“Close your eyes and go back to a time when you felt completely safe.”
Thus began the conversation regarding safety in Akron communities. Held at The WOMB community center located on East Market the conversation included a group of eclectic people all with one goal in mind; feeling safe in the same communities many were born and raised in.
People’s Justice Project organizers purpose for the community conversation was to examine and deconstruct the current and dominant narrative around “safety” and “justice” and to articulate what actually happened to our communities and share a new narrative for the future around what safety means. As the conversation progressed and participants were asked to break up into smaller groups, amazing things started to happen. Jennifer Toles said it best in an email she sent summarizing the conversation:
We literally were able to track where policies and changes in the landscape began to break down what were once relatively safe communities. From there we were able to re-imagine what changes we can advance to restore our communities to the nurturing environments they once were.
At the end of the session participants had a shared understanding about the dominant narrative around safety and justice, examined a new framework and was able to identify initial themes around what safety would look like in our communities.
If you would like to learn more about Community Conversations on Safety and/or People’s Justice Project please contact the organizers at The WOMB located at 915 E. Market St. Akron, OH 44306
A Social Justice Leadership Training will be held there on May 7th, 2016 from 12pm- 4pm