Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice

Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice By-Laws

Approved October 12 2015

Article I: Mission

The Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice (ACPJ) is an association of individuals and organizations who seek to promote peaceful and just relationships between individuals, communities, organizations, governing bodies and the environment; through education, dialogue and action.


The coalition is committed to a culture of peace, and building a society where domestic policies are sound and just, and where the world at large is treated with respect and dignity.


We focus on three areas:

  • Peace and Nonviolence: peacemaking, peaceful conflict resolution and finding alternatives to war
  • Social Justice: Social, racial and economic justice, human solidarity and human rights
  • Ecology: Sustainability, stewardship, and protection of our environment


Article II: Membership

We actively seek diversity within the group and within the governing body (including age, race, faith, gender, economic status, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity.)  We welcome people of all faiths.


Membership in the coalition shall be open to those who subscribe to our mission; having qualified in one of the membership classes described below and are current in the payment of dues.


a)       Individual Members: Individual Members of the coalition shall consist of those natural persons who are interested in supporting the mission and objectives of the Coalition.


b)       Affiliate Members: Affiliate Members of the coalition shall consist of nonprofit corporations, foundations, associations and trusts.


The dues for each class of Membership and for any categories within a class shall be established by the Board of Directors.  The Board may elect to wave member’s dues on lieu of merit or in kind service.

Article III: General Membership Meetings

An annual meeting of the Coalition membership shall be held in January or February in order to encourage support, involvement, and input into the programs and activities of the coalition.

In addition, called membership meetings may be held if a minimum of ten percent of the membership or if a simple majority of the Board of Directors requests it.  Members and other like-minded individuals are invited to also attend the scheduled Board meetings.

Article IV: Task Forces and Standing Committees

The Coalition shall form task forces and standing committees from the membership, as necessary, to carry out the programs and projects of the Coalition. The Board will appoint a committee Chairperson for oversee the committee’s mission and organize programs.  The Chairperson of a committee is responsible to the board and will deliver reports at Board meetings.

Article V: Board of Directors

The governing body of the Coalition is the Board of Directors. It shall consist of at least seven, but not more than 15 members, including officers. The Board is authorized to make decisions on all business, financial and policy matters of the Coalition.

Section 1: Elections

Board members are elected for renewable terms of one year by the membership at the annual meeting. Candidates for board positions are required to be current members of the Coalition prior to their election or appointment. Candidates interested in joining the board should contact a sitting Board member to request nomination.  Nominations may also be made from the floor at the annual meeting. Positions vacated between annual meetings may be filled by the Board for the remainder of the year.

Section 2; Duties and Expectations

The Board approves policies, procedures, and plans for the organization; writes staff job descriptions; hires, evaluates, and terminates staff; approves staff work plans; sets and approves budgets; accepts proposals from the membership; brings in new members; raises funds; and works with staff. Board members are also expected to participate in Coalition activities such as attending general, committee, and board meetings; volunteer staffing; fundraisers and events; project management; and publicizing Coalition activities. The Board's overall responsibility is to help committees and task forces reach their goals and keep the coalition 'on track" by dealing with the administrative needs of the organization.

Section 3: Board Meetings

Board meetings are open to the membership. The Board will meet a minimum of six times a year, and additional meetings may be called with Board approval. A simple majority of the number of elected Board members shall constitute a quorum. Board members are expected to attend at least half of the Board meetings during the year and miss no more than two consecutive meetings unless approved by the Chair or Officers.

Section 4: Officers                                                                                                                                      '

The board will elect from its members the following officers for renewable terms of one year. These officers will make up the Executive Committee.

Chair: The chair acts as spokesperson for the organization, supervises staff, schedules Board meetings, prepares agendas and materials for Board and annual meetings, and presides over those meetings. The chair notifies members about Board meetings and distributes those agendas and related materials.

Vice-Chair: The vice-chair acts as chair in the absence of the chair. The vice-chair also works closely with the chair and is expected to fill the role of chair when that position becomes vacant

Secretary: The secretary takes minutes at Board and generates membership meetings, distributes them to Board members within 30 days, keeps a file of minutes for membership review, and presents for approval the minutes of the last Board and/or general meeting at the next, and revises them as directed. The secretary also keeps an updated list of the membership.

Treasurer: The treasurer prepares and maintains financial records on file for membership review. The treasurer presents reports for approval at the board and general meetings. The treasurer oversees any retail functions of the organization. The treasurer has the authority to write checks on behalf of the organization, prepares and presents the annual financial report for the annual meeting, balances monthly bank statements and works with a hired accountant (or volunteer selected by the Board) to file tax and other required reports.

Article VI: Decision Making

The Board, committees and full membership shall strive for consensus in all decision making. If no consensus is reached after reasonable debate (as defined by the group), any participant with voting rights can propose that sufficient debate has been heard and call for a vote to go out of consensus. A three-quarters majority must approve the motion to go out of consensus. Then the issue under debate may be decided by a two-thirds majority.

Section 1: Emergency Decisions

An Executive Committee of the Board consisting of the officers may make decisions on emergency issues that must be acted on before the next general meeting or Board meeting. In this situation, the Chair would be allowed to make a statement approved by the Executive Committee. A special meeting can also be called by a majority of the Board - either by phone, e-mail, or in person.


Article VII:  Activities and Funds

The Executive Committee will vote to approve expenditures.  An individual Officer may unilaterally approve expenses under a predetermined limit as defined by the board. The Board as a whole must approve any expenses creating a major change in the budget. The financial records of the organization are public information and shall be made available to the membership, Board members and the public. 


Article VIII:  Political Activities

The coalition will comply with IRS 501(c)(3) guidelines governing political and legislative activities.  The Coalition will refrain from supporting or opposing candidates in political campaigns, will avoid supporting partisan political party activities, and refrain from lobbying and activities influencing legislation as prohibited by IRS 501(c)(3)guidelines.

The coalition will engage in issue advocacy and education activities supporting our mission permitted by IRS 501(c)(3)guidelines.



Article IX: Dissolution of the Coalition

The Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice shall use its funds only to accomplish the purposes specified by these by- laws and no part of the funds shall be distributed to members of the Coalition. On dissolution of the organization, any funds remaining shall be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, scientific or philanthropic organizations selected by the Board.

Article X: Amendments to the By-laws

These by-laws may be amended by the Board of Directors of the Coalition, and subject to approval by the Membership.