ESTABLISHING A CHAPTER OF THE BLACK PSYCHIATRISTS OF AMERICA
The Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA) serves as the certifying body for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals seeking to establish a local or state chapter of the BPA. In densely populated areas there may be more than one chapter in the area. In sparsely populated areas, chapters may draw members from more than one city, county or state area. BPA requires a minimum of five (5) health care professionals before a local/state chapter can be chartered. Three (3) of the organizing members must be psychiatrists.
The process by which a chapter can be chartered is as follows:
- A letter requesting chapter affiliation of a local or state chapter must be sent to the Executive office of the Black Psychiatrists of America.
- Upon receipt of such a request, the BPA Executive Office will issue an application for chapter affiliation specifying the requirements and outlining the process for charter issuance.
- Prior to this letter being sent, a local or state group must have organized to the degree that they have appointed a President, Secretary, and a Treasurer minimally for the local group. These officers may be temporary or permanent but must sign the letter of affiliation request. If temporary, then some indication as to when permanent installation of officers for this local or state chapter will be conducted in the initial communiqué. All of the officers must be dues paid members to the national BPA association prior to initiating such a request letter. No application will be reviewed or chapter charter issued in instances where national have not been paid by those local and state groups requesting chapter status.
- After the election of officers, an installation should be planned by the local or state group typically by the President or his/her designated representative to conduct the installation process. Presentation of the official charter may be made during the installation ceremony of the new chapter or it may take place at the next BPA meeting as requested by the local group for greater recognition.
- Charters are presented to local and state chapters of the BPA after all requirements have been met which include: Listing of officers, Chapter request letter, and payment of charter fees. If there are less than five (5) members who are active members by having paid national dues requesting chapter, a charter will not be issued but the local group encouraged to join an existing chapter within their geographical area or to solicit more members in order to establish their own chapter of the BPA.
- Once approved, a chapter charter certificate will be issued to the local or state group. Any chartered chapter wishing to incorporate as a not-for-profit association is free to do so and should write to the office of the Secretary of State in that state for the exact procedure as well as the IRS for national tax exempt status if so desired. The national Executive office of the BPA will assist any chartered chapter with this process upon request, if desired. Please note that tax identification (EIN) numbers for local and state associations are for their specific chapter. No chartered chapter is permitted to use the national tax identification (EIN) number in any capacity.
- Likewise, chartered chapters have to pay an annual fee directly to the National office based on chapter size. A chartered chapter is free to generate educational and fundraising activities using the name of the Black Psychiatrists of America upon approval from the Executive Committee of the Association. Local and state chartered chapters do not have to report their fundraising activities to the national BPA office nor provide any accounting data to the national organization as they are operating as separate entities relative to such activities but are permitted to use the name of the Black Psychiatrists of America in association with such activities that are in accordance with the By-Laws and Mission of the BPA.
- Local and state chartered chapters must establish their own internal review and audit process as long as they do not conflict with that of the overall By Laws of the BPA. Transparency and accountability should be the hallmark of chartered chapters that reflect the overall mission of BPA.
- Chartered chapters may use the name of the national organization, Black Psychiatrists of America and attach it to the name of their local association (Ex: XYZ Chapter of The Black Psychiatrists of America). The use of the name of the Black Psychiatrists of America is strictly prohibited until and unless a charter has been issued from the national office of the BPA.
- Each chapter has a chapter vote on business matters pertaining to the national association of the BPA. This is in addition to the voting of individual members who have paid dues to the national office as well as their local chapters.
- Annual chapter charter fees are assessed based on the size of a given chapter once the initial charter fee has been paid. Please consult the section entitled “Chapters and Chapter Charters” for the exact fee amounts due on or before January 31st of each calendar year.
CHARTER REVOCATION & APPEAL RIGHTS
- A local chapter may lose its charter because of failure to comply with the By-Laws of the national BPA requirements including non-payment of fees and size decrease to less than five (5) members. If a local or state chapter becomes inactive for greater than thirty (30) days, all official papers shall be returned and the chapter charter will be revoked. Only one charter is issued to a local or state chapter. If this chapter loses its charter by revocation, resignation or inactive status, it is no longer entitled to be represented as a voting bloc in elections, constitutional conventions, or at the annual meeting.
- If a chapter loses its charter, individual membership at the national level is not affected and a dues paid member is still considered an active member with rights. Individual members in such situations are free to affiliate with another chartered chapter in their geographical area, if they desire.
- Written notification of chapter charter revocation is sent to the President and Secretary of a local or state chapter via certified mail regarding a chapter charter revocation.
- If a charter is revoked for a given chapter, this chapter has appeal rights to the national body for reinstatement and reactivation of their chapter’s respective charter. Appeals must be made in writing within sixty (60 days) of the charter revocation. A 3/4th vote of the Executive Committee of the BPA is required to overrule the previous decision to revoke any given charter. The decision of the Executive Committee is final once an appeal request has been made for reinstatement. The reapplication process once a chapter charter has been lost is the same process as was required for the issuance of the initial charter by a local or state organization.
- If all requirements have been met that created the chapter charter revocation initially, then the Executive Committee can issue a new charter indicating that the chapter charter has been “reactivated” or “reinstated” as of that date. This charter is not issued as a new chapter charter as though no previous charter existed nor is the original charter used since it would not reflect the period of revocation or inactive status. The term “reinstated” would be used if the charter had been revoked. The term “reactivated” would be used if the chapter had gone through a period of inactivity and had been disbanded as a chapter in good standing.