GROUP SAFETY & GROUP EMAIL

Below, please find information on:

  • Updated FAQ and more
  • New! Personal Recovery Resources: Read | Listen
  • New! Managing Meeting Participants
  • Group Safety
  • Remote Meeting Growth
  • Intergroup Hosted Zoom Rooms?
  • Group Email Accounts in the @aasfmarin.org Domain
  • 2020 International Convention Cancelled

We have updated the content in our FAQ for Locals and Move an A.A. Meeting to Zoom in 5 Steps. We also added Read | Listen, which are resources for personal recovery and, perhaps most importantly, added Managing Meeting Participants. More updates and additional content are on the way. Meanwhile, please visit those pages on aasfmarin.org

Managing Meeting Participants was in large part due to the numerous communications received in the last few days about inappropriate behavior in online meeting rooms. As with a face-to-face meetings, how each group handles disruptions is a decision for that group to make autonomously. AA Meetings, regardless of the forum, are microcosms of the real world and all that comes with it. The service piece published by GSO, Safety and A.A.: Our Common Welfare, states: 

“… behavior can hijack the focus of a meeting and frighten members, new and old. Some groups have developed plans for addressing disruptive behavior and have established procedures through their group conscience to ensure that the group’s welfare is protected.” 

The majority of our members are likely new to online meetings; learning to navigate the platforms at all ~ much less when confronted with offensive behavior ~ is extremely challenging. The Marin PICPC Committee has addressed Online Meetings, Publicity, and “Zoombombs” in its most recent communication. They offer resources that may be helpful to individuals and groups when making the decision on how to handle meeting disruptions.

In happier news, we are adding new meetings to the Remote Meeting Schedule every day and have gone from 27 meetings on March 15 to 376 – that is a 1400% increase. To say this has been a challenging time is to put it mildly. Please send gratitude and support out to the twenty or so Trusted Servants and two Special Workers who are stepping up in various teams to coordinate these efforts and make these resources available. 

We had hoped to share good news about a collaborative effort with New York Intergroup to make Zoom Rooms available to host groups for free. Each room would have been able to accommodate up to 500 or 1,000 participants per meeting and allow default security settings to be established for the highest level of anonymity and privacy possible while still being accessible to newcomers. Unfortunately, this is no longer an option as the NYIG Board changed its mind about partnering with any other offices.

Your Board of Directors will be in conversation with the Intergroup Representatives at our April 1 meeting to discuss the possibility of moving forward with our own account. The idea was largely in response to so many online meetings being at capacity. However, it may well be that like meeting room rent, Zoom accounts are best left to the individual groups themselves. Please take a look at what NYIG is offering and take this short survey to guide us forward. Details, if any, will be forthcoming

We have decided to offer group email addresses at the aasfmarin.org domain. Many groups (and meetings) are setting up anonymous email addresses named after their real-world meeting for platform logins, digital contributions and more. This allows them to publish a contact method, and reply to it, without exposing any individual’s identity; it also allows them to share access to the communications, and to transfer the handling of the group’s communications between people — for example, as Trusted Servants rotate in and out of their service terms. While not difficult for individual groups to set this up, you may find your group name already taken. There are advantages and additional considerations that went into our decision to offer this service; more information can be found here.

In closing, we are passing on the unfortunate news that the International Convention, scheduled for July 2020 has been cancelled. Details can be found here and in this FAQ about registration 

So stay tuned and please, for the love of a wide berth on a narrow sidewalk, share this information with your social media communities and encourage our members to subscribe to The Buzz.

All decisions will be re-evaluated as the situation changes; we are doing our best and appreciate your support and understanding.Your AA Central Office

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