Know Justice, Know Peace

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7% of $4,000 goal
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This campaign ended on July 01, 2021, but you can still make a gift to Pitzer College by clicking here!
About

Centering wellness in social justice work is both a timeless and urgent issue. The three pandemics (COVID-19, racialized violence, and economic repression) only magnify pre-existing conditions of inequity as they relate to wellbeing and to the precariousness of wellness for those organizing on the frontlines. This project aims to explore and critically reflect on this issue, locate correlating resources and trainings to address it, and provide models to effectively support justice organizations and movements to be more trauma- and healing-informed and to use restorative organizational practices in their daily operations.

This particular issue of centering wellness in social justice work was raised as a response to observing many students and community organizers experiencing burn out symptoms, such as stress, exhaustion, interpersonal tensions, and physical health problems. This project involves a group of students, faculty, and staff of 4 local, grassroots non-profit organizations (CASA Pitzer’s decades-long community-campus partners: Huerta del Valle, urban farms and food justice collective; Starting Over, Inc., transitional housing for/by formerly incarcerated people; IEIYC, youth-centered immigrant justice community group; YMAN, youth-centered critical mentoring consultant group). Through this project we aim to increase the knowledge, practices, and policies in place to center wellness and justice within justice-oriented organizations and movements.

Our central research question focuses on exploring if, how, where, why and why not wellness, healing, trauma-informed practices and transformative movement organizing exist in daily operations and strategic vision of organizations on personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels. Since summer 2020, our student and community research team has led an action research project on these topics through a mix of digital surveys, focus groups, and interviews with the staff of four organizations. This research process allowed people to name what is and isn’t in place to sustain their individual well-being and that of their organizations’, which have informed the project’s next steps.

With funding, we can continue this longitudinal community-based research project and pay for organizational staff and students to participate in an 8-month organizational development training program we’ve designed to meet their assets and needs, drawing on community leaders and consultants in transformative movement organizing, healing justice and restorative justice. Funding for this project is needed to: provide these trainings, provide them and our materials in Spanish (to make it accessible to all our community partners); and create a practitioner’s manual for these participants and other organizations and students to use into the future. With this, we hope to see concrete shifts towards greater healing and justice.

For more information, contact project lead: Tessa_HicksPeterson@pitzer.edu

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