Illuman of Texas Board of Directors 2021 Annual Report
For 2021 the board set some goals for itself. In regard to our goal of financial sufficiency, we met our goal of our income (donations) meeting our monthly expenses. This was accomplished due to the generous gifts from our Initiated Men. The benefit gives us the latitude to hold events in which we may not make profit or break even. Rather than being focused on the bottom line, we can live into our Mission, including focusing on implementing “Radical Belonging.” In non-profit language, we are meeting our double bottom line: living into our Mission; and financial self-sufficiency.
Our chapter’s liability insurance was inadequate to cover our activities. We completed a search for a carrier that understands our work and can cover our work with men at a reasonable rate. That goal was achieved.
We wanted to achieve more effective chapter representation at the international level. Tony Deosdade served as our External Convener, Dwight Wolf served as our Internal Convener, and Martin Lizarraga served as our Convener Shadow. Tony participated in the work of addressing the admitted shortcomings of our organization in living into our Mission of inclusivity. Over the year multiple groups within Illuman were convened to examine what are the systemic issues preventing our membership from reflecting the racial and socio-economic reality of the world in which we live. This will be on-going work for our board and Illuman International.
The board members and other men continued our work of informing ourselves about our history of racial division and White Male System met weekly in a book group. This work began in the Spring of 2020. We read and discussed the material, dealing with their own history of bias, discrimination, and participating in systemic racism. During 2021, the group read the following books: My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem; Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman; and, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown.
One of the major changes that came out of our annual bod meeting was our decision about “Wisdom Elders (WE).” After a year of studying how WE are selected, installed, their term of office, what are their specific task and authority, and how do they fulfill our mission of being inclusive and incorporating diversity, the bod determined that we do need an office or designation of Wisdom Elder. We determined that we, as Initiated Men and a bod, need to be able to call on wise men to provide specific support, insight, and service for a defined task to the benefit of the men we serve. As you read this report, you will see examples of this being done.
We set a goal of increasing our local council numbers and encouraging our brothers to be mindful of the work being done in San Antonio, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, and Houston. The Houston council reached out to the Luther Unit of the Texas Department of Correction. Four of our men began offering our council work at the Luther Unit monthly. That work is in its infancy.
This goal will live on into this year.
Goals for 2022
In our December board meeting we reviewed the year and set several new goals for ourselves. These included: holding a Journey of Illumination on the Heart of Twelve Step Programs and the Five Challenging Truths; holding an Umbrales MROP this year; continuing our board work on Racism and White Male System; developing an alternative men’s initiation anchored in Radical Belonging; supporting and staffing of a Youth Rite of Passage; improving our Illuman of Texas website with the objective of making it “user friendly” for our board, all Initiated Men, and the public who search for resources to support men’s emotional and relational growth; and, seeking men to serve on the board to continue our work on behalf of our Texas Illuman brothers.
Our Journey of Illumination, 2022 was held February 11th-13th. We were forced to make the decision to go “virtual,” due to the pandemic and the extent the virus was having on our men and real danger to our men and their families posed by spreading the virus at an in-person event. The following men lead this event: John Cramer, Geno Gallegos, Tony Deosdade, John Bruce, Lloyd Guerin, Jeff Stamets, Earl Mount, Terry Frisbie, Peter Kuhl, Bob Hillegas, and Dwight Wolf.
We applied for and were granted permission to offer the Umbrales MROP, beginning on October 5th and ending on the 9th. Jim Clarke and Karim Aziz are leading as Weaver and Wisdom Elder, respectively. Tony Deosdade and Bruce Clay are the Coordinators. Please mark your calendar, plan on attending as an Initiator, Returning Initiated Man, or supporting the event by encouraging men to attend. Be mindful that the team is working on site selection, logistics, and programing. Look for more details to come. The Umbrales is one vehicle for reaching BIPOC men. We should embrace other avenues aimed at the African American community, and possibly one aimed at ‘Blue Bodies’. We can’t be inclusive until we are diverse. Merely being accepting isn’t going far enough.