LEGAL AID JUSTICE CENTER
To me, a just community is one where everyone has equal access to the same resources and opportunities and one where every voice is heard at equal volume. I think that this project gives youth tools to better understand a system, opportunities and the space to envision themselves outside of this system, and the inspiration to help others move past.
I hope that this project also inspires the decision-makers to think more deliberately, thoughtfully and empathetically in regards to helping youth move past instances of transgression or perceived transgression.
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS SO COMPLEX AND SYSTEMIC,
that to challenge it in a meaningful, lasting, and generative way, our efforts must move across discipline, race, class, experience, and expertise. Performing Statistics brings together artists, activists, radio DJs, trauma care specialists, lawyers, currently incarcerated men, women, and teens, and many others. This rare and robust coalition will help ensure that our project reaches a multitude of audiences (from fellow prisoners to policy makers) and is able to build and expand the local leadership and advocacy needed to engage with this social emergency.
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A just community is one where income, race, ethnicity, and disability do not impact the type and quality of services and opportunities provided to individuals. Unfortunately, these factors do impact how people are treated in our community. I want this project to raise awareness of how these factors impact individuals and the fact that they should notbecause everyone deserves a just community
A just community is not an end goal but a temporary state of equity that needs to be continually maintained. It can only be made possible, and sustainable, when those most impacted by any given issues can connect with community experts to collectively envision and actualize the community they want.
ART 180 / ALTERNATE ROOTS
A just community actively listens to each other. A just community does not run away from conflict, but rather meets it head on and works together toward inclusive solutions. A just community works together across social and political boundaries toward a shared goal.
Some of the means to just communities are service, love, compassion, fairness, equal access, and sustainability. Richmond, like most places in this nation, knows very little of these conditions. I want this project to inject them into the city’s public/private sphere. I would also like to see people of color, especially the youth, in and around Richmond know that they deserve the alternative set forth for them by the dominant/popular culture(s) in which we live or, more specifically, by the dominant/popular media(s) which we consume; I want them to know that decent food, homes, clothing, careers, politics, culture, environments – indeed decent lives – are all theirs to have and deservingly so. Finally, I am hopeful that this project will build a successful framework and methodology which can and will be used later in addressing other issues of inequity and injustice. I think this outgrowth will lead to a more just and understanding society.
RADIO DJ / WRIR
Making a more just society is an ongoing process that needs constant review. On a base level, giving every individual equal opportunities and an equal voice is essential to enabling the disenfranchised to regain a voice and self-sufficiency. However, there are always people and powers developing divisive tactics to try and usurp the futures of certain groups of people. The battle to craft a just society is fought on many fronts including securing reproductive rights, ensuring access to quality education, and reform of the criminal justice system among others.
I would like to be a part of this project because I want to give back. Because I was one of these teens that we are reaching out to. I am a citizen. I care. To inform our community of the problems we face that the average person overlooks and Get our teens involved.
LEGAL AID JUSTICE CENTER
OPEN MINDS VCU
A just community is a whole community. I feel that when you incarcerate your citizens, you are cutting them off from their community(ies), and everyone loses. A just community is one that does not need to incarcerate its people; it resolves conflicts in giving ways, rather than ways that destroy. I would love to see this project take on two main concrete aspects of the PIC: school-to-prison pipelines and re-entry. Though I wish this project would abolish the PIC, it is more plausible that we could come up with some initiatives that keep people from going in and also help them heal once they are released.
A just community is built around an ethic of love, not punishment and oppression. It’s a challenge to imagine a world where everyone has equal access to food, housing, healthcare, education, and even the power and privilege to make choices to govern our own lives.
It’s absolutely critical to envision what a just community would look like—this is the only way to transform our present situation in which millions of people have been taken from our communities and locked up. So as we struggle for decarceration, it’s crucial that we work to establish communities of care. When we say we want abolition, this means envisioning alternatives to the current system. Prisons, policing, and the courts do not keep us safe—as CeCe McDonald said, "We keep each other safe."
By definition a just community is one where a body of individuals base their beliefs and behaviors according to what is morally right and fair. One of the core morals that our society teaches regardless of religion, sex, economics, or any other identifier is to treat each other as you would like to be treated. If we abide by this simple principle then a just community would be one where people regardless of aforementioned identifiers would interact with each other, stand up for one another, ensure each others safety, and work together to make sure all of our kids are well educated and cared for.
A just community is one where everyone has a fair chance to have their basic needs met. When youth do not have the opportunities to develop and fulfill their own needs, they will seek out their own opportunities. A just community makes sure all voices are heard.
In order for Richmond to become a just community, we must fully recognize our history and the role that intentionally oppressive societal structures have played in the formation of our environment. Only after confronting the systemic roots to our dysfunction will we be able to redefine our city.
POET / TEEN MENTOR
A just society occurs when the rights of minorities become a priority to the majority.
"We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others."
- Albert Camus.
A just community is one where this fight is carried on daily, and with compassion.
SASHA WATERS FREYER
VCU PHOTO / FILM
A just community has the capacity to self govern effectively. While it may take time for a schools curriculum to actively counteract the school to prison cycle, I believe that there were a lot of folks in the room who could help sustain programs that try to catch youth before entering the cycle.
STENCIL QUEEN / PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT TEAM
A just community is one where everyone's diverse voices are heard and considered-- where every human's life is valued. A just community is one which recognizes that we are all connected, and it finds ways to work with and protect the rights and freedom of one another. A just community ensures that the betterment of everyone holds higher importance than the service of an individual. One where everyone has the essential needs to live a full and happy life, especially when there are enough resources to go around.