Love the People #1: Our Homes and Neighborhoods: Interpersonal Violence Intervention

In episode one of AORTA’s Love the People Webinar Series, we:

  • Share ingredients for transformative interventions
  • Explore ways to implement intervention practices
  • Hear lessons and strategies from experienced storytellers

Many thanks to our guests for sharing their inspiring stories with us:

  • Ejeris Dixon, founding director of Vision Change Win and organizer with racial justice, LGBTQ, anti-violence, and economic justice movements.
  • Kiyomi Fujikawa, organizer around ending gender-based violence, including with the Queer Network Program at API Chaya.
  • Amita Swadhin is the founder of Mirror Memoirs, an oral history project centering the narratives, healing and leadership of LGBTQ survivors of color in the movement to end child sexual abuse.

Please note that the content touches on painful personal experiences with abuse and trauma. Reflecting on harm and making space to bear witness to harm and the ways that people work to transform it, can temporarily destabilize or shake the roots of our wellbeing.

After viewing the webinar, we recommend taking some time to ground through your breath, notice any sensations in your body and acknowledge where you may feel emotions arising. Return your focus to your breath, remembering where you are in this present moment. You may choose to remain with that breath and the sensation of the air you draw in and out of your body. You may choose to think of an affirmation of your strength that brought you to where you are this evening. Or you may choose to spend five minutes in a free write on a single piece of paper which you may want to keep or toss away. You may choose to talk with someone you know about how you are feeling. Or listen to music or read a book, or move in a way that brings you joy. We recognize the challenges and fears that these realities bring up. Together we plant the seeds for our collective liberation. 

Access the webinar

View the recording here.

Download the slide deck from this webinar.

If you find this resource useful, please consider giving a donation to support our work!

View the next session, Love the People: Defending Our Demonstrations.

Recommended Readings 

This list is a tiny sampling of the multitude of incredible resources that our grassroots movements have authored over the years. Please send your suggested additions and favorites to us at info[at]aorta.coop.

Some of the Readings Referenced in the Webinar

1. Towards Transformative Justice 
Generation Five

2. Harm Free Zone Critical Framework 
Critical Resistance

3. Creative Interventions Toolkit

4. Trauma Stewardship
by Laura van Der Noot Lipsky

5. Medicine Stories
by Aurora Levins Morales


Shorter Reads

Introductions to community accountability and other key concepts

1. Community Accountability: How do we address violence within our communities? 
By INCITE!
Short reading that describes community accountability and community-based strategy to address violence that does not rely on police or prisons. Includes list of resources.


2. Who’s Left – Prison Abolition (featuring Mariame Kaba)

Comic by Flynn Nicholls
Introductory cartoon featuring Mariame Kaba, founder of Project Nia as she walks us through the concept of prison abolition.

3. 10 Strategies for Cultivating Community Accountability
By Ann Russo
Ann Russo of the Building Communities, Ending Violence Project at DePaul shares 10 strategies to build capacity and skills for community accountability.

Longer Reads- Tactics and Strategies

1. Community Accountability Working Document
This working document comes from ideas have been generated from various communities involved with INCITE!’s Activist Institutes and workshops.
From 2003, this working document pulls together principles, concerns, strategies and models around community accountability. It provides context for the shifts and changes in this work, and a selection of models of community accountability.

2. Creative Interventions Toolkit
We need to trust people to be the experts on their own lives and have faith in people to set the course for working from harm to transformation. – Words from a survivor…
A comprehensive toolkit for learning about and facilitating community-based interventions to interpersonal violence. This extensive guide includes tools, stories and examples, and definitions.
See “Getting Started: Some Basics Everyone Should Know” for a place to start.

3. Communities Engaged in Resisting Violence
By Ann Russo and Melissa Spatz, Women & Girls Collective Action Network, 2007
A Chicago-based research report that describes limitations of mainstream anti-violence movement models, outlines tactics and strategies for anti-violence projects and organizations. Includes list of Chicago groups and examples.

Creative Projects and Resources

1. Storytelling and Organizing Project 
A project of Creative Interventions that features the audio stories of people who have experienced community accountability processes and participated in transformative interventions.


2. Mirror Memoirs
Founded by Amita Swadhin, one of our webinar guest storytellers, Mirror Memoirs is an oral history project centering the narratives, healing and leadership of LGBTQ survivors of color in the movement to end child sexual abuse.

3. #LoveWithAccountability
Created by Aishah Shahidah Simmons#LoveWithAccountability examines how accountability is a powerful and necessary form of love needed to address child sexual abuse. (CSA). See also the #LoveWithAccountability Forum on The Feminist Wire for individual stories. The LoveWithAccountability project’s purpose is to prioritize child sexual abuse, healing, and justice in national dialogues and work on racial justice and gender-based violence.

4. Living Bridges
An anonymous story-collecting project documenting responses to child sexual abuse through audio stories and a blog.