Dear XRAY Community,
While the station is propelled by the amazing efforts of many individuals, it isn’t defined by any one person. The staff’s commitment to XRAY’s mission and our community is unshaken. We’re encouraged by the outpouring of support and concern from the XRAY community during this challenging time of organizational transformation. Each of us remains invested in the effort needed to enact necessary and corrective changes, to ask the hard questions, and to pursue healing where possible.
For the past few months, XRAY has been going through significant processes of improvement and accountability with support from its Board of Directors. Some of the issues and complaints that were recently publicized had already been resolved, but there is a lot of work still to be done. Each of us takes the experiences and criticisms recently circulated very seriously. That said, several of us want to take this opportunity to clarify that some claims do not reflect the perspectives of all current staffers, though of course we all believe that individuals’ experiences are significant and valid whether or not those experiences are shared universally. We’re grateful for the true and valuable critiques that have been voiced, but it should be known that inaccurate statements have been circulated as well. The situation is such that we as staff members all have unique feelings and personal opinions about how best to move forward, but we want to come together to address these issues for the sake of clarity and transparency. We expect to continue to provide updates when there is more to share in the future.
We’d like to reaffirm that there are many problematic norms in nonprofit work generally, and it’s unfortunate that XRAY has exemplified some of them. There is also a fine balance of volunteer culture along with workplace culture at XRAY, as a largely volunteer-run station. Still, the fact that some of these issues are commonplace is no excuse for any organization. In recent years, XRAY has grown and hit an inflection point necessitating the need to build structures to help us deal with the next chapter of growth. It’s past time for many of these organizational changes to be made, and now we’re finally seeing some new, concrete professionalization measures being put in place.
The organization is currently going through a restructuring process that has identified department leads that will report directly to the Executive Director. Those leads are Chase Spross (Station Manager), DJ Ambush (Content Lead & Staff Liaison), Nina Dabit (Development & Fundraising Lead), and Patricia Collins (Finance & Admin Lead). This has been done by the board in an effort to empower staff and reduce the need for the Executive Director to be involved at every level while still functioning as our E.D. Additionally, an HR company was hired months ago and has been working with the board to address any personnel classifications and wage compliance issues that have been brought to their attention. The board continues to work with Cascade Employers to address compliance issues and improve resources, like an updated employee handbook.
We are working to resolve concerns and rebuild trust amongst staff. This ongoing process will take time and is not complete yet, though staff members as well as Jefferson remain invested in moving through conflict together. The board is working with Jefferson and staff leads to map the best course for Jefferson to transition from the executive director role; Jefferson has already stated his intent to depart from his current role in the coming year. Smooth and intentional transitions are essential to the stability and success of XRAY, and we trust that the board will continue to carefully guide future leadership transitions with the growth and sustainability of the organization in mind. As a co-founder and the only current staffer who has worked here from the beginning, Jefferson’s institutional knowledge, relationships, and leadership are needed as part of this deliberate transition.
We’re grateful for the hard work and support shown by the board through all of this, and for those who continue to volunteer, listen, and support the station as it undergoes a substantial transition. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish any of these improvements without the support and talent of this amazing community. While we don’t all agree on the approach or timing of these changes, we are committed to working together closely to see this process through and come out stronger on the other side. Thank you for being invested in workers’ rights and the wellbeing of individuals at this station; as staff members who are normally behind the scenes of a volunteer-driven organization, it’s touching to see the care and concern the community is showing for us.
Chase Spross, Station Manager & Operations Lead
Nina Dabit, Development & Fundraising Lead
DJ Ambush, Content Lead & Staff Liaison
Miranda Selinger, Talk Content & Grants Coordinator
Annie Ostrowski, Events & Underwriting Manager
Taryn Nobil, Development Assistant