Dan Massey and I are here at the 11th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference with 2500 trans and genderqueer folk and their allies. On the conference’s last day, we will be presenting, “Ending Police Bias and Anti-Trans Violence: A Grassroots Approach.” We will be joined by Ruby Corado and Kiefer Paterson in outlining our successful approach to bringing about substantial and substantive change in DC through our work with the DC TLGB Police Watch coalition. Here are some the materials we are providing at our workshop as a “how-to kit” for use in your community if you are suffering and similar epidemic.
For further information: DC TLGB Police Watch, 202-290-7077.
The steps we took . . .
- Identify community concerns including interviewing victims of police bias and anti-trans violence.
- Identify local and national stakeholders, organizations and individuals, too form coalition willing to remain as a continuing presence after the first action (more actions are planned if demands are not met). Continue to add new coalition partners after work on action begins.
- Tabulate community concerns, including especially victim’s concerns. This can be a long list.
- Assay goals that articulate these community concerns. Again, could be a long list.
- Select 3-4 goals that address most of the top community concerns.
- Identify change-agents with power to change the status quo (Mayor, City Council, Police Chief, Attorney General, for example), the same people who have to date have refused to make substantial and sustainable changes to end police bias and anti-trans violence.
- Discuss strategies that might be used to force implementation of changes and achievement of the selected goals (street protests with list of demands, visits to change-agents’ offices, letter-writing campaign, petitions, media exposure, etc.). Select the strategies that come closest to representing and start planning action/s.
- Fully vet and finalize set of demands with all coalition partners, and implement chosen representative action.
- After the action, debrief with the coalition partners and tabulate results, especially lessons learned.
- Continue to work with coalition partners to monitor response and actions, or lack thereof, by change-agents; re-organize and take to the streets again when necessary.