Reclaiming our members, both Prince Hall and Non-Prince Hall, has been part of my mission and vision under the auspices and direction of the MW Dorian R. Glover since being elected as Grand Junior Warden in 2012. This initiative is two-fold:
- Reclaim Non-Prince Brothers of the more than 100 clandestine bodies throughout the State of New York through the Occasional Grand Lodge process held two to three times per year.
- Reclaim the more than 4000 Prince Hall Brothers that have been dropped for the roles of their Lodges over the last 5 years through an “Amnesty” and rebranding program.
Amnesty Program Outline
The terms and conditions under which a member may return to the active roles are as follows:
- The inactive member has to be separated from the Lodge for more than one year; cannot have been dropped in 2014
- An individual must pay Grand Lodge Tax (currently $60.00) to the Office of the Grand Secretary before he can be considered for reactivation
- If a Brother wants to demit from his Mother Lodge, he is granted a 90-day “Affiliation” letter by the Office of the Grand Secretary and is not charged any additional fees to do so.
- The affiliation process is to be followed (per the Constitution) with the exception that the Brother needs to receive 3/4 vote instead of a unanimous vote in order to return to the roles
- In order to run for an elected position in a Subordinate Lodge, the re-activated Brother must pay his dues in full prior to the December election
- In order to run for an elected position in the Grand Lodge, the re-activated Past Master must pay his Lodge dues in full prior to the Annual Grand Session
- Two Special Deputy DDGMs are identified in each district to oversee the initiative
- Identify (recruit) individuals within each District who are interested in participating in the amnesty program
- Work with the District President to create an event(s) to support the Amnesty Initiative
- Receive a list of list of dropped members from the last 5 years (excluding those dropped in 2014) for the Secretaries of the Subordinate Lodges
- Compile metrics monthly and report the same to RW Walter King, Jr.
- Each dropped member is contacted by a member of the amnesty initiative to set up an in person meeting
- The Amnesty Initiative Representative (AIR) attempts to meet with the inactive member face-to-face
- Where a face-to-face is not possible, the AIR conducts the conversation via telephone and a satisfaction survey administered
- The inactive member is told that they can also attend a District event(s) designed to assist them in returning to the Lodge, and to hear what the Grand Lodge is currently doing to rebrand and grow the organization
- Sample events: Bowling night, fishing trip, billiards night, sweethearts event, game night, movie night (at the Temple), fellowship night, etc.
- Appointment of Special Deputy District Deputy Grand Masters as part of the initiative
- Creation of a formalized survey
- Creation of reclamation letter to invite inactive brother back (see appendix A)
- Communication/Involvement of District Presidents