My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Thomas Merton Center, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, USA
I have been a board member for 6 years and had two projects at the Thomas Merton Center. In fact, I am one of the 2 members Rosemary has alluded to in her definition of the corruption at the Center. I joined the Center awhile after moving to Pittsburgh from California where I was active in the peace movement and grape boycott of the '70's in my hometown--Pittsburg, CA (also known as Pittas Califas). Countering the charges made are very hard and I believe there are only two things to be said. 1st: We have been living through hard times (the perfect storm) as an organization and all board members had to make really difficult financial decisions (our bookkeeper retired) for the good of our members and all projects, without a staff. 2nd: *None of us* are indispensable (including Rosemary) and Book 'Em continues to thrive.
The TMC has continued to exist because it is the one place everyone can come to where peace and social justice is not just a side issue. We welcome anarchists, socialists, the spiritual, the religious, atheists -- everyone who is willing to recognize the need for a nonviolent movement for social change and peace. It is not an easy task and we are all *far* from perfect. What we share is a longing to recognize and raise up those who have a love for constructive engagement with strangers offering a home for those who point in new directions to insure a safe and equitable future.
All that being said, I miss the former staff and think Melissa's criticism is justified. As justified as it is, I will continue to work to encourage what is very good about the TMC, encouraged by a Trappist who knew anger and humility in equal doses. I still believe that when we all work together for the good, when we all encourage one another, members, volunteers, and Board, our presence will make a difference. We have a good track record!
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
The TMC has been able to link economics, race, environment, and war together in ways that have encouraged me to continue encouraging others.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Ask that train more organizers.