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Partner Highlight: Creative Justice

🤝 Is there something new that your team has been working on that you’d like folks in the community to know about?

Creative Justice is expanding and growing and we are excited to continue to be able to provide more healing, supportive spaces to meet the needs of young people in our community. Our BASE (Building Affirming Strengthening Experiences) programming is at full capacity and we began a new program that is less of an educational space and more of a healing space called HEAL in January.

Healing Education for Accountability and Liberation (HEAL) at Creative Justice is a collaboration between Collective Justice and Creative Justice. It is a youth led and adult supported space for deep healing and accountability processes, providing accountability circles for people engaged with the criminal legal system and people impacted by violence. HEAL draws on restorative and transformative justice practices and explores topics such as trauma, shame, resilience, accountability, structural and generational violence, and their impacts. Participants engage in a rigorous accountability process, unpacking the dynamics that lead to harm, and finally, dialoguing with people in our community who have experienced profound harm. The collaboration of HEAL at Creative Justice includes a healing arts component with arts therapist who uses art to support the processing of the content covered in circle at the prior session. Coupling art therapy with the HEAL circle practice allows young folks to utilize multiple ways of processing their experiences and emotions and support healing work at multiple levels.

The circle is facilitated by seasoned HEAL facilitators from Collective Justice and a licensed therapist and arts facilitator from Creative Justice. We will also be launching new programming this summer, the Creative Economies Makers space which is a seed to market program that helps young creatives learn entrepreneurial skills and are provided with mentorship to turn their creative passions into an income source or career.

🤝 Is there something new and exciting (in general) that you’d like for us to highlight?

OCJ base programming has teamed up with Real Change this spring session to design visual art to beautify Street Sinks with youth art that will be distributed through the Seattle area. Street Sinks make hand washing easy and accessible for anyone, anywhere, while also providing rain gardens that filter the water used into the sinks! They are a lovely addition to our communities to promote good hygiene and wellness while also increasing green spaces and CJ is excited to for our young people to have their art shared throughout the city.

🤝 Any big announcements? Transitions? Comms or Blogs you’d like us to repost?

Last month we launched our first monthly newsletter, you can view it here, and sign up to receive the future newsletters as well! https://www.creativejusticenw.org/newsletter

🤝 Things you’d like the general public to be aware of?

Creative Justice is an arts-based healing engaged space for youth and young adults impacted by mass incarceration and other systems of oppression. Disrupting the school to prison pipeline, supporting and empowering youth to build the futures they envision through art, creative and radical imagination is our mission. 

When we first started in 2015 we were a diversion program, or what some might call an alternative to incarceration, but over the years we have come to realize we need more than alternatives to incarceration. We deserve full systems transformation. It is time that we move away from punitive carceral systems and work together to build systems of care for everyone. This will generate health and safety for everyone.

Through healing, health and wellness, and arts education we strive to view our youth through a wider lens, to trust the community to address its own needs, and to celebrate the strengths and creativity of young people navigating a complex world. We prepare young people to be leaders in the community and the workplace, while amplifying their voices as a source of community transformation. Our young people are resilient survivors of cis-hetero patriarchal racist systems, institutions & policies.

These systems, institutions & policies have targeted them since before birth; impacting whole families & communities with systemically created generational trauma. Racism, sexism, classism, ableism, ageism & other forms of systemic oppression target QTBIPOC youth forcing them into the school-to-prison pipeline & other oppressive systems. QTBIPOC youth are often relegated to poor schools, low-wage jobs, a lack of access to healthcare, generational trauma, over policed & surveillanced neighborhoods, & difficult choices between breaking laws to survive or being poor, being homeless & going hungry. These traumas also lead to increases in interpersonal violence such as gun violence & domestic violence. Preventing violence is most effectively achieved by ending & preventing poverty & oppression.

At Creative Justice we create opportunities for learning, healing, economic opportunity, strengthening relationships & community connectedness, & affirming personal vision, value & identity.  

🤝 Is there a call to action that you’d like us to push?

Juneteenth represents the day the last enslaved Africans in Texas learned that they were now free, this was two and a half years after the emancipation proclamation was signed, so many white land owning Texas got a couple more years of free labor from Black Americans. This free labor that Enslaved Africans we’re forced to perform for centuries generated billions of dollars of generational wealth for white families that still shapes and defines our inequity economic system today.

CJ works with young people who are directly impacted by the criminal punishment system, many of which are victims of the school to prison pipeline, which is historically and directly connected to the enslavement of African people in the United States. We are working to not only transform and uplift the lives of young people in our community, but also to end these Carceral systems of harm that are impacting their and all of our lives and communities.

It is our mission to support young people in creating the world and future they envision for themselves. In honor of Juneteenth and this economic inequity, We are calling on community to support Creative Justice with a cash donations that supports our programming and advocacy for young folks that are navigating systemic oppression and harm. One time donations are wonderful and also we urge you to consider subscribing to contribute monthly, quarterly or yearly, as ongoing donations will allow us to continue creating creative, healing, nourishing spaces and opportunities for the young people in our communities.

You can make a donation here, thank you for your support!
https://www.creativejusticenw.org/donate

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