As the Board President, I wrote a June Message that I am now aware was terribly insensitive and harmful to our community.  I am incredibly sorry for the impact that this has had on our organization and the community.  Through the course of this weekend’s feedback, I’m beginning to understand that I have a lot to learn about the Black Lives Matter movement and the challenges faced by people of color.  That is a journey I can own.  I am being educated on the difference between ALM/BLM.  I strongly believe that Black lives matter and should never have diluted that in a broader context.  I am starting my educational journey with a commitment to listen, seek out input, and invest the time needed to have a much deeper understanding.

Effective immediately I am also resigning as President of the Sonoma County Alliance.  As I acknowledge that I am starting my journey of learning, the organization deserves a leader who has these skills in place.  I apologize to the Board for putting the organization in this position.  I know that the Board will also use this crossroads as an opportunity for self-reflection and change.  The Board under new leadership will be meeting and formulating a course of action to help address inclusivity, education, and leadership within the organization.

My course of action includes being educated by community members, books, courses, and other materials that individuals may offer to help me on my journey.  In the weeks ahead I am working on greater structure to this plan.  I have volunteered and contributed to our community for almost twenty years.  I have every intention of owning my mistake and learning from it.  It makes me sick to my stomach as I start to understand how harmful and offensive it was.  I hope through my journey of learning ahead I can also find ways to contribute meaningfully down the road.



Doug Hilberman