Soulforce Takes Steps into the Future

"Core Leadership Team" takes on day to day operations of Soulforce, Inc.

August 24, 2001

Dear Soulforce Supporters:

In the last Soulforce email alert, you learned that Soulforce is intensifying our efforts to transform hearts and minds through dialogue and negotiations with our adversaries.

This alert is to inform you about something that is equally as exciting: Soulforce, Inc. has taken a major organizational step and formed "The Core Leadership Team" to manage the day to day operations of Soulforce, Inc.

Many, many, volunteers are needed to make the work of Soulforce happen, and the work each of you do is vitally important. Yet, there was a need to take the huge organizational leap and lift Soulforce to the next level by forming a team of people who would take on the work of making the organization run effectively on a daily basis.

This team still consists of Mel White, Executive Director of Soulforce, Inc., and Gary Nixon, Financial Director of Soulforce, Inc. However, several people have been added to the team.

  • Karen Weldin was named Director of Operations, and is responsible for managing the day-by-day operations of Soulforce, Inc.

  • Bill Carpenter, Planning and Logistics Coordinator, is responsible for the continuous advance logistical planning, setup and on site management of direct actions and other ongoing events conducted by Soulforce, Inc.

  • Kara Speltz, Administrative Coordinator, handles all incoming email, disbursing to others where appropriate and answering those that are not the responsibility of others.

  • Diana Westbrook, Publications and Curriculum Coordinator, works with the Executive Director and Director of Operations to develop and produce Soulforce publications.

  • Laura Montgomery Rutt, Media and Public Relations Coordinator, is responsible for keeping Soulforce in the news, by acting as spokesperson and writing and distributing press releases and email alerts.

Each person is receiving a very small stipend for a tremendous amount of work on Soulforce’s behalf to keep it functioning as a vital organization. Additionally, one of the gifts such a Team offers is the opportunity for Mel to have a more closely knit working group with which to develop strategy. He’s not had this before.

In addition to forming the Core Leadership Team, the mission statement has been streamlined: "Soulforce is an interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetrated by religious teachings and actions against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people."

As we take these exciting steps, we are looking forward to your continued involvement in Soulforce, as we look ahead to the next major direct action in St Louis, MO on June 7-11, 2002 at the Southern Baptist Convention.

We also need you to be part of local negotiations by continuing the dialogue you started with clergy, bishops, and leaders at the local and regional levels across the United States. If you are interested in initiating negotiations with a leader in your local area, contact localgroups@soulforce.org.

You also have the opportunity to hear Mel White during lectures all across the United States. Please consult our web page for dates and locations.

Thank you for your commitment to the cause and for your continued support of Soulforce and the principles of non-violence. Don’t forget that keeping up with our amazing growth also requires money. Our budget for 2001 is just $250,000 (what Pat Robertson has to raise every 12 hours). Remember, you can give online. Your gifts are tax-deductible and will help Soulforce continue its strategic work against Spiritual Violence.

Mel White, Executive Director
Karen Weldin, Director of Operations
Jimmy Creech, Board Chair

PS. Your work is vitally important, and so much is happening. Keep watching the web site and continue looking for updates about our actions to move the dialogues forward.