Skip to main content

Barnard Center for Research on Women: Transformative Justice in the Era of #DefundPolice

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
4:00 pm6:00 pm

As the ongoing worldwide protests against police violence so vividly demonstrate, there is an increasing demand to end policing and develop real strategies for keeping each other safe.

On October 21, longtime anti-violence organizers and transformative justice practitioners Shira Hassan and Mimi Kim will join us for a conversation about the history and development of transformative justice, its importance in current movements towards liberation, and everyday practices. This conversation is part of the Building Accountable Communities series developed in collaboration with Project NIA and BCRW Researcher in Residence Mariame Kaba. New short videos from the series will be posted here in October and will act as the starting point for the conversation.

"We need the resistance but we also need people building alternatives. Because even if we shut down prisons tomorrow, we're still going to need a way to deal with harm and violence and abuse and generational trauma and trauma at large. Those things are not going to go away." - Mia Mingus

Transformative justice offers community-based approaches to intervening in harm, working towards preventing, reducing, and healing.

As the TJ facilitators and practitioners in these videos attest, TJ is a developing practice that needs as many people as possible to be building basic skills in accountability, apology, getting to the root causes of harm, and addressing conflict. They address questions including: How do we choose to stay in community when we know that we will inevitably cause each other harm? How do we deal with conflict? What kinds of skills do we need to build in order to create alternatives to punitive systems?

In the video What is Accountability, Sonya Shah talks about accountability as the radical choice to stay in community, rather than to isolate from shame or to exile others. adrienne marie brown argues that our movements need all our people and that we cannot afford to be throwing people away.

"What I want is for people to have a practice, not a politic. The more we can practice this and the more people can just be brave and try things, the more we'll be able to have what works and what doesn't work. I want a million people writing things down all the time about the things that failed so that we can figure out what the intersections are of the things that don't work and the things that do." - Shira Hassan

Please watch the videos when they are posted here in mid-October and then join us for a conversation with Mimi Kim and Shira Hassan on learning from the past, building our skills, and practicing transformative justice.