Building Community Safety: Practical Steps Toward Liberatory Transformation

brick wall painted with the words together we create

Mom, when you were growing up, did you ever call the police? I can’t remember any time that we did. What did you do if something violent happened? It depended on the situation. Often we could send for the uncles, brothers, fathers, or other family members of people involved to interrupt violence. However there was […]

A Look At Feminist Forms Of Justice That Don’t Involve The Police

This is an excerpt from the book Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, whose third edition came out from AK Press this July. In the early seventies, while the Black Panthers were making kids breakfast and training with guns, the women’s movement began organizing its own kind of survival programs.  Recognizing the […]

Still Choosing to Leap: Building Alternatives

plants climbing

I am engaged in the work of building transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse with the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (The BATJC). We are a local collective and we are not a nonprofit because we believe that it will not allow us to take the kinds of political risks necessary for transformative justice […]

What Would it Take to Actually End Intimate Violence?

Transformative justice activist Mia Mingus reflects on responding to sexual assault without creating more harm. Mia Mingus is a longtime social justice activist and a transnational and transracial Korean adoptee raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mingus is also queer and physically disabled, two identities that have formed a large part of her perspective and […]

Communities Need to Reduce Violence Against Women of Color Without Police

Invisible No More is a timely examination of police violence against Black women, Indigenous women and other women of color. “Thanks to Andrea Ritchie’s thorough research and raw storytelling,” says Robin D.G. Kelley about the book, “we can finally begin to #SayHerName and end the state’s war on women of color once and for all.” […]

We Will Not Cancel Us

We will not cancel us. We hurt people. Of course we did, we are human. We were traumatized/socialized away from interdependence. We learned to hide everything real, everything messy, weak, complex. We learned that fake shit hurts, but it’s acceptable. Our swallowed pain made us a piece of shit, or depressed, or untrustworthy, or paranoid, […]

Arresting the Carceral State


In 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a listicle on Buzzfeed highlighting the egregious ways young people have been criminalized in American schools. Titled “Eleven Students Whose Punishments We Wish Were Made Up,” examples included “a twelve-year-old student in Texas [who] was charged with a misdemeanor for spraying herself with perfume and ‘disrupting […]

Prelude to Transformation


While both learning and doing Transformative Justice work there have been many eye opening moments, maybe none more eye opening than this realization: We will not live to see the change we are building toward. I am in no way saying that this is some revelatory assertion, or that Martin Luther King Jr. never said […]

i hope we choose love: notes on the application of justice

“You have the right to tell your story […] You do not have the right to traumatize abusive people, to attack them publicly, or to sabotage anyone else’s health. The behaviors of abuse are also survival based, learned behaviors rooted in some pain. If you can look through the lens of compassion, you will find […]