We are named after Ella Baker, a brilliant, black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, we organize with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong.
Everyone wants to live in a healthy and strong community that they have the opportunity to help shape.
But prisons, policing, and punishment-based approaches make us less safe, and prevent people of color and low-income communities from influencing policies that impact our lives. Communities face struggling schools, family separation, and a lack of opportunities as a direct result of being disproportionately policed and punished.
We must engage in a process of Truth and Reinvestment: telling the truth about the impact of our country’s long history of racial injustice, building the power of those who have been harmed, and engaging them as leaders to reinvest resources in healing our communities. Make sure to check out We Keep Us Safe, by EBC Executive Director Zach Norris. The book is a blueprint of how to hold people accountable while still holding them in community. The result reinstates full humanity and agency for everyone who has been dehumanized and traumatized so they can participate fully in life, in society, and in the fabric of our democracy.
In a world where resources are invested in growth and support instead of punishment and prisons we will all be able to reach our full potential. Communities with more opportunity for everyone are safer, healthier, and more just for all.