Over two years ago, movement photographer Sarah Jane Rhee and I began to ask our friends, comrades and strangers to reflect on the meaning(s) of community safety. Inspired by Morris Justice’s community safety wall project (http://morrisjustice.org/communitysafety-wall-color), we began documenting people in Chicago’s responses to the prompt: “Community Safety Looks Like…” This publication is a compilation of some of the responses we’ve received. You can see all of them here: communitysafetychicago. tumblr.com. The responses range from ‘neighbors having potlucks’ to ‘accountability’ to ‘my family, my home’ to ‘jobs with a living wage. Health care for all.’ What they have in common is that there are no calls for more police, prisons, and punishment as solutions to harm or as contributing to safety. As you peruse this publication, generously designed by our friend Micah Bazant, we hope that you will begin and/or continue conversations with your friends, co-workers, family members and others about what community safety looks like for them. As people around the country protest ongoing racist police violence and criminalization, we are called to imagine alternatives to an injustice system that doesn’t make us safe. We are called to create more effective ways of addressing harms. For our part in Chicago, we at Project NIA will continue to invite our fellow community members to build with us towards a transformative justice. We are interested in what you are doing in your communities to envision safety beyond police, prisons and punishment. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories and ideas. In peace and solidarity, Mariame Kaba Founder & Director, Project NIA
This publication is part of the â€˜Safety Beyond Policeâ€™ initiative co-organized by Project NIA (project-nia.org) and We Charge Genocide (wechargegenocide.org).