Message from a Black Parliamentarian

Guest post by Laura Rabb Morgan, a Black Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Thank you Laura for sharing this important message with us. Laura tells her story on video in our free webinar, “Better Meetings Advance Social Justice.”

Dear Fellow Parliamentarians:

As people around the world continue to come together to protest and demand an end to racial injustices, I wanted to take a moment to share how I feel as a Black Registered Parliamentarian in the state of Illinois and how I am responding and standing with my community.

There is no excuse for the systemic racism that took the lives of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks and so many others.  I am heartbroken by these senseless murders.  These events should lead to many honest conversations with Black parliamentarians, listening to their feelings and reactions to the recent events, and learning how NAP and AIP can better support the Black community.

The work is not just for the Black parliamentarians, it’s all of ours.  It is my hope that all Parliamentarians commit to being part of that change.  Not just with words, but with meaningful actions both within our organizations and within our communities.   With so many new groups forming I believe they should turn to professional parliamentarians for assistance.  It is imperative that the movement that is swelling does not die down and that these new organizations be formalized so their success is guaranteed.  Also, as parliamentarian units, state organizations, and national organizations, it is necessary that we review our own bylaws, policies, and procedure to see if systemic racism is embedded in them, and urge other organizations to do the same.

Black mothers should not have to worry every time their young sons leave home that there is a possibility that they will not be returning, especially from a war in their own backyards.  Kids need their fathers, sisters need their brothers, and we all need each other.  When all of our blood flows, it flows red, we are one people as God intended, if society is to thrive and thrive well, it is imperative that we act like it.


Laura Rabb Morgan, Ed. D., PRP
A Black Professional Registered Parliamentarian in Illinois

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.


  1. Laura Morgan on July 2, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Thank you Ann for including my message in your blog. My reason for becoming a professional registered parliamentarian was to help educate my community, the Black community. I live in a community that seemingly changed overnight and became ripped with violence, drug gang activity. What I learned was that it had not happened overnight, it was just that I had been so involved in my job as a college professor that I didn’t notice what was going on around me. I had not noticed that my own son felt trapped in his own community. After I retired I started to get involved in my own community and found that many of the organizations were not accomplishing their goals because they often got bogged down with Robert’s Rules. I decided I needed to know more about Robert’s Rules so I could help these organizations. This is a journey I am so happy that I made and wish I had done so many years ago. I am not sure if I will make any money in it and it does not matter because of the confidence I have gained as a result. I truly understand the reasoning behind Robert’s Rules and believe training in it can help most organizations in my community. Again, thanks Ann for including my message in your blog. Getting to know you has been one of the highlights of this journey.

    • Ann Macfarlane on July 2, 2020 at 9:50 am

      Laura, your story is a compelling one. I hope that it reaches our readers and that people see how the tools of parliamentary procedure can be helpful in bringing about positive change. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and for your kind words.

      • Laura Morgan on July 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm

        No, thank you Ann.

  2. Larry Houston on July 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    What a great and inspiring post. It gives us a wealth of wisdom to move forward towards a positive change.

    • Ann Macfarlane on July 2, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Larry, really appreciate your comment. Thank you.

  3. Bobbie Rabb on July 2, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I see the importance of organizations using the correct procedures of order while conducting meetings and organizing for current and future endeavors. Getting organized is so important. This is unprecedented times and the need to make plans within a group and practice structure will help ensure success of influencing change in the rampant systemic racism that provades our society. Thanks Laura

    • Ann Macfarlane on July 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much for this comment, Bobbie!

  4. Dr. Lois M. Gueno on July 6, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Dr. Morgan,
    Thank you for your poignant expression of concerns for your community. Your community is OUR community. We ALL have work to do, in our community, in our state, and in our country.

    I join you in the belief that knowing and practicing parliamentary procedures, per Robert’s Rules of Order, is a way to ensure getting work done, especially in our committees and organizations. Too often our well-intentioned committee and organization work gets sidetracked due to a lack of focus that parliamentary procedures could have prevented. When parliamentary procedures are practiced, work gets done!

    I am proud of your achievement on becoming a Professional Registered Parliamentarian and look forward to your next adventure. I am still planning to follow you and become a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Meanwhile, we can each do our part for our community, state, and our country . . . VOTE!

    • Laura Morgan on July 6, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you for your beautiful and timely comment Dr. Gueno. I remember how you, Dr. Palmer, and I started this trip together several years ago. I am happy to hear you are still planning on becoming a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. I should really thank you because it was your organizing skills and chair leadership that encouraged me to continue on this path. Again, thanks for your comment and your mentorship.

  5. David Rumsey on July 6, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Great post Dr. Morgan!
    I appreciate your sentiments and your willingness to share your expertise with your community to help keep this liberative movement on track. All the best to you and Ann!

    • Laura Morgan on July 8, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      My sentiments exactly David. Thanks for your comment.

  6. A. Lane on July 7, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Laura,
    Your post is right on target. We need to come together as one.

  7. Laura Morgan on July 8, 2020 at 2:20 pm


  8. AL L SMITH on July 13, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Your final sentence in your message rings so true to the veterans of this great nation and so it should during peace time. Thank you, your message hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    Have a good day.

    Al Smith, Aberdeen, WA