New Workgroup Notes Mar 31st

Community Safety Workgroup – Free Skool Class
Notes from Thursday, March 31, SubRosa, 5-7PM
Notes by JM
About 10 participants

Facilitators Editorial
Last week's workgroup was great though under-attended.  Start thinking now who you'd like to invite to next Thursday's Community Safety Workgroup.  There is a lot to do to make our communities safer from police, from violence (internal and external), and from the gaping needs so often left unmet.  And we can't do it alone.  It will take a lot of help.  Please come and please bring two friends.

Check in by participants:
We’re over-policed & under-policed. Want to know community better / serve each other
Want to offer a nonviolent response and show children better response to conflict
Self-organizing responses to conflict and violence – small scale
Government is a tool and is evolving toward transparency
Human beings are not capable of full trust because of the fear of showing our differences
It’s the poor that tend to help each other and have empathy.
Witnessing a police killing was inspiration to work to reform policing
Strategy ideas: Contact the police less and self-organize community safety

Reviews of class premises:
Community safety is possible and desirable
We will work outside of institutions
Safety is a shared value

Participants added other values: collectivity, health, individuality, community, freedom and authenticity. A discussion followed about the paradox of apparent opposites appearing on the list like “individuality” and “collectivity.”

Small Group Discussions
We acknowledged that the goal of the larger workgroup is almost overwhelming in its scope, and agreed that if we broke it into smaller pieces we could make serious inroads on having safer communities. We created a list in the last meeting of small groups that we thought were needed, the list of "big pieces" that need working groups: 
  • New Accountability
  • Crisis Response Team
  • Education
  • Defense of Communities
  • Health – physical, mental, spiritual
  • Isolation/Connection
  • Police
  • Alternatives to Violence
  • Spaces – Public and Private

Facilitator asked the participants to use the following framework for small group discussion:
  1. Establish scope of small working group
  2. Define goals of the group
  3. Brainstorm strategies for accomplishing goals
  4. Prioritize strategies
  5. Decide on action items, deadlines, and next steps
Participants got into two small groups focusing on different topics - New Accountability and Crisis Response Team

Return to Single Large Group
The two small groups shared highlights from their discussions and discovered a common analogy of helicopter parachutist / immediate response. Then strategies were discussed and participants held up our hands to indicate which ones we’d enjoy doing. This poll was not recorded.

Facilitator recommended that participants check out the Community Safety blog and invited submissions of report-backs in the form of narrative-style writings that can be posted on the blog, particularly success stories.


Rev. Pallas Stanford said...

Thank you for this work and for the commitments the underlie it. I share your vision of a world without prisons and would like to lend support if support is welcome from someone who is also committed to institution-building. Although our current institutions are not up to the tasks ahead of our species, we are in the midst of evolving new ones as we strive to receive, appreciate, and transform culture for the sake of generations to come. For me, it is related to the open question about infrastructure.

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