We are now in our fourth year of existence and have accomplished some truly amazing things: we have worked with local and national theaters to help them evaluate the power dynamics and structures within their walls to create safe and equitable space, worked with local sentences to create a harassment policy and reporting system, helped establish a FairPlay branch in North Carolina, and worked with dozens of theaters and improvisers across the country (and world!) about how to handle specific situations of harassment and abuse. We've taken and handled a multitude of reports in our community about local harassers and taken action when requested/needed by facilitating meetings, mediating, reporting, contacting offenders and theaters, and worked to resolve instances of harassment and abuse whenever possible. We have worked hard to establish ourselves as a trusted source for knowledge, help and compassion in the Twin Cities.
One of our founding members, Hannah Wydeven, established the women/trans/femme/non-binary improv program at HUGE via training she developed along with FairPlay, and several of our Leadership Team Members have taught the WTFNB/Queer classes therein. We have taught workshops about boundaries, consent and equity across the country.
Simply put, from our little corner of the world, we've changed the landscape of improv for women, trans, femme, queer, and non-binary improvisers, and helped change the way men examine their role in our communities.
Through what we have accomplished, we have set an amazing foundation for real and tangible change in comedy -- and now, we're asking the same question as you: What happens now? How do we ensure the safety of our spaces while allowing for a level of compassion and understanding that encourages healing, recovery and restoration?
We're asking your help so that we can answer these questions and take the next steps in cultivating and growing our community. We'd like to attend formal training put on by the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute so that we can learn the principles and practices of Restorative Justice. This will allow us to responsibly and safely consider reintegration of harassers back into our communities when applicable.
Our goal is to bring in a restorative justice trainer to train not only us, but the comedy community in how to heal from abusers and move forward, how to communicate with ourselves and others who are in support of re-introduction of known harassers into the community, and just to increase our knowledge on healing as a community.
Here is a sample event link for the training we want to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/restorative-justice-101-training-for-practice-in-everyday-life-tickets-48256799386
Information on what restorative justice is: http://restorativejustice.org/restorative-justice/about-restorative-justice/tutorial-intro-to-restorative-justice/lesson-1-what-is-restorative-justice/#sthash.YuKfC892.dpbs
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