Thank You Letter to CEC from Our Caucus

Hi Everyone!

I hope this email finds you all healthy. In this, possibly the most interesting point in our nation’s history in decades, it would come as no surprise to me that you may have many concerns about the fall and what “school” will look like in the months ahead. I wish I could console you all, but that’s not something within the power of any of us these days. I do want, however, to remind you that we are here and we’re rooting for all of you, your families, and your students no matter how things go moving forward.

This email, while additionally hoping to remind you of the community you have with us, does have a different purpose. I have had on my to-do list since February to write a thank you letter to CEC’s staff and board of directors for the wonderful reception with which they provided us in Portland. Like everyone else, my life has been chaotic for the past few months, but a thank you note will come as a welcome gift regardless of when it arrives.

In case there are those among us who need a bit of a refresher on the context of this letter, let me do that here. In 2019 the CEC National Conference was held in Indianapolis and one of its main sponsors was Southern Nazarene University, an institution that blatantly discriminates against LGBTQ+ people under the guise of following God’s will. We, the LGBTQ+ Caucus of Special Educators garnered support from a variety of divisions and other caucuses within CEC and requested a revamping of the sponsorship process and other areas that we felt were leading us to feel less included in CEC because of our sexual and gender orientations. They responded exceptionally well, and really rolled out the red carpet for us in Portland.

Please find attached a copy of the letter that I will be sending in the next few minutes to CEC Headquarters. If you have any questions or comments, I welcome hearing from you. If our LGBTQ+ family can be of support in other ways, please drop me a line and I’ll try to be of assistance to you.

Enjoy whatever precious moments of summer break you have left, and I wish you a renewed spirit as you take on the challenges to come.

In solidarity,
Bryan Cichy-Parker

2020-07-22 LGBTQ Caucus to CEC Thank You

Letter of Response from CEC Board regarding SNU Sponsorship

February 25, 2019

Dear Dr. Cichy-Parker:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), thank you for your correspondence of February 4, 2019. Below is our initial response to your letter. Because some of your questions need to be discussed further by the CEC Board of Directors, there will be more follow-up coming beyond this letter.

Advertisers, Exhibitors and Sponsorships
To address your concerns about sponsors and exhibitors, CEC’s professional staff is consulting with its adverting sales company and legal counsel, as well as reviewing the best practices of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), to implement a policy and process to review organizations interested in promotional opportunities with CEC. Our goal is to ensure we partner with organizations whose core values are congruent with those of CEC, as reflected in the following:
Visionary Thinking: Demonstrated by forward-thinking and courageous decision making dedicated to excellence and influence in an evolving environment
Integrity: Demonstrated by ethical, responsive behavior, transparency, and accountability
Inclusiveness: Demonstrated by a commitment to diversity, caring, and respect for the dignity and worth of all individuals
The result of this review will be placed on the agenda of the board of directors for their April 2019 meeting in the form of additions to CEC’s operational policy manual for their consideration and action.

Role of Caucuses within the Council
To address the concerns and suggestions that you have raised about CEC’s Caucuses, this issue also will be placed on the agenda for April 2019 meeting of the board of directors. During this meeting, CEC’s board will be reviewing its strategic plan. The plan is updated on a continual basis and is integral to determining how CEC uses its resources on behalf of its members. The board will review the policies and procedures concerning the role of caucuses within the Council, especially how caucuses relate to other entities within the Council, such as state and provincial units, divisions, and chapters.

As mentioned, once the issues outlined above have been addressed, we will be back in touch with you and the rest of the CEC leadership to communicate the actions taken.
We would like to thank you for your service as Chair of CEC’s LGBT+ Caucus of Special Educators and for bringing these issues to the attention of CEC’s leadership.
Mary Lynn Boscardin, President

Alexander T. Graham, Executive Director
cc: CEC Board of Directors