From July to September 2020, Healthy and Free Tennessee hosted a virtual 6-part Transformative Justice series facilitated by Mia Mingus for our partners across the state. Transformative justice is “a liberatory approach to violence…[which] seeks safety and accountability without relying on alienation, punishment, or State or systemic violence, including incarceration or policing.”
Healthy and Free TN is a reproductive freedom organization that utilizes the reproductive justice framework to approach social change. We are a convener and cross-movement connector, and are particularly interested in the intersections of the criminal legal system and reproductive oppression in Tennessee where we are seeing the increased criminalization of pregnancy outcomes, and the continued surveillance, regulation, and punishment by institutions and the state of poor parents and parents of color. In alignment with Reproductive Justice and Prison Abolition, there is a clear connection to Transformative Justice, which gives us tools to begin building alternatives to criminalization and strengthens our capacity to address harms within our communities without the involvement of the criminal legal system. This work is central to our work in Tennessee to fight the criminalization of pregnancy and parenting.
Goals of the workshop included:
- Strengthen our interdependence and cross sector relationships
- Increase personal and organizational resiliency
- Build practical skills that help expand our liberatory vision
State and regional partners who attended the 2020 series included CHOICES: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, Abortion Care Network, Black Lives Matter Nashville, Free Hearts, Official BLM Memphis, Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, Black Voters Matter, Gideon's Army, The Equity Alliance, Nashville CARES, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Middle TN Democratic Socialists of America, Jews for Justice Nashville, Nashville Disability Justice Collective, Nashville Mutual Aid Collective, Queer and Sober Nashville, Women's Rights and Empowerment Network, Brooklyn Heights Community Garden, Memphis Activism Calendar, Poor People's Campaign, Shelby County Youth Council, Memphis Against Sexual Harassment, BRIDGES, Stand for Children, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, Abortion Care Tennessee, A Better Balance, & Workers Dignity.