We have our Articles of Incorporation and our Bylaws. The next “highest” governance document is our Policies and Procedures, where we will lay out the details of Sociocracy.
Note on Youth Leadership within the structures of our Bylaws and Sociocracy:
Nonprofit law states that only one board member can be under 18, and that they must be at least 16. However, in order to fulfill its mission, #NYCEDU requires the leadership of multiple young people. We do this through what Sociocracy for All calls the Mission Circle
A mission circle pays attention to long-term planning and makes sure the organization stays true its mission (and vision) and connected in its organizational and cultural context. […] The MC gives general direction and support, may have legal and financial responsibilities and supports the operational leader. The mission circle is the link with and to the larger community.
We have no age limit for people in the Mission Circle. The Mission Circle and Board interact in the following way.
The Mission Circle is a Committee of the Corporation. All Board Directors are ex-officio members of the Mission Circle. Any meeting of the Board shall be preceded by a meeting of the Mission Circle. Recommendations of the Mission Circle will be placed on the board agenda as consent items.
As we add more details to our policies and procedures around the Mission Circle, we need to make clear that the Board cannot be constrained by a committee of the corporation. Directors need to be able to exercise their own independent judgment. We can put in policies and procedures that the sociocratic process must be followed before certain decisions, so long as we make it clear that the process does not ultimately bind the board.
Involving Youth on Your Board