RBAC as an organization has been active in the Rainier Beach neighborhood in it’s present form since 2015, and the people who make up RBAC have been active in RB for many years beyond that. Needless to say, we’ve all seen and felt the changes of our neighborhood, including all the joy and the pain. Restorative Resolutions is a project led by RBAC and sponsored by King County Public Health and Regional Peacekeepers Collaborative where we aim to support families and individuals in SE Seattle that are the most impacted by/after incidents of gun violence. We will do this by supporting other community-based organizations who 1) are specifically serving RB 2) are doing healing work through events and gatherings, 3) are involved in restorative/healing work, and 4) provide resources or connections to resources such as housing, mental health services, rent support, etc.
We aim to support a network within this constellation, one that does not seek to replace or take away from current organizing, but to learn from and add to it. We hope to shine light on work already being done, get training to current practitioners and introduce Nu people to the tapestry of violence intervention and restoration – this we believe can multiply community connections for folx most impacted by gun violence and interrupt the phenomena all together. It is important to acknowledge fully that gun violence is a symptom of places where there is high unemployment (lack of jobs), high density (small space, many people), underinvested schools, higher amounts of folx who are homeless/houseless, limited access to healthy foods and health supports, and other dismal conditions. These dynamics affect Black and Indigenous people more than any other ethnic group, and it should be mentioned that Black folx are the group being gentrified out of Seattle at the highest rates. These conditions also strongly affect folx at many intersections across gender, ethnicity, income status, ability, and more. Plainly stated: the U.S. (Seattle, King County, WA) government and their hxstorical+current patriarchal white supremacist values, policies, and practices create+maintain the conditions for gun violence to exist in Rainier Beach.
RBAC does not intend to end gun violence through Circles and bbq’s. We do believe that creating intentional spaces for healing, putting loving arms around families who are victims, and getting those folx tangible support through resources are a few ways we can add some transformative energy to our ever changing neighborhood, and our ever changing world. That is just one layer though, the other layer is to elevate resistance and push back against the practices that create the conditions of gun violence. There are probably other layers that will be peeled back through this year’s work, and we look forward to learning from this experience while contributing to the positive shifts this energy brings to RB.