ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be the San Diego Refugee Forum.
ARTICLE II: MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the San Diego Refugee Forum is to:
• encourage, promote and facilitate coordination and collaboration in the delivery of
services to the diverse populations of people displaced from their homes abroad by
war, violence or persecution (“refugees”) and seeking refuge in San Diego;
• provide opportunities for networking and information sharing among refugee service
providers and between refugee service providers and mainstream service providers;
• provide opportunities for capacity building and organizational learning to refugee
• provide education and advocacy on issues of concern to refugees and refugee
• attract additional resources for San Diego’s refugee service providers.
ARTICLE III: VISION STATEMENT
The vision of the San Diego Refugee Forum is a community of service providers (including both
traditional refugee-serving agencies as well as mainstream providers from the fields of health
care, education, social service, etc.) that freely shares information and seeks to collaborate
proactively in providing the highest quality and effectiveness of service to refugees, asylees,
asylum seekers, and others displaced from their homes abroad by war, violence or
persecution and seeking refuge in San Diego.
ARTICLE IV: FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
The forum works to assure the most efficient use of available resources to accomplish the
purpose of the organization by:
A. Facilitating networking of organizations in San Diego providing services to persons
fleeing from war and persecution.
B. Increasing awareness and educating the San Diego community about persons fleeing
from war and persecution, and promoting cross-cultural understanding.
C. Advocating for persons fleeing from war and persecution and providing information
about and influencing legislative and policy decision making at all levels of
government that affect these persons.
ARTICLE V: MEMBERSHIP
A. Composition and Selection
General Membership in the organization is open to any interested individual, agency or
New member agencies/organizations will be admitted to the Forum after application
approval by the Executive Committee. At time of application, the prospective member
must designate one primary and one alternative contact person. It is the members’
responsibility to ensure the continuous accuracy of their contact information. A
member may choose to designate a different representative or representatives to
Forum committees than it designates as the members for the general meeting of the
B. Place and Time of Meeting
Membership meetings will be held monthly and shall be held in San Diego County at a
location designated by the membership. Members will be notified of any change in the
time or place of the meeting at least 24 hours in advance.
A quorum for the purpose of holding a meeting shall be the simple majority of the
There will be annual membership dues of $30 per individual membership and $60 per
agency/organization. The fiscal year of the organization shall be from January 1st to
All persons attending general meetings of the Forum shall be entitled to a seat and a
voice. Only those individuals and agencies/organizations, which have satisfied the
standards for membership shall be entitled to vote. Each individual member shall have
one vote, and each agency shall have two votes. Members can exercise their vote no
sooner than two months following receipt of their membership dues.
F. Support of Mission
In order to support the mission and overall effectiveness and impact of the Forum,
members are encouraged to participate on the committee or task force(s) that they
can support with their expertise and/or skills.
ARTICLE VI: OFFICERS
A. Position Titles
The officers of the Forum shall be the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary,
Treasurer, Member at Large and the County of San Diego Refugee Coordinator
There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of three (3) members chosen from
the floor. The Nominating Committee shall be selected during the September meeting
of the Forum. The Nominating Committee will meet beginning in September, at which
time it will prepare a slate of officers to be presented to the membership meeting in
November, when open nominations will also be solicited from the floor. Candidates
must be nominated by a third party; self-nominations will not be accepted.
Elections for the posts of chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer are held biannually,
at the expiration of the incumbents’ two-year terms, at the November general meeting.
Every individual member of the Forum shall receive one ballot, and each organizational
member two. Individual organizational ballots can be cast for the same or for different
candidates. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes will be the new
chairperson. Should the candidate with the highest number of votes choose not to be
the chairperson, the chair position will be offered to the candidate with the second
highest number of votes, and so on. The remaining three candidates with the next
highest numbers of votes will allocate the remaining three officer positions among
themselves at the first meeting of the Executive Committee prior to January’s general
meeting, at which the division of positions will be announced to the membership. The
Member-at-Large will be selected by the newly elected officers from within the
membership or other stakeholders at the first meeting of the Executive Committee.
D. Terms of Office
Terms of office for elected officers will be for two (2) years, from January, for a maximum
of two (2) successive terms. Past officers are permitted to stand for re-election no sooner
than one (1) year following the expiration of their second consecutive term.
The Chairperson shall perform the duties that the title of the office connotes. The
Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Forum and of the Executive Committee.
The Chair shall provide guidance to all committees.
The Vice-Chairperson shall assume the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the
Chairperson and shall have such other duties as are assigned by the Chairperson.
The Secretary shall keep and complete minutes and attendance records of the
meetings of the Forum and of the Executive Committee and generally perform all
duties, which pertain to the office.
The Treasurer shall keep account of the Forum’s income and expenses, manage
Forum finances, make monthly reports to the Forum, and maintain the Forum’s
The Member-at-Large and County of San Diego Refugee Coordinator (ex officio) will
assist the other officers in identifying and coordinating guest speakers for the monthly
F. Contracted Support
The Executive Committee can retain professional support in order to facilitate the
completion of special Forum initiatives and events. The support person(s) will be
engaged on a contractual basis using funds from the Forum’s annual operating
ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES/ TASK FORCES
Membership on committee/ Task Force is open to each member of the Forum. For each
committee/ Task Force in which a member seeks to participate, each
individual/organization shall designate an individual and alternate to represent it.
A quorum for the purpose of holding meetings shall be the simple majority of
committee/ Task Force members.
There shall be two types of committees/ Task Forces: standing and ad hoc. All
committees/ Task Forces shall exist solely to fulfill the purpose and mission of the Forum.
Each task force (b-g below) will appoint two co-chairs from within its membership. The
co-chairs must be confirmed by the Executive Committee and shall present updates on
the committees’ work to the membership at large at the monthly general meetings.
1. Standing Committees/ Task Forces:
a. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is composed of all elected, ex officio and at large
officers. It shall act as the Executive Board of the Organization. The Executive
Committee shall facilitate the business of the Forum. The Executive Committee
will make emergency decisions and become the ad hoc nominating committee
if an officer is unable to complete his/her term of office.
The Executive Committee shall meet, at minimum, once a month in advance of
the regular monthly general membership forum meeting. The Executive
Committee establishes and manages the Forum budget. Committee/ Task Force
Chairs make their budget requests to the Executive Committee in advance of
any anticipated expense.
b. World Refugee Day Planning Committee
Shall promote awareness of the Forum and the refugee community in the San
Diego community and by organizing annual World Refugee Day celebration
event in June.
c. Health Task Force
Shall identify issues around health care and access to healthcare of concern to
persons fleeing war and violent conflict in San Diego; facilitate the education of
the San Diego community about these issues; and spearhead the Forum’s
advocacy efforts and involvement in public policymaking around those issues.
d. Employment Task Force
Shall identify issues around employment of concern to persons fleeing war and
violent conflict in San Diego; facilitate the education of the San Diego
community about these issues; and spearhead the Forum’s advocacy efforts
and involvement in public policymaking around those issues.
e. Asylees/Asylum Seekers Task Force
Shall identify issues faced by asylum seekers and asylees in San Diego; facilitate
the education of the San Diego community about these issues; and spearhead
the Forum’s advocacy efforts and involvement in public policymaking around
f. Domestic Violence Task Force
Shall address domestic violence Issues for persons fleeing war and violent conflict
in San Diego; facilitate the education of the San Diego community about these
issues; and spearhead the Forum’s advocacy efforts and involvement in public
policymaking around those issues.
2. Ad Hoc Committees may be appointed by the Chairperson as needed and
nominated by members of the Refugee Forum.
ARTICLE IX: AFFILIATION LETTERS
Member agencies can present requests for affiliation letters from the Forum to the Executive
Committee no later than two weeks before they desire receipt of a signed letter. Members
can request letters no sooner than two months following receipt of their membership dues.
Upon receipt of a request, the Chairperson is authorized to sign a letter on forum letterhead
indicating that the requesting organization is an active member of the San Diego Refugee
ARTICLE X: FUNDING
The annual budget of the forum will be composed of membership fees. The forum will not seek
outside funding unless in those cases where individual members are ineligible for the funding
source sought; or the funding opportunity is likely to improve service coordination and
collaboration among service providers and the Forum is uniquely well positioned to facilitate
those goals. In these cases, the Forum will strive for the majority of the entire funding amount to be allocated directly as pass-through funds to member agencies. The Forum may seek
sponsorship and other support for regular and special events.
ARTICLE VII: AMENDMENTS
Amendments to these By-Laws can be proposed by the Executive Committee and require a
simple majority vote of the membership to become effective. Proposed amendments to the
By-Laws shall be presented at a monthly member meeting and put to a vote at the following
Status: Approved by majority vote of membership at the April General Meeting on April 16,