Is it possible to confront neighborhood violence without police or public services?
Hundreds of people and various organizations gathered at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Tuesday evening to explore this question and learn about the alternative approach commonly known as transformative justice.
The event, facilitated by Creative Interventions, discussed ideas in community accountability, highlighting alternative and collaborative solutions for those affected by violence including survivors and close bystanders.
Mia Mingus, a writer and core-member of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (BATJC) led the discussion. Communities can transform the way people seek to end violence, by providing support and free resources, Mingus suggested.
“We need to move beyond thinking of certain people that are experts and move towards thinking of all of us as being people that have expertise on what we need in our lives,” said Dr. Mimi Kim, a Cal State Long Beach Social Work professor.
Commonly after abuse has occurred, survivors might find themselves isolated, presenters mentioned to the audience composed mostly of young adults. Solutions were exchanged from both presenters and audience members.
Some strategies include the creation of accountability circles, safety plans that leverage community resources, study groups, conflict mediation practices, and the use of non-violent language.
Discussions largely centered around confronting abuse in LGBT communities but one audience member said that transformative justice may be helpful to her work in assisting undocumented immigrants who are domestic violence survivors. Those communities are not inclined to report their abuse, she said, as many are fearful of navigating the legal system.
Creative Interventions offers free online resources to stop interpersonal violence. The Creative Interventions Toolkit is more than 600 pages but can be viewed separately in its five sections.
The workshop was also co-sponsored by The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, Building Healthy Communities, among others. Another teach-in event will be held in Los Angeles with the date and location to be determined. Contact [email protected] for updates.