School of the Sacrament Rastafari University Bylaws

Adopted on 10th February 2024 as amended from time to time.   

VISION

The School of Sacrament Ras Tafari University (SOSACRU) is a collective of Rastafari scholars, researchers, practitioners and supporters. SOSACRU is livicated to the study of Rastafari as an African ethos predicated upon collective security, international morality, the concept of divinity within the individual, and the forging of a new human race. Affirming the principle of human repair, SOSACRU supports the self-determination and sovereignty of African peoples across the globe and seeks to strengthen the Rastafari family and nation by cultivating higher knowledge, and sharing research and informed practice.  

1.          NAME

1.1.    The name of the organisation is The School of Sacrament Ras Tafari University (“SOSACRU”) 

1.2.    SOSACRU will be affiliated to such other organisations as determined by its Members.

2.          MISSION

SOSACRU is a non-governmental organisation with the following mission:

2.1.    Educational – To provide support for and counsel to Rastafari Studies by connecting students and faculty with appropriate resources, and by helping to enhance and refine academic and ethical methodologies and knowledge production concerning Rastafari, informally and formally; to facilitate the preservation, production and dissemination of diverse perspectives and new knowledge on Rastafari; to connect community scholars and academics in an equitable and mutually beneficial fashion.  

2.2 Collaborative – To collaborate with existing groups and organisations to help amplify the work of scholars and scholarship on Rastafari and Pan-Africanism more broadly; to propose and ethically pursue mutually beneficial resource opportunities for our collaborators; to extend and strengthen the global network of resources on Rastafari and Pan-Africanism, with an emphasis on the representation of Omega within Rastafari and Pan-Africanism. 

2.3 Developmental – To seek, wherever possible, to leverage existing knowledge and ongoing knowledge production to support the cultural, social and economic  development of the Rastafari family and nation; to promote, via action research, understanding of long-term inequities and redress intergenerational and regional inequalities in resource provision; to advocate for and promote, through teaching and research activities, sustainability for Rastafari and Pan-African indigenous cultures and economies, including those practices and expertise in which Rastafari already excel.  

3.          MEMBERSHIP

3.1.    Membership in SOSACRU is open to any individual who meets the criteria laid out in 3.2 and affirmed by the Community and Relations Development Committee as determined in 3.3.

3.2.    There are four classes of membership:

3.2.1.   Individual membership: open to any person over the age of 18 who has a track record of actively engaging with and supporting the Rastafari movement. Individual members hold one vote at general meetings;

3.2.2.   Affiliate membership: open to one official representative of any organisation or entity (legal or otherwise) that identifies with SOSACRU’s objectives. Affiliate members hold one vote at general meetings;

3.2.3.   Advisory board members: such members shall be determined by the administrative board with input from individual and affiliate members. Advisory board members serve for three years, on renewable terms, and hold one vote at general meetings;  

3.2.4.   Administrative board members: the composition of this board is detailed in Section 4 below. Administrative board members serve for two years, on renewable terms, and hold one vote at general meetings. 

(All four classes of members are jointly and severally referred to as the “Members”)

3.3.    Applications for membership must be made in writing and submitted by the applicant to the Community and Relations Development Committee for review and approval by the Administrative Board. Applicants should demonstrate their suitability for membership in terms of the criteria laid out in 3.2 by providing references from two members of the Rastafari faith who are established names in their local and/or global communities. References are not required if the individual is known to be in good standing by a plurality of the Administrative Board.

3.3.1.   If the application is approved, membership becomes official upon payment of the relevant membership fee as detailed in Section 8 below.

3.3.2.   If the application is unsuccessful, the applicant will be notified as to the reason for rejection and may appeal the decision of the Community and Relations Development Committee to the Advisory Board.

3.4.    Membership fees and payment terms may be proposed annually by the Finances and Fundraising Committee and agreed to by the Administrative Board.

3.5.    All Members must be entered in the official Register Book of Members kept by the Finances and Fundraising Committee.

3.6.    Any member may serve on a Committee or on the Administrative Board except for the position of Chair, which must be occupied by a member who is a practitioner of the Rastafari faith. Affiliate members must serve strictly in their individual capacity.

3.7.    All Members have the right to submit a SOSACRU project proposal to the Board in the manner prescribed by the Board from time to time.

3.8.    Any personal information collected from the Members by SOSACRU will be treated as confidential information and shall not be used or disclosed other than for the furtherance of SOSACRU objectives, or in accordance with a legal directive from a court of law, without due notice being given to the Members.

4.     MANAGEMENT

4.1.    The affairs of SOSACRU shall be managed by a minimum of 7 and maximum of 13 member Administrative Board which shall make decisions concerning its work based on recommendations received from the general membership and the Committees. The work of the Administrative Board is driven by a consensus model. Unless otherwise stated, decisions of the Board shall be carried by a simple majority vote.

4.2.    The Board is comprised of the Director of each Committee, an “at large” member, the Chair, and the Secretary (in an ex officio capacity), all of whom (except for the Secretary) shall serve two-year terms that can be renewed: 

4.2.1.  The Director of each Committee and the “at large” member will be nominated and elected by a simple majority of votes at bi-annual general meetings;

4.2.2. The Secretary of the Administrative Board will be nominated by the Chair and elected by a simple majority of votes at a general meeting. The Secretary may participate in discussions on the Administrative Board but will have no voting rights;

4.2.3. The Chair of the Administrative Board will be elected by a simple majority of votes at a general meeting. The Chair must be a practitioner of the Rastafari faith. Chairs serve two year terms which can be renewed successively once. Aside from this succession rule, there is no limit as to the number of times a member can serve as Chair. The Chair coordinates the work of the Committees, sets agendas for monthly and general meetings (as laid out in section 6 below) and ensure such meetings take place as per bylaws rules, provides oversight of the Committees’ work, and acts as the official representative of SOSACRU to outside individuals and organisations. 

4.4.    Each member of the Board, with the exception of the Secretary, shall have one vote. Proxy votes shall be permitted from Board members, who at the time of the meeting are unable to attend, in accordance with the procedures approved by the Board. Online voting shall be permitted from Board members in accordance with the procedures approved by the Board.

4.5.    Any member of the Board who is absent from three (3) consecutive meetings of the Board without compelling reason will have the viability of their position discussed by the Board, who shall vote by a simple majority on whether they shall be removed from office.  

4.6.    The Board will be required to provide a report on its activities to the Members on a bi-annual basis.

4.7.    Advisory board members, individually and collectively, provide oversight of and support to the Chair and Administrative Board. Advisory board members mediate disputes amongst Members and between Members and non-affiliates, provide advice based on their professional skills and/or lived experience, and are advocates for SOSACRU in and beyond the Rastafari nation.  

4.8.      Members may vote by proxy by submitting such permission to the Chair.

5.     COMMITTEES

5.1.    Committees are charged with accomplishing at the operational level such tasks as the Board decides to undertake locally and internationally and to collaborate in all the activities that the Board deems necessary, as well as, to serve the Member’s needs in the areas that concern the Committee. Any member can serve on Committees. No member can serve on more than three committees concomitantly. No member may serve as Director on more than one committee concomitantly. 

5.2.    SOSACRU Committees and corresponding duties are:

5.2.1. Publications and Productions

  • Summer school
  • Rastafari speaks
  • Webinars  

5.2.2. Trinity Balance in the Nation

  • Checking all ini programming/activities for the balance. 
  • Seeking projects that support the balance
  • Youth/students development
  • Family wellbeing and development of the Rastafari nation

5.2.3. Community and Relations Developmenr 

  • Partnerships with Rastafari organisations
  • Economic development opportunities connected to ini educational work

5.2.4 Marketing and Communications

  • Traditional and social media engagement
  • Communications procedures
  • Content development
  • Branding 

5.2.5 Finances and Fundraising

  • Business development
  • Grant development 
  • Accounting
  • Regular financial reports

5.3.    Each Committee shall, on an annual basis, appoint an executive team to be comprised of a maximum of five (5) members.

5.3.1.  Each Committee’s executive team shall provide a monthly report on the Committee’s activities to the Board.

5.3.2 The Director of each Committee may elect to form workgroups on an as needed basis (“Workgroups”). Workgroups may be formed to carry out specific assignments and shall be discontinued when the assignment is completed or when they have been inactive for more than two years.

5.4.1.  Workgroups may be formed between SOSACRU and other organisations or non-affiliate individuals. However, such collaborations must be vetted by the Community and Relations Development Committee and approved by the Administrative Board by a simple majority vote. SOSACRU members in such Workgroups shall represent the interests of SOSACRU. 

5.4.2    Any decisions concerning public programming or financial commitments taken by Committees must be discussed and ratified by the Administrative Board with a simple majority vote. 

6.     MEETINGS

6.1.    Administrative Board Meetings:

6.1.1.  Half the number of all the Board members plus one shall constitute a quorum. Resolutions of the Board shall be adopted by a simple majority of the votes. When there is a tie, the Chair of the Board shall have the deciding vote.

6.1.2.  The Board shall be required to meet monthly, provided that in exceptional circumstances the requirement for Board Meetings may be waived. It is the Chair’s responsibility to ensure that the Board meets in a timely fashion. 

6.1.3. The Chair shall set the agenda for board meetings but will always ensure that Any Other Business can be raised and adequately discussed in a timely fashion by other members.

6.2.    Committee Meetings:

6.2.1.  Decisions of the Committees shall be taken by a simple majority of the votes. When there is a tie, the Director of the Committee shall have the deciding vote.

6.2.2.  The Committees shall be required to meet once per month. It is the Directors’ responsibility to ensure that their committees meet in a timely fashion.

6.3.    General Meetings:

6.3.1.  SOSACRU shall hold bi-annual general meetings.

6.3.2.  Notice of general meetings must be sent to all Members via email and/or text messages no later than one (1) month before the intended date of a general meeting and shall include notice of the time and place of such meeting.

6.3.4.  All general meetings outside of those provided for at 6.3.1 and 6.3.2 shall be deemed Extraordinary General Meetings.

6.3.5.  All decisions at general meetings will be carried by a simple majority of votes present, unless otherwise specified.

6.4.    Extraordinary General Meetings:

6.4.1.  The Administrative Board has the authority to call Extraordinary General Meetings as it deems necessary

6.5.    Notice of all Extraordinary General Meetings must be sent to all Members via email and/or text messages, no later than seven (7) days before the date intended for the Extraordinary General Meeting and shall include notice of the time and place of such meeting. Such notice shall also include the reason that such a meeting has been called, the business to be transacted and specify who has called the meeting.

6.5.1.  No other business than that specified in the notice for the Extraordinary General Meeting may be conducted at such a meeting.

7.     DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS

7.1.    The Administrative Board may, by a unanimous vote, expel any Member who persistently neglects or undermines the objectives of SOSACRU or whose conduct is likely to endanger the welfare of SOSACRU.

7.1.1.  Any Member who faces expulsion has the right to be heard by the Advisory Board, before a final decision is made.

8.     FINANCES

8.1. Upon incorporation of the first Administrative Board, the Finance and Fundraising Committee shall write the finances bylaws as their principal task. These bylaws must be approved by a simply majority of the Administrative Board.     

9. RELATIONSHIP WITH POLITICAL ENTITIES

SOSACRU will at all times remain politically non-aligned, however, political recognition and regard is identified as being necessary to give true effect to the stated objectives. As such, the Administrative Board is empowered to actively engage in discussions with local, national and international political offices responsible for legislating in areas of interest and impact to the  mission of SOSACRU.

11    AMENDMENTS

11.1   Any proposed changes to the Constitution must be circulated to all Members no less than 14 days before a general meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting at which a vote on the proposed change is to be taken.

11.2   This Constitution shall not be changed unless the proposed change is carried by a two-thirds majority of votes from all Members present at a eneral meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting at which a vote is taken.

These Bye-Laws are to be read in conjunction with Articles of Association filed with various Registrar of Companies which documents when read together shall constitute the Constitution of SOSACRU.