I joined Mormon Women for Ethical Government (MWEG) when it was first founded in January 2017. I was drawn to the vision of a peaceful, proactive, and nonpartisan organization which “creates neutral civic spaces and seeks peaceful solutions to ideological polarization.” [1] I served in a variety of leadership positions and developed relationships with many MWEG leaders over the years. I hold a deep and abiding respect for the original founders and wish that they were still involved in guiding the organization. I’ve spent many hours advocating for ethical government within MWEG and anticipated continuing to do so for many years. However, on June 9, 2021, I abruptly received an email from one of the current senior directors of MWEG, notifying me that I had been removed from MWEG’s Facebook group. I was given no warning. No due process was followed. I was not told how I broke any rule. While claiming to be an organization grounded in ethics, MWEG’s current leaders ignored their own policies, procedures, and principles to remove me.

I care about MWEG and want it to succeed because I believe we need more opportunities to peacefully and proactively collaborate across partisan divides. There is great power and potential when people of diverse perspectives unite to create something better than any of us could accomplish on our own. I also care about my sisters in the gospel, and unless MWEG is able to course correct, I feel obliged to write this as a word of caution for any women who might consider involving themselves with this organization as it is not nonpartisan, does not follow its own rules, and can be arbitrary and capricious (instead of ethical) in its own governance.

Despite its nonpartisan foundation and idealistic principles, MWEG’s current leaders seem to increasingly align their definition of what it means to be “ethical” with the political left. This has resulted in an uncomfortable environment for many members who align with the political center or the political right as MWEG’s members, moderators, and leaders have at times targeted & silenced these women. They are frequently held to different standards than other members within the group, and I am personally aware of dozens of centrist and conservative women who have chosen to leave as a result. I know many other women who stay but feel they cannot speak up within the group. As one member expressed, “I recognize that the official stance of mweg is nonpartisan, but the majority of the posts assume general participant support of left leaning positions. I stay on to try to keep balanced and informed, but I feel like any comment I make will just be viewed as being a troll. There are logical and ethical reasons to not support [left leaning organization]. I don’t support the extreme [right leaning organization], but [MWEG] is far from moderate too.” [2]

MWEG’s current leadership is aware of this problem, as it was brought to their attention multiple times by people inside and outside of the organization. Unfortunately, despite this awareness, MWEG has persisted in promoting biased ideas and feeding into the division running rampant in our society. When I registered a concern through their membership portal that MWEG wasn’t living up to the inviolable principle of nonpartisanship, the root directors responded that “MWEG is nonpartisan, but it is not viewpoint neutral and does not claim to be.” [3] An organization supporting “ethics” but defining them in a biased (not neutral) way sends the message that anyone who doesn’t align with the organization’s views does so because their views are unethical and not merely a different but equally valid approach for applying ethics to an issue.

In my case, I believe it was my beliefs about social justice that led to my abrupt removal from the group. Earlier this year, I began advocating for social justice from a moderate perspective shared by many advocates on both the political right and left. Unfortunately, this meant that my views didn’t align with the view of social justice espoused by the current directors of MWEG (which aligns more with the race essentialist ideas of the far left). After several failed attempts at posting and commenting on the subject within the group, I reached out to MWEG’s moderating team and tried to work with them to find a way to share these ideas which I hoped would lead to decreased polarization and increased cooperation around the common goal of social justice within the group. The moderators responded by letting me know that my posts were being declined because the leaders were working on a policy to “privilege voices of color” and have “women of color lead out” in discussions about race. Despite this supposed guideline, many white women continued to post and communicate on this subject (always in alignment with MWEG’s chosen narrative).

I reached out to MWEG’s leadership team, and the woman who was then serving as MWEG’s senior director of nonpartisanship (and who was recently elevated to the role of co-executive director of the organization) responded. Without personal knowledge of my background or my family, she said that “as an upper middle class white woman,” “racism may be a more abstract concept” to me but that these “discussions are deeply traumatizing and feel like the life or death struggles that they plainly are . . . for women of color [who] can feel battered and excluded in [MWEG’s] spaces.” [4] These kinds of assumptions which treat both women of color and white women as monoliths along with the determination to treat people differently based on an immutable characteristic like skin color were (and are) deeply disturbing to me, as was the decision to exclude multiple perspectives for eradicating racism.

On the day before I was removed, some MWEG members were disparaging a right-leaning organization that didn’t align with MWEG’s approach to social justice. My final comments in the group immediately prior to my removal were a plea on that post to not vilify people who approach issues from a different angle and to instead gather principled people of all political stripes together within MWEG to build on common ground, to foster greater understanding, and to collaborate with one another.

The following day I received the email notifying me that I had been removed from the group. The process for removal (as outlined in the discussion group description) was not followed. I was given no warning, no probationary period, no recourse for appeal, etc. Instead, I was summarily removed and only informed after the fact. For a nonpartisan organization with “ethical government” in its name, MWEG’s failure to ensure that fair and democratic processes outlined in their own governing documents be followed by their own governing team was especially ironic, as was their failure to uphold their inviolable principle of nonpartisanship.

After my removal, I appealed to MWEG’s root directors several times over the following months. I respectfully asked them to please identify which rule I had broken that was so awful that MWEG’s leaders chose to ignore their own policies and procedures in order to remove me. Their responses were vague at best. They shared a screenshot of the group rules and said that I was removed for “trying to accomplish personal objectives, for being critical of MWEG and its leaders, and for misrepresenting private communications with leaders.” [5] None of these things were listed in the group rules. Furthermore, the only “personal objective” I’ve ever had in all these years was to help MWEG live up to its principles. The only criticisms I’ve given were when I sincerely believed MWEG was failing to do so. Unfortunately, rather than considering or using this feedback constructively, my appeals were taken as a personal attack on MWEG and its leaders. Regarding the third claim of misrepresenting private communications, I do not believe I have ever done this. I have repeatedly asked the leaders to identify any instances of this happening; however, despite claiming they have documentation, they have never shared a single example of this occurring. Again, even if any of these charges had been true (which they are not), none of them are listed in the group rules.

Rather than working with me to resolve this issue, MWEG’s senior leadership team has decided to avoid answering my pleas for greater understanding, stating that “they will not respond to further communication from me.” [6] I am appalled that honest feedback of the organization and its leaders was used as grounds for removal—a ploy primarily used by authoritarian regimes. I am also disappointed that disparaging posts about right leaning leaders and organizations have continued to be posted and supported in the discussion groups. As a member recently expressed in one of these posts, “engaging in mocking, dismissing, and vilifying those who don’t agree with you won’t get you very far.” [7]

Ultimately, I was removed without due process from “nonpartisan” Mormon Women for Ethical Government, not for any rule violation but, presumably, for the crime of ideological non-conformity and for my efforts to try and help the organization uphold its own principles and mission. I sincerely hope that MWEG’s current leaders will thoughtfully consider what I’ve shared here and use this feedback to help MWEG better live up to its ideals. I do not believe these leaders are intentional in the harm they cause on either an individual or a societal level, and I do believe they are sincerely willing to learn from their mistakes and to course correct for a better future. Despite the way I have been treated, I wish them well in their efforts and hope they can become truly nonpartisan (in more than name only) and that they can choose to respond ethically to concerns expressed by their members in the future.


[1] --- [Back to manuscript].

[2] Comment made within the MWEG-Utah Discussion Group by a member on June 8, 2021, used with permission from the poster. [Back to manuscript].

[3] Email sent by MWEG’s Root Directors on August 12, 2021. [Back to manuscript].

[4] Email sent by MWEG’s Senior Director of Non-Partisanship on April 13, 2021.
[Back to manuscript].

[5] Email sent by MWEG’s Senior Director of Non-Partisanship on June 9, 2021.
[Back to manuscript].

[6] Email sent by MWEG’s Senior Leadership on September 1, 2021.
[Back to manuscript].

[7] Comment made within the MWEG-Utah Discussion Group by a member on October 20, 2021, used with permission from the poster. [Back to manuscript].

Full Citation for this Article: Alba, Alicia (2021) "A Cautionary Tale about Mormon Women for Ethical Government," SquareTwo, Vol. 14 No. 3 (Fall 2021),, accessed <give access date>.

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