Letter from the Leadership Team

Hello gen5 community,

As many of you know from first hand experience, the impact of the economy and changes in dynamics of foundation funding have made it hard for many non-profits doing social justice and social transformation work to thrive.  Here at gen5 we have felt the impact of tightening resources for our work, particularly the difficulty of funding social change work aimed at ending child sexual abuse.  While we remain committed to our mission and vision, we have found it necessary to change how we are going about our work to be sustainable.

We have looked at various options as to how to make gen5’s work most widely accessible with the capacity we have.  You all have told us that the most important pieces for gen5 to forward are: our analysis of the complex dynamics of child sexual abuse, the interdependence of personal, community and systemic transformation and Transformative Justice, as both a theory and a practice, particularly focused on child sexual abuse.

Considering this, we see we can forward these things in four ways

1.  A strong online presence.  Through a digital medium we can make the analysis and tools of Transformative Justice widely available, and encourage activists, organizers, communities and other social justice organizations to integrate addressing child sexual abuse and TJ into their good work.

2.  Update gen5’s Transformative Justice document, including current trends in TJ, learning over these last years and changes in the political and social landscape related to child sexual abuse.  The gen5 Leadership Team is working with some of our allies on a 2013 update of the Transformative Justice document we first distributed in 2007.   The updated TJ doc will speak to a wider audience and break down both TJ interventions and the need for community based campaigns to change people’s hearts, minds and actions related to CSA.  We have talked with folks around the country about their attempts at Transformative Justice and the processes of building local Transformative Justice Collaboratives, and will share these reflections as well.  The updated TJ doc will be available online.

3.  Offer the 3-day Intensive: Child Sexual Abuse and Transformative Justice to communities who want to build their capacity to address and organize toward ending and healing CSA through Transformative Justice.   We have the capacity to train folks who self-organize a group and fundraise the costs.  Please contact us at info@generationFIVE.org or check out the 3-Day Intensive section on the new website for more information.

It is an exciting time in Transformative Justice experiments and the work toward ending child sexual abuse, and it is a changing time for generationFIVE.

4. Conferences, TJ gatherings and speaking gigs.  gen5 will look for and support venues that help to forward a systemic analysis and approach to ending CSA and forwarding Transformative Justice.  Recently, RJ Maccani, Cindy Wiesner (Grassroots Global Justice) and Staci Haines joined the NOVO Foundations’ Move to End Violence gathering, at the end of their second MEV cohort.  Ms. Foundation, funded by NOVO, also gathered its grantees throughout last year looking to build a more coherent and connected “field” of CSA prevention.  Mia Mingus and Chris Lymbertos participated in these gatherings.

The Bay Area Transformative Justice Collaborative  (BATJC) will continue as an independent community collective working to build and support transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Almost two years strong, they have been developing their capacity for TJ interventions, building a local network of providers, and working to put forth a first draft of an accountability process for incidences of child sexual abuse this fall. Most recently they collaborated to bring and host a packed local screening of the Secret Survivors Documentary in Oakland. They will continue to collaborate with other groups on community events and projects and serve as a resource for individuals and groups interested in transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse work. They can be reached at batjcinfo@gmail.com.

The Challenging Male Supremacy Project (CMS) continues its transformative justice work in New York City (NYC) through case work on historical and current incidents of sexual assault and child sexual abuse, group work with male identified people, and community events. CMS recently co-hosted a gathering with Mimi Kim to train representatives from a dozen organizations in the use of the Creative Interventions Toolkit to support community-based responses to violence. They can be reached at cmsprojectnyc@gmail.com.

generative somatics will also bring its somatics and trauma training (year-long) to Seattle and NYC this year, and will support capacity building for TJ and CSA work this way.  For more information you can email info@generativesomatics.org or go to www.generativesomatics.org.

gen5 is allied with these projects (and have overlapping members) and are in great support of the ongoing TJ and CSA work!

What’s different?

gen5 is no longer going to have paid staff or continue to attempt to build a non-profit organization.  This means that we are not able to organize local and national child sexual abuse focused TJ Collaboratives with paid staff and organizational support.   We have had to struggle to face this financial reality, and are both saddened and disappointed by it.

We see that the next phase of bringing Transformative Justice for CSA to fruition involves organizing and developing TJ Collaboratives that are well prepared in 3 areas: political analysis and organizing skills, emotionally skillful in complex situations, and able to hold trauma healing and accountability processes.

gratitude

We are very grateful for all of the care and commitment the gen5 community has given over these years.  Really, really grateful.   Thank you for how much you have given… love, time, resources, to help move gen5, an intersectional analysis of child sexual abuse and Transformative Justice forward.  Thanks for being a part of this vision, innovation, experiment and new direction.

While we are here in a different form, we are here and look forward to joining you and others in our ongoing work to end child sexual abuse within 5 generations.

Sincerely,

The gen5 leadership team-

Chris Lymbertos, Raquel Lavina, RJ Maccani, Mia Mingus and Staci Haines