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NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2010

NCSF Newsletter

Spring: May 2010

In this issue

  • Annual Meeting
  • Board of Directors
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • New Papers

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Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting 

The Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting was held in Seattle this year. It was the NCSF's first time in the city of Seattle and this could not have been done without the efforts of the Seattle community - particularly Jim Duvall and Allena Gabosch. We would like to thank them as well as all of the community of Seattle and surrounding area for making this year's meeting such a success. It is nice to come into a city and feel welcome from the moment you arrive.

 We have been working on moving the annual meeting to the first quarter of each year and it has taken two years to accomplish this. In 2008, it was in October. In 2009, it was in June. This year we have reached our target goal of the first quarter of each year. Moving forward we should be able to hold the meeting in either February or March of each year. Why would we want to do this? To quote our Chairperson, Leigha Fleming, "We're trying to move the meeting up to make our reports and information to you more consistent and timely. It's hard to make you feel informed about our prior year's activities when we're halfway into the next year already!"

From NCSF Chairperson Leigha Fleming

In September 2008, I started my term out with several goals:

·       Improve the NCSF communication both internally among the board and volunteers, to our Coalition Partners, to our communities in general and the public as a whole.

·       We are well on our way to accomplishing this. In years prior to Sept 08, we published 3 quarterly newsletters - two in 03 and one in 06. The newsletter has made it out every quarter since I became chair.

·       We have published the minutes to the CP list every month.

·       I have written notices/letters to the membership monthly.

·       Kicked up frequency of the press and media alerts, using Constant Contact to make our mail outs more professional.

·       Since Sept 08, had more than 156 "official communications" to the Coalition Partners on the CP list. Seven times more than in the entire 2 years prior.

·       Improve the Structural Integrity of the Organization, setting up processes and procedures for our most important functions and programs.

·       Using SalesForce, we are well on our way to regularizing how we accomplish our programs and projects. SalesForce allows those directly involved with our projects to see at a moment's notice what is going on. We can also update information simply and efficiently, keeping all in the loop in a more timely manner.

·       New literature and programs - NCSF's "Value Proposition"

·       The "Value Proposition is a guide to keep NCSF focused on what our core programs and values are. From this we have developed new handouts on child custody, child protective services, event insurance, and many more. Two new formal handouts - one for therapists about Polyamory and one dealing with how to find a Kink Aware Therapist.

·       The DSM and Consent Counts Projects

·       We are the only organization in the country working on these issues. With the help of Susan Wright, in particular working on the DSM, has led the way for some major successes for us. Judy Guerin is taking the lead in our Consent Counts project.

·       A new website and website integration should be accomplished before summer's end.

·       Don't forget about the Twittering and Blogging going on - Media Updates are posted daily.

 Kink Aware Professionals Report, by Kevin Carlson

We have been working on purging the data base of dead links and information that is no longer valid. Over all we have had a net increase of 108 listings since May 09. Interest is growing on a day-to-day basis for this program.

I worked very closely with Keely Kolmes Psy.D. and Geri Weitzman Ph.D to produce the white paper on how to choose a Kink Aware Therapist. It is a new and powerful resource for all members of the kink community to use when seeking out a Therapist.

Media Outreach Project, by Susan Wright

This year the project created "NCSF in the News!" listing over 50 articles since 2000 that include quotes from NCSF staff members. Check it out on our site: 

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We assisted in 34 media incidents.  A sample of those incidents include: a swing conference threatened on Grand Island, crack-down on venues in Albuquerque, a NJ store closed because of zoning issues over party space in the basement, and attacks by religious extremists because Creating Change gave Graylin Thornton their Leather Leadership Award.

 Some of the bigger incidents of 2009 included:

Professional Dominantrices raided and arrested in NYC. The NCSF has been working this since 2008. Susan has met with Manhattan DA's office in order to clarify what sort of "for-pay" BDSM activities are considered legal in New York State. Susan also worked with NY Times reporter Jennifer Mascio on an article about the false arrests of professional Dominatrices for prostitution.

The NCSF responded when Peter LaBarbara with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (www.aftah.org) attacked the Fort Troff party taking place in Washington DC during Mid-Atlantic Leather, by responding with a statement about respecting the rights of minority groups.

AFTAH also attacked Winter Wickedness, a pansexual weekend conference in Ohio, produced by one of our Coalition Partners, Adventures in Sexuality. NCSF forked closely with Barak to ensure the event was successful; NCSF volunteer Robin Specter was on site and acted as spokesperson for Winter Wickedness as well as hotel liaison. Susan provided advice, media interviews and organized a call-in campaign to InterContinental Hotels which successfully fought back the attempts to the corporate headquarters to make the hotel cancel the conference.

The Atlanta Eagle raids are also a big concern for our community. The NCSF has been working on this since September 10, 2009. The NCSF created an action alert urging patrons who were there to file a complaint with the police department and to join in the Federal civil lawsuit. The city's case citing the Atlanta Eagle for illegal adult entertainment activities was dismissed in early 2010.

25 Media Interviews were given, including Esquire, Contemporary Sexuality Magazine about the DSM Project, Boston Times about the persecution of the BDSM community in Boston, Playboy requested a letter to the editor from NCSF about their Top 55 most important people in Sex, New York Times on the pro-Domme arrests in NCY and many more.

Projects Susan is working on: Stop the Arrests Coalition, The Smarter Sex NYC project, and the Espoir Conference developing guidelines and outreach strategies for the Leather Archives & Museum.

Along with all the above, Susan on behalf of the NCSF has done website reviews, acted as a PR Liaison for the Folsom Street Fair, and gave the State of the Union address at the NELA Kink Awareness Conference in Boston.

Membership Report

This year we have implemented a temporary system to send out digital Membership cards, working towards full integration with SalesForce, and imported the membership database into SalesForce. These two items have reduced costs and allowed a better tracking of membership.

SalesForce will allow us to import and manage membership data, quicker updating of who has become a member and at what level, letting us get the needed information out to them in a more timely manner such as sending out membership cards and acknowledgment of membership by SalesForce. In the future, SalesForce will send out reminders to the membership before the expiration date of the membership and automate the membership acknowledgements.

At the time of the meeting we had 64 Coalition Partners and in the past month have signed up several more.

Other Major Projects

The two major projects that we will continue to work on are the DSM Revision Project and the Consent Counts Project. Both of these projects are long term and will require the use of our assets of volunteers and funds to promote and continue to make major strides towards accomplishing these goals.

For the DSM we have made it all the way through public commentary period with the majority of the changes we suggested being supported. We are now awaiting finale approval from the American Psychiatric Association for inclusion in the publication of the DSM-V. These changes though not finale are already having an impact of a positive nature in the court system regarding criminal and child custody incidents.

The Consent Counts Project is also well on its way. We have started pulling the legal information at a state level and are making plans to work on the volunteer system to acquire local and regional information as well. Short term, the DSM Revision Project is going to work closely with the Consent Counts Project to ensure maximum outreach and visibility.

Incident Response, by Leigha Fleming

NCSF received 482 distinct inquiries/requests for assistance. 337 required more than one contact/response to resolve, often requiring multiple contacts. It is difficult to categorize many incident requests as clearly falling into one camp or another because many overlap in categories. For example, many of our custody/divorce related issues involve at least 2 of our core constituent groups (i.e. BDSM/leather/fetish and poly for example). In trying to do a statistical breakdown of the requests, we placed it in the category it most clearly matched.

11% were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence issues

36% were regarding criminal complaint issues

3% were regarding employment discrimination

27.5% were regarding child custody/divorce issues

17.5% were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues

1% were classed as non-employment discrimination

3% were related to swing community issues

.5% were regarding online obscenity issues

3.5% were classed as "other"

Of the inquiries, 95.5% were driven by BDSM/leather/fetish issues, 3% by swing, 1% by poly, 0.5% by other.

The Board of Directors

Leigha Fleming (Board Chair)

Howie Zusel (Vice Chair)

Laura Carlson (Secretary)

Vivienne Kramer (Treasurer)

Jim Fleckenstein (Foundation Liaison)

Ron Zimmerman (Coalition Partner Stewardship Chair)

Kevin Carlson (KAP Director)

Chuck Renslow

Susan Wright (Media Relatiuons)

Ed Mogul (Legal)

Steven Johnson (SalesForce)

Diamond

Thanks to those above for all you do to keep the NCSF moving forward. 

Volunteer of the Year

 The NCSF would like to congratulate Vicki Ballinger, our Volunteer of the Year. Vicki heads up our outreach program. Her service and dedication to this position is a shinning example of how we all should strive to be.

Congratulations and thank you Vicki!!!!

New Papers

The NCSF and the Foundation is proud to introduce two new papers, "A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist" and the "Therapists Guide to Polyamory". The full press release may be read on our website, or you can go directly to the individual papers;

 A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapists

Therapists Guide to Polyamory  

Coalition Partners as of May 2010

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phone: 410-539-4824

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Download the pdf

Incident Reporting & Response: We're Making a Difference

  • Helps hundreds of people every year who need assistance because of their consensual BDSM, swinging, or polyamory interests and activities.
  • Connects individuals, groups, and events with resources that can help them including other NCSF programs like KAP, Media Outreach, and the Educational Outreach Program.
GIVE Now - Help NCSF continue to provide support to those in need of assistance
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About Incident Reporting & Response

The NCSF Incident Reporting &  Response (IRR) program provides assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities who become victimized because of SM, leather, fetish, or swing practices.

Program Goals:
NCSF's Incident Reporting & Response
was created to provide assistance to individuals and groups within the BDSM, swinging and poly communities who are experiencing discrimination or needs assistance because of their interests and activities.
Contacts:

Incident@ncsfreedom.org 
Request For Assistance Form
Emergency Number: (410) 539-4824

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