Visions for Justice: a conversation series on Participatory Practice - Wednesday, August 19, 4pm PT, 7pm ET - This conversation and Q&A will kick off our series on participatory practices for a more just future!

We kicked off our Visions for Justice discussion series in August. Every other week, we will be examining key issues for justice as it relates to participatory practices by learning from organizers on the ground who are reimagining public safety, centering community-led decision-making, and divesting from systems that harm us to invest in thriving communities.

In our first conversation, Participatory Budgeting Project’s Network Building Manager, Kristania de Leon, spoke with Shaun Glaze who both serves as Research Director at King County Equity Now, as well as Chief Consulting Officer at Inclusive Data Solutions. Dr. Shaun Glaze is a researcher by trade and passion, with a focus on Participatory Action Research, blending together activism, policy change, and research.

King County Equity Now is a Black-led coalition of Black-led community organizations in the Seattle-area, bringing people together who are pushing for change. Their work is focused on community-based demands, such as maximizing underutilized public lands, stopping predatory development, and creating funds to help address displacement of Black communities for them to acquire property.

In Seattle, Participatory Budgeting (PB) has been successfully used in the past, however Dr. Glaze points out that “this time we’re putting forth the idea to use PB not just as a great way to drive civic engagement and really focus on which street improvements can we really make with our limited budget for street improvement, but we can also use it for justice.”

The current PB work is a collaboration between King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle, which is a BIPOC-led coalition of allies coming together for decriminalization, defunding the Seattle Police Department by 50% and reallocating those funds to community led health and safety systems.

Shaun Glaze explains that the coalition “wanted PB to be one of our main mechanisms to be able to carry these recommendations forward, so… we are going to be developing out the community’s vision for what creates true community safety, what creates true community health, what conditions helps people to thrive… those are our main questions that community will be exploring in a variety of different ways.”

The panelists spoke about the need to genuinely listen to community members and build diverse teams, the importance of coalitions, and the need for visualizing data in a way that is accessible to people. They also talked about encouraging people to approach these projects out of a place of abundance – to ask “What would the dream work look like if we don’t feel like there aren't enough resources?”

As Shaun Glaze mentions, “these are things that can happen anywhere: people coming together and thinking of new ways of imagining how the system might work.”

If you found this conversation interesting, there’s more! Join us every other Wednesday at 7pm ET / 4 pm PT for an intentional and cross-movement conversation series about how we can meet the demands for justice in this moment, how participatory practices bring us closer to radically different realities, and how we can grow and build together.

To listen more to Shaun Glaze, check out the KCEN Research podcast.

Other resources shared:
Coalition for Anti-Racist Whites
Decriminalize Seattle

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