Building Resilient Communities: A Community Accountability Workshop
May 22 – 1-4pm – OISE (room TBA)
Free! Facilitated by Arti Mehta and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Curious about how to create ways of dealing with perpetrators of violence that center survivor needs, but don’t rely on the cops, prisons and courts? What about holding ourselves responsible for maintaining the conditions that allow violence to occur? Especially curious about how to do this without burning out? In this introductory, interactive and participatory workshop, we’ll explore different ways communities are experimenting with transformative justice principles to create safety and address harm. Drawing on the smarts of feminists of colour and Indigenous feminists and the experience of people in the room, we’ll share stories, strategies and roadmaps.
This workshop is suitable for all people–no experience necessary. It will be a participatory space where we share the stories and knowledge we already have, grounded in bodies and emotions as well as history and analysis. The purpose is learning and healing together as a tool for building more liberatory, fierce and free communities and movements for justice in the world.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS WORKSHOP. We want to acknowledge that the analysis, experience and leadership of Community Accountability strategies comes primarily from Indigenous women, women of colour and gender non conforming people, and communities that experience violence disproportionately, especially from the state. We feel it’s important to prioritize access to this workshop to these communities, and others most affected by violence, including sex workers, poor folks, people of colour, Indigenous people, Black people, trans women and folks living with disabilities. Therefore we will be holding 50% of workshop spots for members of these communities.
When registering, please let us know how you identify (in ways that feel safe to you). Please register with your name, contact information and access needs at firstname.lastname@example.org We will have a waitlist too and this will not be the last workshop on this subject!
ACCESS IS LOVE: The workshop space and bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. We’re reserving seats for folks who need to sit due to disability and chronic illness/pain. We are prioritizing making space for chair users to be present comfortably and with room. It really sucks that we don’t have funding for ASL interpretation. We are working on this for future events. When you pre register, please let us know what your body/access needs are in order to be able to be present.
Fragrance free is hella love! So that beloved community members including the facillitators can be present without throwing up or having to leave, please come to this event fragrance free! This means no cologne, perfume, essential oil and also switching to unscented products. We know folks have a learning curve around this, but if you can ditch the scented (yup, even with ‘natural’ scents) detergent and fabric softener, it’ll go a long way.
Awesome scent-free list here: http://eastbaymeditation.org/accessibility/scentfree.html
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: We want to acknowledge that this workshop is taking place on stolen Indigenous land and that it is at Indigenous people’s expense that we occupy this land. Community accountability is work that Indigenous communities have been doing outside of and in resistance to systems of state power since before the arrival of colonial settlers and continue to do.
Arti Mehta is a brown, queer, woo-loving, crafty, chronically ill, femme, radical performance artist, community builder and glitter enthusiast. She helped organize the community accountability learning to action group for two-spirited, queer and trans folks in Toronto, a group committed to community accountability and transformative justice principles as a strategy to build safer communities and end the prison industrial complex.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a mixed queer femme disabled Sri Lankan writer, performer and teacher. With Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, she co edited The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, published by South End Press in May 2011. Her second book of poetry, Love Cake, is forthcoming from TSAR Publications in fall 2011. She is a track coordinator for the Growing Safer Communities track of the 2011 Allied Media Conference and an advisor on the Disability Justice track. She is a lead artist with Sins Invalid, is a co-founder of Mangos With Chili and a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives her life on the crip couch.