Community Accountability Reading Group

Now accepting applications for the Community Accountability Strategies for Survivors of Sexual Violence Reading Group!

What is community accountability?

Community accountability is about responding to violence and harm without relying on the criminal legal system. While community accountability processes can take many forms and look very different, often the goals are to create safety and support for survivors and to hold people who have caused harm responsible for their actions. For more info check out the Prison Culture Blog.

What is the reading group?

It is a seven-week political education/consciousness-raising reading group for people who are dedicated to learning how to bridge restorative/transformative justice, community accountability strategies, and anti-sexual violence work. Readings will be available online prior to each group, and will total approximately 100 pages for each session. At the end of the group, we’ll continue to convene meetings for people who want to work together on the goal of creating an anti-violence community accountability hub or collective that can respond to requests for restorative/transformative justice practices to address sexual assault. The reading group will help us to develop and expand our collective analysis and toolkit. It will also provide an opportunity to build trust and community among the members as we begin the work of creating the hub or collective.

Who can apply?

We invite anyone who wants to be engaged in building community accountability processes for survivors of sexual assault in Chicago to apply. While previous experience with community accountability processes is not strictly necessary, a passion and dedication for exploring how to build these processes is a must.

We ask that applicants make the following commitments:

  • Attend six of the seven reading group sessions
  • Commit to being part of building the hub after the group is over
  • Complete reading assignments in advance

Logistics

The group will meet every other Saturday beginning September 7th from 1-5pm.

The dates for the meetings are as follows: September 7th and 21st, October 5th and 19th, November 2nd and 16th, December 7th.

Who are we?

Facilitators:

Jane Hereth is a radical social worker and a queer, white, cisgender woman. She brings her own experience as a survivor to this work, as well as several years of experience working for the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline as a crisis counselor, volunteer coordinator, and trainer. She volunteers with Project NIA, most recently with an initiative called Chain Reaction, a storytelling and participatory action research project with the goal of promoting alternatives to calling the police on young people. As a founding member of both the Prison Industrial Complex Teaching Collective and LEAF (Liberation Education and Facilitation) Collective, she is dedicated to using popular education to build movements working towards prison abolition and anti-oppression. She is also a trained circle keeper and is committed to using transformative justice to respond to community and interpersonal violence, harm, and conflict.

Chez Rumpf is a graduate student whose research investigates the convergence of interpersonal, community, institutional, and state violence in the lives of women who have been in trouble with the law, as well as strategies of resistance and healing. As a heterosexual, white, cisgender woman, she comes to this work as a dedicated ally committed to ending violence in all of its forms. She has worked in the domestic violence field as a case manager at Rainbow House’s domestic violence shelter and as a crisis line and volunteer coordinator at Between Friends. She also has worked at the Center for Conflict Resolution, a non-profit organization that provides community and court-based mediation services. Presently, she volunteers with the Chicago Freedom School, Project NIA, and Grace House. She also is a founding member of the Prison Industrial Complex Teaching Collective. She believes that bridging prison abolition and anti-violence work is a crucial part of a larger project for social justice.

We’ve also received support and guidance from many organizations and individuals in the development of this group, in particular Mariame Kaba at Project NIA.

How to apply

Please fill out the online application by August 1st:

We anticipate receiving more applications that we can accept. We will follow up with everyone who applies by August 7th. Feel free to contact us with questions.

Jane: jane.hereth@gmail.com

Chez: raea31@yahoo.com

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