Message from the Board of Directors August 8, 2020

Greetings,

The SCA Board of Directors wants to update you, the participants of this great organization, on the impact that Covid-19 is having on the SCA.

We are facing an unprecedented decline in membership revenue. Revenue has dropped off to the point where the Society could be facing some exceedingly difficult choices soon. Choices that may impact our ability to return to the game we love and miss.

To grapple with the current realities facing the SCA, the Board of Directors has canceled all travel and non-essential expenses at the corporate level.  Additionally, the Board and Corporate Officers are meeting bi-weekly via video teleconference to increase the speed at which we respond to the constantly evolving landscape of the SCA.

During these bi-weekly meetings it has become clear that we need to address our current financial situation. Since the outbreak of the pandemic we have seen an extraordinary 28% drop in membership, which is approximately 4,000 members.  We know that many of you are personally facing great hardships and we understand the difficult choices you are having to make each day. Not one of us has been untouched by the reality of living in the times of COVID.

For those of you who are able and willing to help the SCA face this threat there are several things that you can do.

First, please renew your membership if it has lapsed.

Second, please consider extending your membership for a few years.

Third, if you feel you can help support another person‘s membership you can reach out to our administrative team at membership@sca.org to arrange for a Gift Membership.

Fourth, you can make a charitable tax-deductible donation to the Society directly.

We are a volunteer society with a huge diversity of membership. We are all doing the best that we can in a trying time. Now more than ever is our opportunity to live our lives following the core values of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Now is the time to display to the world that we are a chivalrous people of honesty, integrity, honor, service, respect, and fairness.

In Service to the Dream,

Craig Carter,  Chairman 

John St. Dennis,  Vice Chairman 

Gigi Coulson,  Director 

Natalie Degerstrom,  Director  

 

T.S. Morgan,  Director 

Dan Watson,  Director 

Ross Roegner,  Director  

 

 

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email sca-comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

A&S Deputy Positions Open: Volunteers Requested

Hello everyone!

We have a few positions to fill in the Arts & Sciences Office. If you are interested in any of the below positions, please send me an email (artssciences@calontir.org) expressing your interest, any particular skills or experience you feel makes you a good fit for the role, and anything else relevant you’d like to include. There may be follow up questions/a zoom meeting depending upon interest in the positions.

Please have all Letters to me by 9/1/2020

Open positions:

A&S Minister Deputy: This would be my direct office deputy (the so-called “drop dead”) and would step in if I became unable to serve. Duties would include being my backup (so gaining a knowledge of the office will be important) and helping with quarterly reporting. This is a great opportunity for those who have held a local office and want to get more involved or who may consider applying the next time KMoAS is open (next June!)

Scheduler Deputy: Have you ever wondered how our big A&S competitions are scheduled to match judges and entrants? That would be this deputy. Help the kingdom in a specific and measurable way. A great candidate has excellent organizational skills and enjoys a good puzzle. Must be able to attend Queen’s Prize and Kingdom A&S to assist with on-site logistics. Be a part of making these important events exciting for all who attend.

Martial Studies Deputy: If you have an interest in both Martial Activities and how they are taught/scheduled/made available to the kingdom, this may be a perfect position for you. The deputy will be able to work closely with the Kingdom A&S minister, RUSH officer, and Martial leadership to promote and expand teaching across all martial areas. A great candidate would be a successful networker who has at least some basic experience with each of the Martial areas supported by the kingdom.

I hope to hear from you all. Even if you worry that you might not have all the experience in an area, I hope to hear from you. Knowing that you have interest lets us help give you opportunities to learn more and be involved with an area you are passionate about.

As always, please reach out to the email above if you have questions.

Kristine Nic Tallier

Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences

Announcement: Topical Town Hall Sessions. You Ask. We Answer.

As a world-wide Society, getting to talk to all our members is a little difficult in person. Thankfully, modern technology has given us the opportunity to able to connect on a regular basis and discuss the important topics that matter for SCA members and participants.

Introducing SCA Topical Town Hall Sessions! Click here for more information and to send in your topic proposals. The topical Town Hall schedule will be posted once dates, times, and guests are confirmed.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email sca-comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Topical Town Hall Request Form

Announcement: Armored Combat with Rebated (Steel) Blades

Bavarian engraving of a medieval tournament from the 1400s. Public domain in the US

Yesterday’s meeting of the SCA’s Board of Directors meeting approved the addition of “Armored Combat with Rebated (Steel) Blades” to the Marshal’s Handbook. This activity will allow the Society to explore more fully the art of armored combat, using simulators very like the swords used in our period of study. The inclusion of steel fighting in armor is the culmination of eighteen months of hard work and experimentation. Steel combat in the SCA is tournament only, uses only single and two-hand swords, no thrusting, and aims to explore multiple different tournament formats as well as judged blows.

If you’d like to know more about this, check out section IX of the freshly updated Marshal’s Handbook, the SCA Steel Experiment Facebook page – or you can have a look at this YouTube video, which gives a good introduction and shows the fighting form as it was practiced last fall in Aethelmearc.

Here are the links:

Link to Marshal’s Handbook: https://www.sca.org/marshal_handbook/

Link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/ZW9T-3Mu-Pw

Link to the Steel Experiment Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SCA-Steel-Fighting-Experiment-2248270048818486/

Regards,
Master Alan Gravesend
Marshal of the Society

Duchess Catalina’s Majilis, July 11, 2020, 4 pm

Join me in my Majlis!
A Majlis is my social sitting area where we talk about Arts, Sciences, the SCA, Calontir Culture, Service, and why we are here.
Each week during the Plague times I invite all of you to join me and my special guest as we discuss what brings them joy in the SCA world of Arts & Sciences & Service.
This week we have Countess Gwyneth Felton to chat with us about her experience being the first Princess of the (then) Principality of Northshield.
──────────
Catalina Arazuri is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Chatting with Catalina, Special Guest Countess Gwyneth Felton
Time:
Join Zoom Meeting
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Password: Catalina
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~Duchess Catalina

 

Announcement: Known World Colegio de Iberia – July 17-19, 2020

The stewards, Duqessa Juana Isabella de Montoya y Ramirez, and Duqessa Constanzia Moralez y de Zamora, would like to invite you to the Known World Colegio de Iberia which is sponsored by the West Kingdom.

This virtual event looks exclusively at history and activities practiced in Portugal and Spain prior to the death of King Phillip II.

We have teachers from throughout the Known World as well as some of the historical reenactment groups within Europe. We have a website which will contain information about classes and our teachers, as well as the schedule. This is getting updated all the time so visit regularly! That is located here: http://www.fibergeek.com/scaiberia

There is no need to pre register.

We will be scheduling to suit the time zone of the teacher. Where possible, we will be setting up a Youtube playlist for you to enjoy the classes if you can’t make the scheduled time.

There is a facebook group dedicated to pursuing the history of Portugal and Spain here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/338555562878719/

If you want to be part of the event community, we have discussions being held on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/events/713973976100679/  (Please note you will need to join the SCA Iberia facebook group in order to make comments).

Announcement: New Social Media Committee

Greetings,

The Board of Directors, in direct response to the increasing issues of Social Media, has decided to form a Social Media Committee to discuss and address the following:

  • Clearly defined scope of review for SCA Social Media.
  • Established Social Media bright-lines* for what constitutes unacceptable social media behavior.
  • Corrective action guidelines for Crowns and Seneschals to administer proportional corrective actions for transgressions against the aforementioned bright-lines.
  • Suggested training program for social media officers, seneschals, and crowns on how to identify bright-line transgressions as they occur, when and how to lock threads, turn off comments, and/or delete posts.
  • A strict definition of doxxing.

We wish to assure our community that the SCA is committed to being a non-political entity and inclusive of all beliefs and people.

The President and Society Seneschal will be reaching out to kingdoms soon to gather input on Social Media.

*Merriam Webster defines a bright-line as – providing an unambiguous criterion or guideline especially in law*

Announcement: Statement from the Laurel Queen of Arms on Offensive Names and the Current Situation

The Bavarian Herald Jörg Rügen around 1510. Public Domain in the US

From Juliana de Luna, Laurel Queen of Arms, greetings to all those to whom these presents come.

Offensive Names and the Current Situation

As you doubtless know, a great deal of concern has been expressed about the fact that Wolfgang von Sachsenhausen, a name registered in 2007, included reference both to a Nazi concentration camp and a scientist who did experiments there.  We wish to share with you, so that you can share with your populace, an explanation of how this name was registered and a general road map of what the Laurel Office has been working on since we became aware of the issue in the morning of Saturday, June 6, 2020.

How this name was registered:

The Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory (“SENA”) ban the registration of names that are offensive.  Specifically:

No name that is offensive to a large segment of members of the SCA or the general public will be registered. Offense is a modern concept; just because a name was used in period does not mean that it is not offensive to the modern observer. Offense returns are rare because the bar for determining offensiveness is quite high; it has not been unusual for years to pass between returns for offense.

Offense is not dependent on intent. The fact that a submitter did not intend to be offensive is not relevant. The standard is whether a large segment of the SCA or the general public would be offended.

In 2007, we were not as attuned to the problems of white supremacy in the SCA as we are today.  At that time, we used a different set of rules, but the rules about offensiveness were substantially the same.

The people making decisions on names and armory are not experts in every topic that arises.  For that reason, we rely heavily on commentary from our array of volunteer heralds from every Kingdom.  In this particular case, no one at the Society level identified the link between this name and the concentration camp in commentary, so the issue was not considered at the time.  I was a commenter at that time and can say that we rarely looked actively for such issues, assuming that submissions of hate were a thing of the past.

Now, in 2020, we are more alert to the problems of white supremacy and racism in the Society, as are our commenters.  In addition, there is vastly more information available to allow us to identify potentially problematic names.  We make a regular practice of checking Google and other available resources, such as the databases of white supremacist images and lists of offensive racial terminology, when making decisions.  Offensive racial epithets such as the Gypsy have been banned, as have certain depictions of the Celtic or Norse crosses that are commonly used by hate groups.

What has the Laurel Office been doing?

Since becoming aware of the issue, the Laurel Office has been working on several projects:

(1)  We have prepared a report to the Board of Directors discussing the issue, our plans for moving forward, and the calls for revocation of this person’s registration (something that is regulated by Corpora rather than the Laurel office).

(2)  We have prepared and will shortly be issuing a Palimpsest Letter for commentary adding a provision to SENA banning names that are morally offensive and proposing a multi-factor test for moral offensiveness.

(3)  We have researched and prepared a proposal for how to handle names that incorporate place names of concentration camps, which will appear in an upcoming Cover Letter.

(4)  On the April 2020 Cover Letter, we will be announcing a new policy allowing free changes of names and armory for people whose registered elements are offensive.  For example, some period armorial motifs have been co-opted by hate groups in the years since they were originally registered.  Likewise, the phrase the Gypsy once had a very different popular meaning, but is now considered hate speech by the Roma people and the United Nations.  People who now find themselves with inadvertently offensive names may wish to change them and we are removing one barrier to doing so.

(5)  Pelican Queen of Arms is forming a working group to identify other potential red flags in names so that we can maintain a list of problematic name elements going forward.  Although Pelican and her staff have been doing this same work behind the scenes for several years, we now are actively reaching out to people who are not presently commenting to request their assistance.

What can people do?

(1)  Be patient.  Many of the things we are trying to do require substantial research time or input from the Board of Directors.

(2)  Become involved in researching and commenting on names and armory in OSCAR.  The Sovereigns are not experts in every single area of language, history or armory.  We need and rely on commentary from experts in a wide variety of fields.  We remain particularly in need of people with expertise in languages and cultures outside of Europe.

(3)  Become involved in researching and writing articles to help educate people on period names or armorial motifs that have problematic modern connotations.

Julia Smith/Juliana de Luna

Laurel Queen of Arms

herald@sca.org

Chatting with Catalina

Majlis, Shahnama. Tabriz, Persia, c.1335

From Her Grace Catalina de Arazuri:


Join me in my Majlis!

A Majlis is my social sitting area where we talk about Arts, Sciences, the SCA, Calontir Culture, Service, and why we are here.

Each week during the Plague times I invite all of you to join me and my special guest as we discuss what brings them joy in the SCA world of Arts & Sciences & Service.

This week we have the incredibly talented and lovely HL Adalyde la Cantora to talk to us about her journey in songwriting.

I have the full month of June planned out for you! Hope you have time to join us.

6/6/2020: HL Adalyde la Cantora, singing and songwriting

6/13/2020: Mistress Rhianwen, doing all the things, but mainly tent making.

6/20/2020: Master Grimwulf Harland, his journey in metal work, with a focus on teaching repousse.

6/27/2020: Mistress Marie la Favre, the journey of a potter.

──────────

Catalina Arazuri is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3274927315?pwd=aHptWFQ4UWRXcXFTQldleTlkRDBQZz09

Meeting ID: 327 492 7315
Password: Catalina
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Announcement: From the Society Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer.

Christian And Moor Playing Chess. 13th C

Collected from Facebook:


As so many of us struggle with the pain of separation from one another socially, so too do we struggle with the realities of systemic inequality and racism in our society. In the United States and around the world, the recent senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many before them have unleashed an avalanche of pent-up emotion.

Our Core Values, which guide us in even these darkest of times, include the following tenets: to “act in accordance with the chivalric virtues of honor and service”, to “value and respect the worth and dignity of all individuals”, and to “practice inclusiveness and respect pluralism and diversity”.

If we are to live by our core values then there is only one path forward: we must both fight against systemic injustice and support those that do.

As the unique educational organization that we are, we have the opportunity to leverage our greatest resource: our community.

It is our community that makes us who we are. That is the true value of the Society for Creative Anachronism. We treasure the rich diversity of our community as a reflection of the rich diversity of history and we owe it to ourselves to deepen our understanding of pervasive inequitable treatment so that we can move forward on a journey of healing.

There is a tremendous amount of work to be done. It is time for us to take a hard look at who we are in order to hold ourselves accountable for the actions we take – and the actions we don’t take.

There is also fear. Our current reality is the direct result of generations of discrimination and collective trauma. As we educate ourselves to best support every member of our community, we must acknowledge the fear – and speak regardless. The time for inaction is over.

Every member of the SCA can effect positive change through personal accountability. Educate yourself and those around you on issues of injustice. Speak out against it when you see it, and use any platform that you have to elevate other voices speaking out against it, particularly those voices of marginalized groups. Assist those causes which seek to address discrimination, racial inequity, and all systemic injustice through the resources that you have available to you.

I invite all members of the SCA to continue to think about further ways they can help strengthen our commitment to our Core Values.

My SCA stands against bigotry. My SCA will not be silent, and therefore complicit, in the face of injustice. I will continue to work to make my SCA a haven for all, and a key player for progress in the battle against inequality through education and community.

It is my most ardent hope that you will join me.

Jessica Van Hattem

alias Baroness Zahra Tesfaye
SCA Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer