Historical Society of Chicago, Inc.
Amended and revised 10 September 1995
AFRO-AMERICAN GENEALOGICAL AND
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CHICAGO, INC.
The name of this organization is the AFRO-AMERICAN GENEALOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CHICAGO, INC. (AAGHSC), hereafter known as the SOCIETY, a non-profit organization.
The purpose of the Society shall be to: encourage and promote the study of African American genealogy and history; encourage and instruct members in genealogical research, and conduct workshops, seminars or conferences annually, locate, preserve, index and publish private and public genealogical materials, articles and projects: publish African American Genealogical information in a regular newsletter or other publications as directed by the membership; preserve and perpetuate the records of African American ancestors; assist and support libraries and organizations that promote African American genealogy and history, and conduct a program of events for adults and children that promotes genealogy.
MEMBERSHIP, DUES AND FINANCE
Membership is open to any person who is interested in African American genealogy or history and in the promotion of an accurate knowledge of African American history. Any applicant who is interested in furthering the purposes of this Society shall become eligible for membership by the submission of a completed application form and payment of annual dues.
TERMS OF MEMBERSHIP
The terms of membership shall be from the month in which a person’s application is accepted and the payment of dues. This will become the member’s anniversary date and dues will be due thereafter annually. If a member fails to renew membership within ninety days (90 days/ three months) of his/her anniversary date, upon payment of dues his/her status shall be the same as a new member and he/she will be issued a new membership card with a new anniversary date. A member has the option of paying any hack dues and being reinstated from his/her original anniversary date. If dues are not received within 90 days, the name shall be removed from the membership roll. Voting and all membership privileges shall cease
A member in good standing shall be one whose current dues are paid in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws.
TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP
There shall be four (4) classifications of membership in the Society: GENERAL, AFFILIATE,
HONORARY and ORGANIZATIONAL
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP shall be limited to those persons who fully meet the qualifications for membership, have paid his or her annual dues and are engaged in genealogical and/or historical research, or training. Each General member shall have voice in the Society; be eligible to vote; be eligible, except as otherwise provided herein, to hold an elected or appointed office in the Society, and shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of membership.
AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP shall be limited to those persons who request such classification; fully meet requirements for membership; have paid their annual dues but is not engaged in genealogical or historical research and due to hardship or illness are unable to fully participate in the affairs of the Society. An Affiliate member shall have voice in the Society; be eligible to vote, but shall not be eligible to hold an elected or appointed office in the Society.
HONORARY MEMBERSHIP may be conferred on any person deemed to have made outstanding contributions in the area of African American genealogy or history. Nominations and supporting documentation shall be submitted to the Executive Board of the Society for their review and later presented to the Board of Directors for a vote. Each Honorary Member shall have voice in the Society, but shall not be eligible to vote or to hold elected or appointed office in the Society. There shall be no dues or fees assessed for Honorary membership.
ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIP shall he opened to any organization engaged in the promoting of genealogy or history. The name of the entity shall be submitted to the Board. Where possible, exchange membership shall be gratis. Organizational membership shall have no voice in the Society nor vote, but shall be entitled to a newsletter and other exchanges of communication from this Society. There shall be no dues nor fees assessed for Society/Library membership.
REVOCATION OF MEMBERSHIP
The membership may, upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors, revoke the membership of any member who has violated the Society’s Code of Ethics.
The Society shall require annual dues for classes of membership as indicated in the sections describing classes of membership. The amount of dues shall be set by the Board, and approved by the General Membership at the Annual Meeting.
Expenses or conference fees of the President/Representative /Delegate, when representing the Society at approved genealogical functions und submitting a written report, may be defrayed by the Society when it is financially able to do so and approved by the Board of Directors.
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
The officers shall perform the duties set forth in these bylaws and by the parliamentary authority.
The elected officers of the Society shall be: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer.
TO BE ELIGIBLE TO HOLD OFFICE IN THE SOCIETY, A GENERAL MEMBER MUST: be in good standing; have been in regular attendance, i.e., lead two-thirds (2/3) of regular meetings, for the past year; have completed and submitted his/her own biographical profile and is engaged in genealogical or historical research or training.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Each officer shall act in good faith and in a manner s/he reasonably believes to be in the best interest of, and not opposed to, the best interest of the Society. Each officer shall disclose in writing, to the President, the material facts of any material direct or indirect interest in, or relationship to, any transaction of the Society.
THE PRESIDENT SHALL: preside at all meetings of the General membership and the Executive Board, the Board of Directors. etc., of the Society; appoint all chairs of committees; be a co-signer, with the Recording Secretary on all contracts and documents authorized by the Society; be an authorized signatory, with the Treasurer (or other authorized person), on disbursement forms and checks for approved disbursements on behalf of the Society; serve as official liaison to other genealogical/historical societies and associations: enforce observance of the Society’s Bylaws; serve as an ex-officio member of all committees, except the Nominating Committee, and Auditing Committee; perform other duties as designated by the Executive Board/Board of Directors, and submit an Annual Report to the Boards.
THE VICE PRESIDENT SHALL: in the inability of or in the absence of; or at the request of the President, assume the duties of the President: in the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, shall serve the remaining term: in the inability or in the absence of the President, be a signatory with the Treasurer (or other authorized person), on disbursement forms and checks for approved disbursements on behalf of the .Society; be Coordinator of the Society’s Programs and as such be responsible for the orchestrating of the Society’s Programs and assisting/appointing persons to head sub-committees for that purpose: be ex-officio member of the Conference Committee, the Special Events Committee, and the Speakers Bureau Committee; work with officers and committees as needed to conduct projects as approved, and submit an Annual Report to the Boards.
THE RECORDING SECRETARY SHALL: keep accurate records of the proceedings of all Society meetings; notify all appointees of their duties; be the custodian of the Society’s records, except as such are specifically assigned to others; keep and have available for reference all meetings, one book in which copies of the Society’s Charter, Bylaws, Committee Reports, Current Minutes (one year’s), and Standing Rules are kept current: maintain a current inventory of all legal documents, records, and equipment belonging to the Society; be a co-signer with the President on all contracts and documents authorized by the Society. In the absence, or the inability, of the Treasurer to perform the duties of that officer, the Secretary shall be authorized to sign checks, and submit an Annual Report to the Boards
THE CORRESPONDING SECRETARY SHALL: send out proper notices of all meetings, to officers, board members. committee chairs, and the general membership, etc. of any special meetings — as necessary; assist with the mailing of the Society’s Newsletter and any other massive mailing, as needed: respond to the correspondence of the society, as directed; maintain a file of the Society’s correspondence (in-coming and out-going); be responsible for collecting the Society’s mail and distributing it to the proper person; maintain a log of all correspondence; and submit an Annual Report to the Board.
THE TREASURER SHALL: be the custodian of all funds of the Society; receive all monetary donations or awards made to the Society; deposit all funds in a bank approved by the Board of Directors; be an authorized signatory, with the President or Vice President, on checks for authorized disbursements on behalf of the Society; present a statement of finance at each meeting of the Board of Directors and the General Meeting; settle accounts duly authorized for settlement; prepare and submit to the Board of Directors a monthly itemized statement of the past month’s receipts and disbursements; be a member of or serve as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee; make all financial records available for scheduled audits, and submit an Audited Annual Report to the General membership/Board of Directors for acceptance The financial records of the Treasurer shall always be open for inspection and shall be audited annually and other times as required by the Board of Directors and/or The Membership.
ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE
Election shall be by secret ba11ot, unless there is but one candidate for an office; then election may be by acclamation of voice vote. and as described in the Bylaws—Article VIII.
Each elected officer shall serve. at the pleasure of the Society, for a period of two years and until a successor is elected. The newly elected officers shall assume their duties after being duly in office. Vacancies shall be filled by Presidential appointment, with the approval of the Board of Directors, for the duration of the non-expired term.
The time and place of each meeting shall be fixed by the Board of Directors. The Regular Meeting shall be held once a month; in case of an emergency, the meeting may he canceled or rescheduled by the Board of Directors. Rescheduling of a meeting requires a “sixty (60) day prior notice” to all members in good standing.
SPECIAL/CALL MEETINGS OF THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
A special or call meeting of the general membership may be called by the President, the Executive Board, or the written request of 25 members; the President or Vice President must be present, and to conduct business a quorum must be present. Such a meeting shall be given least a ten-day written notice, which shall state the purpose of the meeting. No business other than the stated shall he conducted. A special or call meeting of (the Board of Directors may be called by the President, the Executive Board, or written request of one-half of the Board members. The President or Vice President (or an appointed representative) must be present. Notice can be given by phone or in writing and the purpose of the meeting shall he stated.
In an emergency, business meetings of the Board[s] may be conducted by telephone — conference call. A twenty-four (24) hour notice shall be given and actions taken by telephone shall be ratified at the next business meeting and made a part of the minutes of that meeting.
To conduct business a: the regular meeting, a quorum shall consist of 35 members in good .standing. To conduct business at the Board of Directors meeting, a quorum shall consist of a majority of the attending Board Members
ANNUAL MEETING SHALL be held in place of (the Regular Meeting and be held after the close of each fiscal year.
BOARDS: EXECUTIVE BOARD and BOARD OF DIRECTORS
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board shall he the managerial body of the Society and as such shall serve as a review board for the Board of Directors and the Society. Its powers usually do not supersede or conflict with those of the Board of Directors, but shall assist the Board of Directors in carrying out its duties.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS, as stated, are members of the Board of Directors and shall include the current elected officers and the Past Presidents and shall: recommend policy to the Board of Directors; serve as the Ethics Committee; shall secure auditors for the Annual Audit; set dues, and announce the same at the Annual Meeting of the Society, the amount of annual dues for the next fiscal year; be the recipient of the Annual Reports of the Board of Directors and present the same to the general body at the Annual Meeting.
The Executive Board shall meet at least twice annually.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors shall he the governing body of the Society and conduct all administrative functions and day-to-day business for the Society.
The Board of Directors shall include the elected officers, the Past President, and the Chairs of the Standing Committees. If the President is elected to a consecutive term, the term of the immediate Past President shall be extended also. The Parliamentarian and the Sergeant-at-arms are not members of the Board ex-officio and are appointed the President.
No person shall serve on the Board unless that person is a member in good standing and has been a member of this Society for one year.
The Board of Directors shall transact the business of the Society; shall direct committees; shall approve general membership programs, and shall authorize the disbursement of Society’s funds.
The Board of Directors shall approve or disapprove committees’ recommendations for annual budget for the Standing and Ad Hoc budgets for the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees. The Board shall approve or disapprove any expenditure exceeding the allocated budget of any committee
The Board of Directors shall report, at the regular meetings of the Society on major proposed policy changes and new projects.
The Board of Directors shall meet monthly. There shall be at lead 10 regular meetings annually.
There shall be such Standing and Ad Hoc Committees as required to fulfill the purposes of the Society. The President shall appoint the Chairs of the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees, other than the Budget & Finance and Nominating & Election Chairs, and each Chair shall serve at the pleasure of the President. Committee Chairs and members shall remain in said position for a term not to exceed that of the appointing President.
The Standing Committees of the Society shall be Archives, Computer, Conference, Fellowship, Membership, Newsletter, Genealogical Supplies, Public Relations, Publishing, Research & Training, and Speakers’ Bureau.
Chairs of the Standing Committees shall he members of the Board of Directors and have all privileges of Board Members. In the event a Committee Chair is unable to actively participate on the Board of Directors, a representative or assistance Chair may attend the meetings and present reports on behalf of the Chair of that Standing Committee. The representative must be approved by the Board of Directors and s/he will have the right to vote and conduct business on the behalf of the Standing Committee Chair. Chairs of Standing Committees may appoint coordinators for the sub-committee functions.
Membership to Standing Committees is open to all general members in good standing. The Chairs shall submit a membership to Board of Directors.
The Archivist shall up and maintain an archive for the Society; collect and preserve all items of historical interest to the Society and maintain a record of the Society’s holdings; collect and preserve the genealogy, biography and pedigree charts of its members, and maintain an index of the same; maintain a scrapbook that records relevant activities engaged in by the Society, and keep permanent issues of the Society’s Newsletter, present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Computer Chair shall form a group of Society members who are interested in the usage of computer technology in genealogy. The committee shall provide assistance to the Society in resolving computer problems, present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Conference Chair shall serve at the pleasure of the Society, and with the assistance of the Vice President shall plan conference seminars etc. And for promoting genealogy and history, shall have the authority to appoint subcommittee heads to assist in the fulfilling of the programs of this committee, present an Annual and/or Conference Report to the Boards.
The Fellowship Chair shall be responsible for providing refreshments at Society’s programs and meetings. Also be responsible for providing hosts/hostesses for all Society functions; be responsible for informing the Society of illness and other emergency needs of Society members; and, be responsible for sending cards and present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Membership Chair shall; keep general meeting attendance records, and report the same of each Board meeting; compile and maintain the membership data bank and provide the Board members with a current roster of active and delinquent members; receive all dues and contributions, turnover said funds to the Treasurer, and maintain records of the same; compile and issue membership packets, directories, and membership cards; send notice of delinquency (30/60 days prior to renewal dates) and annual dues notices; explain privileges and obligations of membership to new members; furnish, as needed, name tags for members and visitors; serve as Chair for the registration committee for Society functions; create programs to increase membership. The Membership Chair shall be responsible for providing information, as requested, to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Editor/Newsletter Chair shall: be responsible for publishing the official newsletter of the Society, regularly; be responsible for collecting and receiving material to be considered for publication in the Newsletter and present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Genealogical Supplies Chair shall: acquire items approved by the Board of Directors, to make available and as otherwise directed to the Society members and the public — at meeting and other Society functions; keep accurate records of all expenses, inventory and revenues and submit the same to the Treasurer; be responsible for all continuous out going publications of the Society, special monographs. papers, books, photographs, etc., except the Society’s Newsletter and library materials, present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Public Relations Chair shall: be responsible for generating all publicity on behalf of the Society, including advertising for special projects; work with officers and committees as requested; be in charge of the Society ‘s displays; be responsible for the development off flyers, brochures, and graphics including logos to be used to improve the image of the Society; be responsible for maintaining a flow of information between the Society, other genealogical, historical and cultural organizations and the news media, present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Publishing Chair shall collect edit and publish genealogies of members, using the Register System, or other generally accepted genealogical format or style, and shall publish from time to time such other materials as shall have significant impact upon the study of African American genealogy. Present an annual report to the Boards.
RESEARCH & TRAINING COMMITTEE
The Research & Training Chair shall schedule an agenda for monthly meetings; assist in the organizing of study groups as needed, with attendance such groups being limited to members of the Society; bring items of genealogical interest to the attention of the membership, present an Annual Report to the Boards.
SPEAKERS’ BUREAU COMMITTEE
The Chair of the Speakers’ Bureau shall: be the official committee that provides speakers, instructors, trainers, genealogists, etc., to represent the Society at non-society functions; accept and review all requests for speakers and submit the same to the Board of Directors; be responsible for maintaining a list of qualified speakers to be filed with the Board of Directors. Approved Speakers may accept a small honorarium, providing that such acceptance will not create a conflict of interest or affect compensation offered to the Society. All monetary offerings shall be reported to the Executive Board; present an Annual Report to the Boards.
AD HOC COMMITTEES
The Ad Hoc Committees shall become active as needed and the Chairs shall not be members of the Board of Directors, but must be a member in good standing. The Special Committees shall be, but not limited to, AUDITING, BUDGET and FINANCE, INDEXING, NOMINATIING and ELECTION, SPECIAL EVENTS, AND SURNAME DIRECTORY.
The Auditing Committee Chair shall: be solicited from the general membership and approved by the Executive Board; have a knowledge of auditing procedures; conduct an annual audit (and other audits as needed) of all books of the Society prior to the Annual Meeting and submit a report to the general body along with the Treasurer’s Report.
BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE
The Budget & Finance Committee Chair shall: prepare an Annual Budget to be presented to the Board of Directors two (2) months prior to the Annual Meeting; assist with the reviewing of fund raising projects, and determine how such activity will affect the budget. This committee shall contain no less than three nor more than five members including the Treasurer. Present an Annual Report to the Boards.
The Indexing Committee Chair shall: he responsible for locating, preserving, indexing and publishing of private and public genealogical materials and project as directed or approved by the Boards. Present an Annual Report to the Boards.
NOMINATING and ELECTION COMMITTEE
The Nominating and Election committee shall consist of at least three, but not more than five members and shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for service in the upcoming election; shall begin functioning by actively soliciting from members, in good standing, nominees for each elected office and submitting the same to the Board of Directors, for informational purposes only, After completion of the slate, the Nominating Committee shall conduct elections as described in ARTICLE VIII of these bylaws. Keep the Board of Directors informed and submit a report to the General Membership.
SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE
The Special Events Committee shall: coordinate all genealogical trips, fund raisers; special programs (i.e., tours), group participation in programs sponsored by other organizations; collect monies as payment; keep records and submit contributions to the Treasurer. Report to the Board of Directors and present an Annual Report to the Boards.
SURNAME DIRECTORY COMMITTEE
The Surname Directory Committee shall collect, maintain, and publish members’ surnames periodically. Present Annual Report to the Boards.
ELECTIONS and VOTING
ELECTIONS SHALL BE HELD AT THE ANNUAL MEETING, DURING’ ELECTION YEAR. Election year shall be every odd year. Term of Office is two years.
The Nominating Committee shall present the completed slate, along with the written consent of each nominee, to the Board of Directors at least sixty (60) days prior to the election and to the general membership, at the regular meeting, sixty (60) days prior to election.
Nominations may be made by the general membership from the floor (nominee must be in good standing and meet all eligibility requirements), prior to election day, and providing each nominee is present or has given written consent to serve if elected. If prior written consent is submitted, a biographical — profile shall be included
Voting shall be by secret ballot, unless there is but one candidate for an office; then election may be by acclamation or voice vote. Voting may he conducted by mail ballots.
The Plurality vote, elects. In the event of a tie, the balloting for that particular office must be conducted again and until the result is a plurality vote for one candidate.
All election materials are the property of the Society and must be given to the Archivist in a sealed envelope.
In the event of the dissolution of this Society, all salable assets can be converted to cash or (donated and) combined with the Society’s other monies. All assets and monies remaining, after the payment of all obligations of the Society and all costs and expenses of the dissolution, shall he distributed to organizations that qualify for exemption under Section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The recipient must be engaged in African-American genealogy, studies or training. None of the assets will be distributed to any present or member, officer or their families. Nor may any present or past Board Members profit from the dissolution or distribution of assets.
The rules contained in the CURRENT EDITON of Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws and any Standing Rules of the Society.
Proposals to amend the bylaws must be in writing and can be submitted by any member, in good standing, to the Executive Board at least four months prior to Annual Meeting. All such proposed amendments, with the Boards’ recommendations, shall he presented to the Membership at least 61-0 months prior to the Annual meeting and printed in the Society ‘s Newsletter prior to the Annual Meeting.
During the proposal period, members in good standing may submit questions and comments to the Executive Board
Amendments to the bylaws shall require a two-thirds vote of all members present and eligible to vote.
The Constitution of the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago, Incorporated (AAGHSC), was adopted on 24 July 1982 and effective 1 January 1984.
THESE BYLAWS WERE AMENDED AND ADOPTED ON
THE 10TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER 1995.