🗓️Tuesday - February 2, 2021
🔖5 min read ∙ 867 words
A Letter from Board Chair Shashi Jain:
Yesterday, Techqueria’s Board of Directors removed David as a community member. David and I co-founded the organization in 2015, and I sincerely appreciate and am grateful for the dedication, passion, and enthusiasm David has given our community over the past five years. On a personal note, David is like a brother to me, even when we don’t see eye to eye, and I don’t take this situation lightly.
The board understands the community is unsettled with how David’s departure was communicated in #meta yesterday and sees it as a breach of trust. We would like to provide you, the community, with a better understanding of the many factors at play in this situation and share what we can within the legal bounds imposed.
- The Board of Directors stands by our decision to remove David which was an ongoing legal issue resulting from discussions last year.
- We were not at liberty to explain the details of David’s removal due to the legal and sensitive nature of the discussion that led to his removal.
- We understand many people in the community are calling for more transparency around why.
- Not only is David aware of why, but David had legally requested privacy on the matter.
- In treating this as a legal process and to protect the overall organization and members, we don’t want to violate that request without consent.
We tried to enter into moderation and resolve this amicably with David for months, but that was escalated. It’s unfortunate the conversation has gotten to this point, this is not where we wanted things to be. We have gone through a very long process of trying to reconcile the conflict. We understand there are several people supporting David, asking for a reason for the removal, but we are not going to be sharing that information. Knowing the background of the situation, I remain 100% comfortable with the action the Board is taking. My only regrets are not doing it sooner and all the damage this has caused to the community.
We want to build an organization of Latinx professionals and leaders that lead with values of mutual respect. We also acknowledge our own shortfalls as leaders and take full responsibility for the gaps in leadership that manifested in different areas this past year. In our attempt to look at the big picture and approach all the complexities in building Techqueria with deep care, our deliberate pacing was not enough. We acknowledge and apologize to anyone hurt or disappointed in all of this. We’ve reached an inflection point and we want to recognize that at this point, not everyone may be willing to take this journey with us any more and want to fully respect that.
For those that want to be part of Techqueria’s next growth evolution, here are the steps we are taking as a board to hold ourselves accountable with the support of our board advisors and other advisors who lead tech and non-profit communities.
- We hear the calls from the community to have a new board, and we support that.
- We will have a staggered transition of all current board members beginning in March and will bring external consultants to manage the search for a new full time executive director to replace our current Co-Directors this year. We do want consultants to include member input where possible in the process.
- The New ED will develop a new board strategy and the subsequent steps to support the governance of the organization as it matures into next growth stage
The ongoing issues have distracted from our mission and have impacted the organization’s operations. We understand we are at an irreconcilable impasse and want to put the community and mission first by bringing in different leadership. A clean slate, free from the bias and baggage of these issues are what’s needed right now for the community and organization. This community was built by David and I over the years, with the support of many individuals at different stages - including Felipe, Esteban, Frances - all who have done the hard hands on work over the years at events and countless hours of behind the scenes to build and scale Techqueria. They also put their name on the line to create a safe space to bring folks in the community together in some of the most challenging times. I want to acknowledge the deep work of current and past volunteers and community members as we move forward. I have the deepest gratitude for everyone that has been part of the organization over the years and appreciate all the work everyone has done and is doing.
These have been difficult growing pains as we head into the next chapter of Techqueria as a non-profit organization. As a community we have to do better and will do better to support you all in your tech journeys. We deeply believe in the potential of our community and the investment we make in each other to support our advancement into senior and leadership roles in tech and bring others up with us.
Sincerely, Techqueria’s Board of Directors: Shashi Jain (Co-Founder, Board Chair), Esteban Uribe, Frances Coronel and Felipe Ventura