To LEA: you fired me: deal with it

As of May 30th, 2012, The Linden Endowment For The Arts (an agency that is LL-sponsored) has terminated my status as an LEA Board Member. My response appears below, to LL, to the Board itself, and particularly those within the LEA committee who are directly responsible for this action. I believe in transparency, not secret meetings and closed-door politics. Let the evidence present itself.
CC of my response to LL:

I wont resign so Ill need to be fired, and since its a matter of discrimination Ive been subjected to, I will need to uphold my principles which come first regarding ethics (this isnt personal) and view the current LEA as a corrupted entity.
As such my firing must be public, in one way or another.

Ive worked hard to be on this board and have only asked to be treated as equal, which has not occurred.
In fact, this board was happy to ask me to help out in every area and I have done so only to be disenfranchised, which is an equality issue I take very seriously.

The board you support has violated its own rules a number of times, and engaged in behavior that proves it is not sustainable, whether I am there or not.
'Firing me' does nothing to address the LEA sustainability problem, which was there when i arrived and apparently is condoned by the Lab.

If you really did place any value on contributions from board members such as I, you would not condone the discrimination and disenfranchisement I have been subjected to, and you would have found a more mutually beneficial solution. As it seems, you simply condone the unprofessional and discriminatory practices of a currently corrupt agency, display obvious favouritism towards certain residents, and are doing nothing but vindicating the public perception of LEA as being a elitist, prejudicial and collusive organisation.

- Gina (the 'key' member of LEA who apparently isnt key)

Please do not wish me continued success in SL endeavors when you have clearly taken steps to undermine that effort.

******

And now to you, Board:

I will be disengaging myself from this farce of an agency over the coming days and sadly, telling lots of people aside from myself how their time and efforts have been wasted too.
I will not be associated with an agency that sets ethical business practices back 100 years.
Dream Promenade will be removed and adult SL will be notified of those implications.
Media Arts Center will have all of my work removed.
Land Grant Artists communication will be truncated and all work I have done in that department will be undone.
Etc Etc

Thanks for wasting people's time. Obviously you do not value some people's time at all.

Why did I want to be fired rather than resign?
So you would have some investment in the process of what you were doing....so its not so neat and tidy and covered up by PC statements.
So you would feel it.

The art community of SL will certainly have far better choices than the LEA going forward, based on the current events unfolding.

*********

And finally, to those who really stuck the knife in:

You've done this yourselves. Through close-mindedness, arrogance and stubbornness, this organization will collapse. You cannot grow or even sustain with the elitist and discriminatory behaviors, and the corruption and unethical practices allowed to fester within this board will become transparent to all. The truth will not stay hidden. The bad reputation this org has now will only intensify and will become validated. As this organization falls, it will be a sad disservice to the countless artists of Sl, and the entire community, to all of those who gave their time, energy and passion. You have cost this virtual world dearly with your miscalculations…the possibilities of attraction and retention…the lucrative chance to build upon SL's artistic strength……. Because you wanted to draw a hard line, you chased away your chance to survive. One day soon, more innovative and progressive organizations will emerge, and if you come crawling to them for favors, you will get exactly what you have asked for….what you worked towards….which will be nothing.  We are all connected, whether you like it or not. Because you didn't listen, and didn't try to work with the team…
Those who cooperate will make it to the future.
Don't even think for one second I am responsible for this.
You have done it yourselves.
This will never be forgotten.
Need Facts?  (here are  a few to start with...more available)
While all other community organisations have been shut down in Second l.ife LEA survives. Why?
My 6 months or so within the committee has answered that question tor me:

LEA is not a community organisation at all.

LEA does not, and does not pretend to, represent the arts community, despite their published mission statement. (see below) 
The 'Mission Statement' from LEA's own literature:

  • Provide a starting point for artists in Second Life, and for those interested in art to make connections and display their work.
  • Encourage and cultivate art and artists within Second Life.
  • Foster community, creativity, and innovation among artists and all residents interested in art.
  • Provide a way for artists to promote their art.
  • Collaborate with existing art regions, galleries, exhibits, and performance spaces to help nurture their valuable participation in SL arts.
LEA is a very small body of hand-selected individuals who manage an incredibly large amount of land (greatly underused, by the way) I can demonstrably prove that LEA does not fulfill its mission statement and, in fact, counters it

POINTS

1.  Every attempt I had made within the committee to introduce concepts of greater inclusiveness, transparency or public connection were shut down. The actual arts community would be better served by almost any other agency.

2. Despite being unanimously voted in to the committee as Board Members, certain 'older members' later refused to acknowledge us as Board Members, denying our status, and incredibly, denying our votes! Check your history. This is Disenfrachisement. And its alive and well within LEA. It's a serious ethical violation, at the very least. Matters of suffrage shouldnt be in the boardroom in this day and age, in a modernized society anyway.

3. One such discriminated member was subject to insults, humiliation and intense pressure to resign, and she did.
I refused to resign and said 'fire me' because I worked hard to be at that table and if they were going to discriminate, I expected them to be invested in the process, to demonstrate their responsibility in the act.

4. The LEA did not have much of its 'procedures' for voting in writing, yet 'key' members would arbitrarily decide what voting process was legitimate or not, based on their preferences at time. If they didnt like you, your vote didnt count. That simple. If they wanted to rewrite history and claim a certain vote was invalid, they'd do that. It was all a game, because they could make up any process they wanted on the spot, and had zero accountability. This is what happens when you populate a 'deciding body' with artists only and scare away anyone who also has organisational, business or human relations experience. I am an artist too, but I am pleased I have learned to use both sides of my brain.

5. Even the voting procedures they did claim to have, they violated on several occasions. They would run ineptly organised votes, so confusing people didnt even know what they were voting for or against. They would talk about respecting the process, but in fact, had no process.

6. Since their processes were undocumented and unverifiable, they would fail repeatedly, but it didnt matter to them, because the 'rules' would go 'out the window' if certain key members threw a tantrum and called in LL to straighten things out for them. This is not a community organisation. It is a very small circle that colludes to maintain imagined power, and doesnt even have the skillset to do so kindly.

7. One trick of the LEA key staff: if you write a proposal, they will claim its not a proposal, yet anything they write (no matter how half-formed) they will claim is the ONLY actual proposal on table. This is one way they control the conversation. They literally have no comprehension or willingness to listen to team members and could benefit from months of training in this area.

8. While purporting to want new talent, new voices, new energy to grow the organisation, LEA inducted myself and others but amazingly managed to lose us all.

Can LEA be fixed? Maybe...anything is possible.
At present, the majority of the organisation (good, talented people) are being misrepresented by a corrupt and manipulative minority. If eyes open wide enough, things may change.
Until then, there are far better organisations out there....and more to come.


WANT SOMETHING POSITIVE?
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