The RAPP commitment is being present in body and mind at all meetings and retreats.This commitment is featured heavily in the application, the RAPP interview, the RAPP Orientation, the actual group-created RAPP Agreement, and they get inundated with print and digital copies of the schedule with the above refrain repeated over and over.
I've been tracking member participation since RAPP XXIV and found a disturbing trend - steadily declining attendance across the board. Many hours were spent by SALD and RAPP staff and leaders sorting through the issue. It was part of the motivation for returning to one RAPP group and creating Accelerating Racial Justice.
RAPP XXVIII changed the game! The retention of members over the year held steady and strong: 85% of those who committed to the process completed it. The participation of members returned to a high level: Members averaged attending 88% of the sessions.
This is no small feat! We've got a group of busy people: they're all students, most work at least one job, most are involved in other organizations, and everyone has a lot of commitments to manage. On top of that, there are the unexpected events like illness, accidents, family issues, and schedule changes.
Every year a core group shows us that being at everything is possible. At our banquets and here online, we recognize those who were able to fulfill the commitment they signed up for to "be present in mind and body" in at least the "body" portion. This year's group was a little bigger than previous.
|L to R: Leah, Kalilah, Lindy, Marquez, and Nathaniel|
These people attended all RAPP XXVIII meetings and retreats except one:
|L to R: Abbey, Anthony, Bridget, Kahvah, Maya, Rebekah, Sabria, and Shawnee|
These people attended all RAPP XXVIII meetings and retreats:
|In front, our Peer Leaders Kristin Myers- Young, Farooq Alkhateeb, and Tianshu Lu. Photobombing in back, Facilitator Brice Mickey.|
Our Peer Leaders are indispensable to the group and the process. Their commitment blows me away!
They have already completed a full year of RAPP with great attendance and then sign up for another. With that in mind, the commitment they sign on to is to participate in 3/4 of the sessions. All three of our leaders went above and beyond this year! Tianshu even had perfect attendance and Farooq missed only one session while he was out-of-town at a professional conference.
Our Student Facilitator is also pivotal. Facilitating sessions is actually less than half of his role - Brice participates in the recruitment of members, planning the sessions through which we implement the curriculum, participating in assessment and utilizing feedback, administrative tasks, supporting Peer Leaders, and participating in his own training. Whew! He did this with perfect attendance, too!
Many thank you to all these phenomenal RAPPers!