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The Patron Chain, National Grange Newsletter

June 12, 2020 GRANGE ISSUES STATEMENT ADDRESSING RACISM, INEQUALITY AND ORGANIZATION’S FOUNDATION OF INCLUSIVITY The National Grange unequivocally opposes racism. The voices of Grange members across our country join those who cry out in sorrow for the lives lost to racist actions, for the divisions racism has cleaved between us and for the inequality that racism has spawned across our beloved nation. Since our founding in 1867, we have lived by our motto, “In essentials, unity; in non-and open hands to raise all their neighbors and communities. Our Grange founders provided us a Declaration of Purposes for our organization that addressed a need for unity and civil discourse: “We shall constantly strive to secure harmony, good will, and brotherhood… We shall earnestly endeavor to suppress personal, local, sectional, and national prejudices… We desire a proper equality, and fairness; protection for the weak; restraint upon the strong; in short, justly distributed power.” These words still guide us today. One does not merely join the Grange, but lives by the principles of faith, hope, charity and fidelity and loving their neighbor as themselves. We have a deep commitment to the freedoms of speech, expression and peaceful protest enshrined in our Constitution for all people. The Grange’s Declaration of Purposes also teaches us that “…difference of opinion is no crime. Progress toward truth is made by differences of opinion, while the fault lies in the bitterness of the controversy.” Therefore we urge everyone to exercise their individual rights of expression in a civil and respectful manner. Each day, law enforcement officers must uphold the law equally while exercising good judgment and compassion. Just as we do in each of our meetings, we must meet the peaceful expressions of various opinionswith open ears and open hearts. essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” We have always welcomed and invited people of allraces, creeds, religions and nationalities into our membership. We have asked none to join uswho cannot see good in their fellow beings, who are willing to put to work their generous hearts In this time of social unrest and anxiety, Grange members renew our pledge to combat prejudiceand racism and will continue to strive to do better. We continue our 153-year-old tradition of welcoming all to our membership, building an inclusive family fraternity and providing our communities with a place for civil discussion and proactive, positive change. HISTORY OF OFFICER TITLES OFFERED The origin of Grange officer titles was never racist and has no connection to, or promotion of, the ante bellum southern plantation management system. Nor are any of the Grange officer titles reflective of any Biblical examples , such as when in the Gospels, Jesus is addressed by his followers as “Master.” All of the names of the Grange officers were borrowed from the traditional titles of the offices on British farm estates. These estates were basically self-contained, collective, village enterprises with duties and responsibilities assigned to the various workers based on their experience and educational attainment. The title of Master was for the individual who was the overall direct manager for the estate, in charge of major decisions such as where to invest capital for productivity improvement, what crops to plant to gain the best return in rotation, where to assign workers for best use of the human resources on the estate, etc. The Master was supposed to be the most experienced and educated individual on the estate. The office of Grange Master is therefore directly analogous to titles awarded to other professions in our society as an achievement for educational and practical professional achievement, such as a master’s degree awarded by a college or university or a master tradesman such as a master plumber or electrician. In the installation ceremony for every Grange Master since the 1870’s, the critical importance of leadership is especially emphasized: “To you all connected with your Grange will look for example; and not these only, but those outside the Gate will diligently scrutinize each act….You may encounter difficulties. Overcome them, remembering that difficulties are but opportunities to test our abilities…A judicious Master will use due care that no time is lost in useless labor…Your laborers may not at first comprehend the value of this; but it is your duty to instruct them.” The overseer was essentially the HR manager for the British estate. Again, education and experience were critical for a successful overseer. The overseer was as much a motivator as he was a manager. Again the installation ceremony for every Grange Overseer makes clear the scope of duties as the personnel manager for the Grange. “The Laborers come to you for instruction in their work, and you are brought in contact with them. Your influence is direct; exert that influence with due care. Of all the sweeteners of human toil, of all the motive powers that give alacrity to the hand or foot, readiness to the will, and intelligence to mind and purpose, the quickest and most enduring in results is the kind word spoken in season.” At no point in time was the sanctioned use physical force or violence to obtain compliance with the direction of the estate management that became associated with the southern plantation system ever part of Grange teachings. Grange laborers (members) have always voluntarily contributed their time and talent to the good of the organization and elected qualified officers from among their own ranks to lead them, working their way from lower offices to higher as education and experience increased on their Grange journey. Today we have a clear understanding that these terms, while never borrowed from the heinous time of American slavery, still evoke valid emotions and thoughts of racial inequity and hate. We have actively transitioned to the words President and Vice President. While the original terms are still sometimes used out of habit, and are still found in some of our documents that date back to our founding, we seek to make comfortable in Granges all persons of good character seeking to join us, and urge our members to transition with us to more modern titles. JOIN US TUESDAY FOR MEMBERSHIP MATTERS ZOOM MEETING The June edition of the Membership Matters meeting will be next week on Tuesday, June 16 at 8:30 pm eastern time. Since June brings us both the halfway point of this year as well as the end of the 2019-2020 National Grange membership year, we will be having an open forum type discussion about what plans we can help Community Granges implement while we are unable to meet physically so that they can have success in the upcoming membership year. Please note that we will be moving back to our regular private zoom platform for this meeting. The log-on/call-in information is in the attached picture. I hope to have many of you there for a lively discussion. MEMBER BENEFITS: Discounts through Tickets at Work Log into the member’s side of the National Grange website for codes or contact Loretta Washington at lwashington@nationalgrange.org Date All times Eastern Friday, June 12 @ 4:30 p.m. ASL/Deaf Culture: Lesson 10 Saturday, June 13 @ 8:30 p.m. Date Night In 11.0 Sunday, June 14 @ 7 p.m. Flag Day Celebration – A History of the U.S. Flag Monday, June 15 @ 8 p.m. #MyFavoriteMemory – Memories from Grange Youth times Tuesday, June 16 @ 8:30 p.m. Membership Matters ZOOM ONLY (Not livestreamed) Wednesday, June 17 @ 6:30 p.m. Virtual Tour of the Jordan Dairy Farm Thursday, June 18 @ 8 p.m. #TBT – Oral Histories Friday, June 19 @ 4:30 p.m. ASL/Deaf Culture Language 11 Saturday, June 20 @ 8:30 p.m. Date Night In 12.0 Sunday, June 21 TBD Monday, June 22 TBD Tuesday, June 23 TBD Wednesday, June 24 @ 4 p.m. Legislative Update with Burton Eller Thursday, June 25 @ 5 p.m. Summer: The Grange’s Second Degree (ONLY INFACEBOOK – GRANGE HERITAGE FORUM GROUP) Friday, June 26 @ 4:30 p.m. ASL/Deaf Culture Lesson 12 Saturday, June 27 @ 8:30 p.m. Date Night In 13.0 All times Eastern Friday, June 12 @ 4:30 p.m. ASL/Deaf Culture: Lesson 10 Saturday, June 13 @ 8:30 p.m. Date Night In 11.0 Sunday, June 14 @ 7 p.m. Flag Day Celebration – A History of the U.S. Flag Monday, June 15 @ 8 p.m. #MyFavoriteMemory – Memories from Grange Youth times Tuesday, June 16 @ 8:30 p.m. Membership Matters ZOOM ONLY (Not livestreamed) Wednesday, June 17 @ 6:30 p.m. Virtual Tour of the Jordan Dairy Farm Thursday, June 18 @ 8 p.m. #TBT – Oral Histories Friday, June 19 @ 4:30 p.m. ASL/Deaf Culture Language 11 Saturday, June 20 @ 8:30 p.m. Date Night In 12.0 Sunday, June 21 TBD Monday, June 22 TBD Tuesday, June 23 TBD Wednesday, June 24 @ 4 p.m. Legislative Update with Burton Eller Thursday, June 25 @ 5 p.m. Summer: The Grange’s Second Degree (ONLY INFACEBOOK – GRANGE HERITAGE FORUM GROUP) Friday, June 26 @ 4:30 p.m. ASL/Deaf Culture Lesson 12 Saturday, June 27 @ 8:30 p.m. Date Night In 13.0 All livestreams are sponsored by Grange Foundation and available at any time after the close of the event at facebook.com/nationalgrange/video or at youtube.com/nationalgrange. If you have suggestions or questions, contact Amanda at communications@nationalgrange.org

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