We envision a world without violence, particularly the systematic violence of institutions. We aim to imagine and build an alternative to our punishment-based systems. Too often, even social service organizations default to punitive tactics when individuals, families, and communities need genuine support and resources. We envision a world where every conflict, misunderstanding, abuse, or harm can lead to transformation and growth.
As a group, we are learning, growing, and spreading the ideas of other organizers and communities that came before us. We work alongside organizations focused restorative and transformative justice principles. We want to build practices, informational resources, trainings, and services that make punitive systems like prisons become obsolete because they are so clearly more effective.
Restorative Justice: A theory, principles, and practices that focus on restoring what was lost after harm occurs. This approach looks at what need was created from the harm and what repair needs to be made.
Transformative Justice: A theory, principles, and practice that expands beyond restorative justice and examines the conditions that allowed for the harm to happen in the first place. Transformative Justice assumes that restoration is not the goal, but transformation instead. This movement is spearheaded by mostly queer Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who know personally that unequal distribution of wealth and resources can make the experience of harm and doing of harm completely different across communities.
We aim to practice what we preach and develop our own habits of empathy, compassion, and taking accountability personally and within our team. For example, we start each board meeting with sharing an apology experience.
We believe that “justice” is hard if not impossible on uneven footing when immense power differences may exist between individuals or an individual and institution. Transforming harm should investigate and focus on following conditions for justice, which are often lacking when interpersonal harm happens: