Prioritize People of Color Most Impacted by Prisons & Policing
Above all else, our work prioritizes the freedom and material needs of communities most harmed by prisons and policing. We prioritize their leadership, healing, and liberation.
At EBC when we say “directly impacted” or “most harmed,” we mean:
- Currently & recently incarcerated people
- Families with loved ones stolen by police violence or incarceration.
- Survivors & victims of broader state-sanctioned violence
- Deeply policed and criminalized communities of color
We prioritize dismantling the criminal punishment system that harms low- and no-income communities of color most & creating a world with fewer people in cages and fewer police on the street.
Accountability is often wrongfully equated with punishment, but we see that accountable consequences foster reflection and repair rather than further harm. We engage conflict with direct communication, restorative justice practices, and proactive self-accountability where people who have caused harm or broken trust can identify these instances on their own. We cannot ask for accountability without modeling it ourselves. We commit to our partners and communities that when EBC has made mistakes or broken trust, we will deeply listen and implement alternatives.
We work toward a Queer Black Feminist Liberation: All liberation is rooted in the liberation of all Black communities. We uplift those historically marginalized in Black Liberation Movements, such as Black women, trans, and queer people. We aspire to prioritize Black folks in our work unapologetically because Black communities are the most targeted and harmed by criminal punishment. We strive to not replicate white supremacy culture — such as fear of open conflict, perfectionism, power hoarding, microaggression, and individualism — and directly confront anti-Blackness personally, organizationally, and in our communities.
Interdependence makes our communities healthier, safer, and more accountable. Our liberation is bound together – and our struggles against white supremacy, cisheteropatriarchy, and state-violence are interconnected. Individualism, a pillar of white supremacy culture, upholds the criminal punishment system by focusing on the person rather than the state and systems that create poverty and resource scarcity. We are all connected to each other and our planet, and we only win together.
Healing and transformation happen through relationships, not solitude. Disposability is the cornerstone of the criminal punishment system, and transformation is the antidote. We have all caused or will cause harm in our lifetimes. As an inside organizer shared, “Instead of throwing people away or treating them as less than, EBC holds the humanity & dignity of everyone you come in contact with.” Embodying transformation encourages us to own up to when we’ve caused harm, because we know we will not be thrown away.
Culture of Care & Healing
We access powerful healing when taking political action against systems that harm our communities. However, if we do not prioritize rest & healing, our movement work will lead to more harm. We model a Culture of Care and Healing by prioritizing healing as a necessary part of this movement work. We confront ableism in recognizing that we all come to this work with different abilities and strengths, and refuse to leave anyone fighting for liberation behind.
Our communities already know what we need to heal and get free. We provide survivors with scaffolding via resources, capacity, and skill-sharing to empower them to show us the way. This facilitates the self-determination of people, families, communities, victims, & survivors directly impacted by police, prisons, & broader oppressive violence.
Our definition of survivor is intentionally expansive; including those surviving state-sanctioned violence to those surviving sexual violence, gun-violence, interpersonal violence, gender-based violence, racially motivated violence, and any and all identity-motivated violence.