The Bread & Roses Collective includes founding mothers of the West Kootenay Women’s Association, Nelson & District Women’s Centre; former staff and board members; and long-time volunteers, members and users of the Centre. The Collective came together in early 2018 out of concern for changes occurring at the Centre, changes that shift its direction from serving women to serving other genders as well (trans,two-spirit, non-binary, even men).
In the Collective’s view, this change is not occurring in a democratic manner and does not have the demonstrated support of the membership. At the last annual general meeting, a motion was brought forward to change the Constitution, which currently refers only to serving women, by adding ‘and marginalized genders’ to every mention of ‘women.’ That motion failed to reach the required threshold of member support. Nonetheless, the Centre board and staff are continuing to implement their vision as if they have a mandate. Funding and legal status may be put at risk by these actions which contravene both the Constitution and Bylaws.
The Collective’s goal is to return the Centre to proper, democratic functioning, with an elected and representative board that maintains its primary focus on women and acts in compliance with all bylaws and laws. That’s the first step. After that, respectful and inclusive conversations among the membership would determine how and when change happens at the Centre.