Management won’t give Volunteers a platform to voice their concerns… so we will.
This evening, Trevor management, including interim CEO and co-founder, Peggy Rajski, held a Volunteer Community Meeting to “inform volunteers about important updates.” Despite junior staff urging against it, management took to disabling all chat functionality, effectively preventing volunteers from voicing their concerns and frustrations over the poor leadership decisions. Throughout the meeting, volunteers took to other internal channels to voice frustration about the new meeting format, lack of transparency and poor leadership. Simultaneously, Trevor management wasted no time running to a Slack channel to publicly congratulate themselves for “a successful session.”
As vital members of the Trevor community, our volunteers have the unique experience of directly supporting LGBTQ young people in crisis. They have committed months to difficult training, as well as countless hours and years of unpaid labor because of their dedication to Trevor’s mission. However, despite their commitment, Trevor management continues to exploit our volunteer workforce, while simultaneously gaslighting them for speaking out against worker issues. For months, they have taken to internal company channels to voice their support, solidarity, and concerns… only to be met with scripted corporate language and hollow promises of transparency.
Here are some direct quotes from our Trevor volunteer counselors:
- “the long-heralded volunteer community meeting, in which they said they were going to address all of our concerns about the union and the treatment of the employees, Trevor management managed to ignore and gaslight all of the concerns I’ve heard from other Trevor volunteers.”
- “I would love to talk about film and TV with folks… but not at the expense of salaried labor resources being dedicated to structural change.”
- “You can’t pizza-party your way out of macro issues.”
- “As a trans person myself, I joined Trevor as a volunteer to help support and give back to a community that means so much to me. The volunteers and staff I have worked with are wonderful, dedicated people that are committed to supporting vulnerable youth with care and integrity. It is only becoming more and more clear that admin are anything but dedicated to that task. Their continued negligence, lack of accountability, and surface-level initiatives do nothing to address real issues within the organization and make me doubt whether I should continue volunteering at all. There can be no safe and substantive care given to the youth we serve if staff and volunteers don’t feel safe to even speak their minds for fear of retaliation. Supporting LGBTQ+ youth means so much to me, and Trevor is failing them and all of us by trying to push important issues under the rug in favor of shallow platitude.”
We stand firm and in solidarity with both our workers and our volunteers. To those who volunteer their time to serving LGBTQ youth for The Trevor Project: we hear you loud and clear. To Trevor Management, … onward and upward, right?