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Transformative Justice- Part 3

By now, if you're reading Part 3 of the Transformative Justice blog post, you know that I attended a Community Accountability Workshop in October led by the Just Practice Collective. The Facilitators were Mirame Kaba and Shira Hassan

In parts 1 & 2, I tried to lay the framework for Transformative Justice from which the Community Accountability Process is birthed. The term "community accountability" means, "the variety of ways that community members care for and hold each other accountable to their common values and ways of living." Many community accountability practices are ancient. Community Accountability practices might include a neighbor watching as children get off the school bus to make sure they arrive home safely.

Just Practice defines an Community Accountability Process as a voluntary, long-term, formal attempt to resolve past harms that involves a facilitator, support teams, and a designed plan for accountability that is co-created by the facilitators, the survivors and the person who caused the violence. The Community Accountability Process can take place with just the survivor's involvement or just with the person who caused violence. A process can also happen with both parties. Here's a great resource called Creative Interventions that the Just Practice folks suggest reading.

Setting the stage for an Effective Community Accountability Process [CAP]

  • Devise an assessment tool to know when to say "Yes" to facilitating a process

  • Accountability Processes are not linear

  • You cannot undo the harm that happened. The wounds are there. They need to heal. They will not disappear. Healing is hard. Processes open up the wound for healing, they don't erase them.

  • Mapping possibilities for transformation and/or healing = process. Possibilities can be directed toward transformative justice, but that isn't always the case.

  • CAP is voluntary- people choose to be in the process.

Before you start a CAP, ask yourself some questions:

  • Impartiality- How close are we to the people? How are we in space with the people during the process? Am I in relationship with the parties? 1 or both?

  • Do we need a CAP now or do we need harm reduction?

  • How have I been impacted by something similar in the past?

  • Do I feel prepared to ask hard questions of both parties?

  • What are the power dynamics at play? Can we navigate them?

  • Do I care too much? Am I close the person who caused harm?

  • What traits or skills do I possess that make me an appropriate facilitator?

  • Have you ever mediated conflict before?

  • How do you handle conflict in your own life? Do you avoid it? Do you rush toward it?

  • Are you a good listener? How do you know?

  • What is your capacity for empathy?

  • Do you work well with others or are you a lone ranger?

  • How angry are you at the person who caused harm?

  • How do you plan to care for yourself in this process?

  • What are your emotional triggers? What is your block?

  • Have you been involved in a public take down? Did you initiate it or were you the subject of the public call out? What did you learn from it?

There's a lot to take in from the Community Accountability Workshop. I'm realizing that I have more information that just 3 blogs. So, I am going to add a few more posts.

Read the next posts to discover Guiding Questions for a Community Accountability Process, 4 Habits of mind for CAP, & Building a CAP team,

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