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Building the Movement Session 4: Transformative Justice & Faith-Based Communities

Host Organizations:

CTIPP, PACEs Connection, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC)

Moderators & Speakers:

  • 4:02: Introduction; 7:21: NPSC Overview; 17:08: Review of Agenda: Dr. Diana (Denni) Fishbein, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives

  • 19:47: Dan Press, Legal Counsel, CTIPP

  • 22:20: Jesse Kohler, Executive Director, CTIPP

Share Your Story Speaker:

  • 3:43:24: Michelle Stiffler, Trauma Informed Care Coordinator, Hope Women's Center


  • 23:41: Quinn Pellerito, WOAR - Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence, LGTBQ+ Education Specialist

  • 24:01: May Booth, Mazzoni Center, Education Specialist

  • 24:45: Joey Brodsky, WOAR - Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence, Healthy Masculinity Initiative Coordinator

  • 2:03:43: Rev. Sanghoon Yoo, The Faithful City (TFC), Founder

  • 2:20:18: Dr. Farha Abbasi, Michigan State University

  • 2:38:59: Pastor Darrell Armstrong, Chief Administrative Officer to the United Nations by the Baptist World Alliance

  • 2:57:00: Pastor David Lockridge, ACE Overcomers, Founder and Director

  • 3:16:38: Fr. Paul Abernathy, The Neighborhood Resilience Project, CEO


23:41: Quinn Pellerito, WOAR - Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence

25:30: The goal of our training today is to better understand how to support people who have experienced sexual violence through offering a variety of options. We want to be clear when representing transformative justice that this is one community based alternative to justice. Each survivor can decide for themselves if it is the best route for them to address healing after sexual violence.

24:01: May Booth, Mazzoni Center, Education Specialist

26:53: This information might be pretty different from what you all have learned about justice and how to deal with justice after harm happens, and we just want you to be curious - so cultivate some curiosity.

28:06: Quinn reads the definition of "Transformative Justice"

28:45: May reads the Transformative Justice Principles

With Transformative Justice, there are going to be three principles that are going to be informing how we think about it in this presentation.

This process is meant to be healing and support survivors and the person who created harm and make sure all folks are healing.

This response is meant to de-escalate, not increase violence or cause more harm. TJ practitioners are supposed to do everything they can to avoid harmful power dynamics and oppressive norms.

This is going to be a process that happens outside of what we traditionally think of when we deal with justice - it's not going to involve police, prisons, or criminal/legal system, etc. Although if the survivor does end up wanting to use one of those processes, we respect the survivor's wishes and their need to engage in that.

29:55: Real-time TJ Process: What happens if folks act outside of community guidelines?

35:53: With Transformative Justice, one of the beliefs is that we don't completely isolate someone who has caused harm because if they are totally isolated, there's no one to continue to help them stay accountable.

36:17: Quinn displays and discusses A Map of Transformative Justice

36:23: It's a big umbrella term and can mean so many different things for different people. It has three main arms or components to it.

38:56: What does justice mean to you? Activity

43:13: "Justice" is a really expansive term that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There's not one path towards justice or one way to find justice. That's why it's really important to ask people who have experienced harm what "justice" means to them and how you can support them in finding justice that they find appropriate.

42:58: Punitive Justice - That's the type of justice most of us are accustomed to in this society. When we think of justice, we think of someone as deemed as "bad" and going to prison as they caused harm and having a consequence as a result of their behavior.

43:22: Spiritual Justice: That can be an example of someone believing in a higher power and that higher power will take care of the injustice that happened to them and the higher power will right the wrongs that has happened. Another example is someone using spiritual justice as a way to process the information and cope with what happened.

43:52: Restorative Justice - The idea behind Restorative Justice is a person had something taken away from them or experienced harm and what can we do to restore that relationship or to restore that person's ability to feel safe or restore that person's ability to rejoin the community that they don't feel safe in. It's really about bringing things back to the way it was before the harm happened.

44:38: Transformative Justice - Transformative Justice takes the restorative components and takes it one step further. Transformative Justice says instead of just restoring things back to the way it was before the harm, we need to transform our conditions that caused the harm so that the harm can't happen again. If we bring it back to what it was before, we've repaired a lot and restored a lot, but it can still happen again because we haven't really changed anything. Transformative Justice is about how can we transform the material conditions that enabled harm to occur from occurring again.

45:38: May discusses community based approach to sexual violence

47:24: That's kind of the first branch of transformative justice - supporting survivors, supporting those who have experienced harm.

47:39: What do we think survivors want and need generally? Activity

49:24: I think when you're working with somebody on changing their behavior, it always takes a process. It's unrealistic to expect somebody who has caused full-scale harm to be able to wake up the next morning and have no capacity to every do that again just because you told them not to do it. It is a long process working with the person on unlearning behaviors, recognizing triggers, figuring out how and why the harm happened and how can we replace those unhealthy behaviors with healthier ones. Until you've reached the conclusion of closing out a transformative justice process, the whole time, it's harm reduction because you're trying to reduce that person's capacity to harm every time you interact with them.

50:30: If those of us who worked in trauma-related fields thought about this work as harm reduction rather than something that makes you perfectly not harmful anymore, we would also see a reduction in the harm that takes place within social justice spaces. Recognizing that we can have al this knowledge and do our best and there is still a capacity to do harm sometimes - how can we reduce that and hold ourself accountable.

51:18: Quinn and May discuss National Data from Victims of Crime Graphics

We should be asking survivors what they want in a process instead of just immediately assuming folks should be punished.

52:10: Quinn discusses graphic on sexual assaults and perpetrators

53:03: Sexual Violence Response Self Reflection Activity

55:15: May discusses BEST Method

57:33: A really important thing to remember is you have to be able to take care of yourself.

Quinn discusses making a social network of support graphic

59:55: Feeling less alone is huge and reduces the amount of shame and stigma and amount of trauma a person internalizes after experiencing harm. It also helps for you as a support person to realize "I'm not the only person doing this."

1:00:48: The more resilient our social networks are, the more resilient we are and the more effective helpers we can be.

1:03:58: What does accountability mean to you? Activity

1:06:16: One of the best and worst qualities of the TJ process is that it's consensual - we can't force people to be accountable and when you try to force the accountability process on someone who doesn't want to be accountable, they just do fake accountability and it's not genuine. We don't want force them to make fake/not genuine accountability. But what is does mean is that it has to be their choice.

1:07:08: A lot of times when people cause harm, they are not knowing how to relate to people in healthy ways and are really isolated and alone…Sometimes you can get people who genuinely want to take accountability and do the accountability process. Other times, you can't. Sometimes people are really stubborn and not great and don't want to do it and that is a huge limitation of TJ.

1:08:06: Joey Brodsky, WOAR - Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence, Healthy Masculinity Initiative Coordinator

It can be really helpful if someone is interested in the TJ process or if someone in the community asks them what does justice or healing look like for you even if the person refuses to take accountability for their action. What can you still do to at least take steps towards that healing, towards that justice.

1:09:59: We don't often enter into causing harm the first time by doing something harmful. It is often when folks have experienced harm. What sort of support do those folks need to do that healing and maybe that can be a starting point for getting them to understand the impact of their behaviors.

1:10:19: TJ helps us step away from moralizing one person in a situation as good or bad and helping us consider how do we support everyone to get the care that they need and move forward from what has happened.

1:13:05: Quinn discusses points on Individual Accountability

The average TJ process takes anywhere from six months to two years, with the average being a year-and-a-half or a little over a year.

1:15:48: May and Quinn discuss Qualities of a Transformative Justice accountability process

1:21:53: Quinn discusses the difference between TJ and Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is more about repairing the harm that was done back to the way it was…Transformative Justice is changing into something completely different. There's also difference in the history of the roots of these things. Transformative Justice was founded by people in street-based economies that weren't able to access the regular criminal legal system and didn't find state support to be helpful and they ended up creating their own way to address harm and justice in their communities, whereas Restorative Justice is sometimes done within systems and has been adopted by the criminal legal system.

1:22:59: Sometimes institutions think they're creating a Transformative Justice process, but ends up being restorative because of the nature of being institutionalized.

1:23:54: People who have caused harm also need support in changing their behavior. I think it's easier to give support to people who have experienced harm because that is something we all rush to do and is very intuitive…I think it's less intuitive to figure out a support network for a person who has caused harm. I think this type of support looks very different from survivor support. This type of support is talking about that person's behavior, talking about when they felt angry, talking about how to manage emotions, talking about what they learned as a child.

1:25:04: May and Quinn discuss Community Accountability

1:27:42: Smaller scale harm leads to bigger scale harm and builds on top of itself. If we can prevent harm, in a preventionist standpoint, before it escalates, then we can do that together.

1:29:57: Transformative justice work is messy…give yourself permission to make mistakes and be messy because it won't go smoothly, it never does, and it's hard work.

1:30:34: Quinn and May discuss graphic on When to Apply Transformative Justice

1:33:34: Quinn discusses Road Map to accountability process graphic

1:34:27: Quinn discusses Creative Interventionists Toolkit

1:39:08: What is Transformative Justice Video

1:45:15: May discusses Further Learning Resources

1:48:37: Q&A

1:50:22: Often, mandated reporting is very challenging and any state involvement is challenging for TJ processes and in conflict with each other.

1:52:03: Jesse Kohler, Executive Director, CTIPP

As we continue to advocate in communities and build community coalitions, the Press On Model, this coalition of coalitions, while we do the advocacy work to change systems, it's also important we do the justice and healing work that was spelled out in this presentation and really provide support for survivors, for people who continue to experience different levels of abuse, neglect, dysfunction that we see in our society as we work toward transformation.

1:58:29: The importance of faith-based communities in the work for communities, the trust that people have in their faith-based communities and in the faith itself, is so critical.

2:02:37: The advocacy work that goes into faith-based communities as well as the political process and other community work we are engaged in promotes healing itself. Using your own lived experiences to try and make other people's lives better as well is so important. We invite people to advocate, we invite people to get involved in their communities.

2:06:22: Rev. Sanghoon Yoo discusses his background and experiences

2:10:49: With this trauma-informed care movement, we want to bring back the therapy relationship. According to research, therapist relationship, healing relationship is very important. In other words, it's not just about the technique or skillset, who does this is very important. So for us, we are not only about the trauma-informed care, but we want to see trauma transform care…We want to change ourselves first to provide trauma-informed care.

2:12:10: We have to understand that who we are, what we do is very, very important.

2:12:31: Rev. Sanghoon Yoo discusses 12 Sectors of Engagement graphics

2:14:19: The faith community has so many people coming together…if you go to church you have everyone. We can really reach out easily in all of the sectors inside the faith community.

2:14:53: The problem is many times, you just stop with the short-term support. We want to see who can provide the long-term support in relationships

2:15:44: In addition, the faith community has a lot of heritage already trauma-informed care scientists are talking about: resiliency, identity, affirmation, mindfulness, post-traumatic growth, meaning creation.

2:16:11: Faith leaders have space in this movement - we can be part of it. So there is a lot of intersectionality - we can really come together and work together.

2:16:21: Rev. Sanghoon Yoo discusses How to Connect to Faith Community graphic

First of all, we need to go to the faith community and ask them how I can serve you. I want to hear from you. That's very, very important because trust is most important when you work with the faith community.

2:17:34: When we try to collaborate together, we need to understand that we have to come together to serve, to hear, to listen, to respect each other. I know a lot about the resistance from the faith community too or even science. That's why we are here to bridge the gap between the faith and other sectors how we can work together.

2:18:00: Rev. Sanghoon Yoo discusses TFC Trauma Informed Community Journey

2:20:18: Dr. Farha Abbasi, Michigan State University

2:20:38: When we talk about faith, resiliency, and then mental health, it seems we are in two different realms, but really, what I found is that they are the two sides of one coin.

2:21:51: What I realized that be it depression, anxiety, trauma, or any stressors in life, the innate feeling that one gets is of helplessness. In fact, the physiology of depression talks about learned helplessness - that you start to perceive yourself to be alone, and this is what happens when you have experienced something very traumatic: loss of loved ones, abuse, violence.