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Center for Action and Contemplation

Update on the Independent Review

August 18th, 2021

This past winter, Teresa Mateus, a respected colleague, posted an open letter critical of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC). This letter, along with continued reflection and discussions within our community, lent urgency to our ongoing efforts to examine how we can embody the values that guide our work and inform our mission. We have been making steady progress, and I want to share an update.

Independent review
As noted in our Executive Director Michael’s previous update, we committed to an independent outside party’s full review of CAC’s and Michael’s actions. This review is currently underway, and we expect it to be complete in the coming weeks and will share the high-level finding internally and externally before the end of the year.

Updated policies
It also became clear there were several actions we could take in the interim while awaiting the results of the review. After a series of open discussions between staff and leadership this spring, we updated our Problem-Solving policy to ensure staff have a clear and documented mechanism to report, resolve and escalate (as needed) challenges, including any grievances. Additionally, we also updated our Partner Vetting policy to enact proactive and preventative measures and responsive, values-aligned processes should challenges occur.

What’s next
Our mission at CAC, grounded in Fr. Richard’s values and our contemplative tradition, is to be a source of healing and compassionate action in our world. The actions we have taken, and those yet to come, are essential steps in the organization’s evolution. As we move forward together, our priorities are to continue listening, learning, and acting in ways that support and strengthen our staff, students, and community.

Doug Murrel
Chief Operating Officer
Center for Action and Contemplation

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