Preventing Violence, Promoting Justice: 2011 Summit

On October 10th and 11th, Sakhi for South Asian Women’s held its first-ever summit for social justice leaders.   More than “anti-violence”, we came together to talk about what we are for: social justice in all of our communities. Click here for an agenda of the Summit.

Our goals for the summit were to:

(1) Create spaces for conversation to occur across communities, movements, where we can share our struggles and successes, learn from each other, and bridge isolation to strengthen networks of support, creativity, and innovation.

(2) Capture as much community narrative that can help inform our vision for strengthening the anti-violence movement for social change.

(3) Begin to identify strategies on working together as we build momentum towards shaping an anti-violence movement that is inclusive, intersectional, and holistic.

The PVPJ Summit intended to start the conversation on reframing the anti-violence movement to include an awareness of the intersections between domestic violence, immigration, economic justice, reproductive rights, health and other related movements for social justice, and to build a movement rooted in our community values.  One question that was asked throughout the Summit was “What do we stand FOR in the anti-violence movement?”  We wanted to use this question as a starting point on how to frame our work  in positive goals for building community resilience,  preventing violence, learning from our communities, as  we work together to build stronger families, communities, and a more holistic inclusive movement.

Preventing Violence, Promoting Justice provided the opportunity to explore and mobilize around the intersections between domestic violence, immigration, economic justice, health and other related movements for social justice between current frameworks, and toward building a movement rooted in our community values.

Over 100 participants attended the PVPJ Summit, including social justice activists, legal and policy experts, women directly affected by punitive policies and direct service providers from a range of social justice movements, including the immigration reform, reproductive justice, anti-poverty, civil liberties, human rights and prison reform movements.  We had a significant number of decision-makers, leaders and visionaries present at the Summit – as participants and speakers – such as the current United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against women, Rashida Manjoo, the Executive or Program Directors of leading institutions in the field, such as the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, The Center Against Domestic Violence, SisterSong, South Asians Americans Leading Together, Tewa Women United, and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University.

The next phase of our work is to hold these new relationships together, offer practical support and ideas, facilitate follow-up gatherings, offer organizing assistance, and galvanize the Summit’s good will and energy into action that will result in an inclusive anti-violence movement that reflects the viewpoints of marginalized communities, including immigrant queer, low income, and of color. Barnard Center for Research on Women will be releasing a report on our summit in their New Feminist Solutions publication in fall of 2013.  Stay tuned to this site for more details!