SafetyLabs, originating in San Francisco by Community United Against Violence (CUAV), are a space for 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized communities to practice core skills needed for grounded, accountable, and liberating community-based responses to harm. SafetyLabs focuses on preventing and intervening in ways that do not rely on isolation, shame, retaliation, or incarceration.
Many of us, including Kind Space, talk about not wanting to recreate systems of violence by criminalizing already marginalized people but also, rightfully, want harmful and violent behaviour to stop. The best we have figured out is to isolate people and remove them from our spaces. The outcome is that harm gets displaced in other communities or with different people and the people involved and those connected to them are not receiving the support they need.
The goal of SafetyLabs is to build more caring, intentional, connected, and accountable communities. Violence is allowed to exist and thrive when we are disconnected from our neighbours, friends, loved ones and remain bystanders when harm happens.
Core Program Objectives
- More aware and compassionate communities that view individual instances of violence or harm as connected to larger systems of oppression (poverty/classism, racism/colonialism, etc) and not simply the act of someone “bad” or “evil”
- Increase the intervention skills of community members through ongoing professional training and practice sessions
- Create working groups that act as response teams that are contacted when harmful or violent situations occur
- Develop free, accessible, and shareable resources that are Ottawa-specific
WAGE Capacity Building Grant
An official announcement from the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) is forthcoming.
In October 2020 we successfully received a 2SLGBTQ+ Capacity Building Grant from the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE). As part of our application, our objectives for the grant are as stated below. This grant focuses on building the internal capacity of Kind Space and partner organizations in addressing harm and violence in non-carceral or punitive ways.
- Surveying the current capacity of organizations to deal with harm or violence that happens within their organization
- Building experiential labs for internal testing with organizational staff, volunteers, and board members
- Documentation, reporting, and resource development
- To build managerial capacity and enhance technical expertise skills related to policy, procedure, and bylaw development as they related to community-based violence in 2SLGBTQ+ populations. As well to develop concrete procedures for ensuring holistic approaches to justice-seeking for 2SLGBTQ+ people.
- To build capacity related to developing and strengthening community partnerships through consultation and collaboration on a shared project.
- To increase evidence and knowledge of LGBTQ2 challenges and barriers by consulting these communities and the service providers that work with them, and by reporting on those findings.
Project Coordinator position
SafetyLabs Project Coordinator: Daniella Noel (photo and bio coming soon)
As part of this project, we are partnering with a maximum of 5 other locally-focused 2SLGBTQ+ specific organizations and/or organizations with a significant number of 2SLGBTQ+ clients, staff, and/or volunteers.
The list of partner organizations will be listed by the end of January 2021.
Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
The CAC is a collective of 5 people providing insight, feedback, and strategies on the role out of public needs assessments, educational modules, and the production and distribution of the final report.