreed to share a number of the resources that AROMA has built collectively. It is our understanding that Misty plans to continue to conduct work outside of the AROMA name, and, while AROMA does not endorse these projects or support this decision, we do wish Misty and those she works with all the best.
We would like an opportunity to hear from each of you and to discuss any concerns you might have moving forward. Please feel free to reach out to us on an individual basis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or we would love to talk to you at Little Five Points Community & Arts Center on Thursday, January 9th at 7:30pm where we will hold a meeting to speak with members.
Please take care over the holidays. We look forward to seeing you all soon,
AROMA Leadership Team
Guled, Troya, La’Die, Kevin