When I think about YATTA Rising, I think about our concept of ‘crosswalking’. Let’s explore what it means to crosswalk and why it’s important.
In the early start of YATTA Rising, our beginnings were made with the intention to not build bridges, but to crosswalk relationships between rainier beach residents and police officers to create pathways for mutual respect and healing. The significance of crosswalking is to walk directly through community, with community to get to the other side of issues. The bridge building alternative often is not always inclusive of community members, but rather needs the state to create this pathway while they are built, folks are walking directly over matters connected to the earth.
Crosswalking, is a metaphor for how we can choose to engage with issues & the process it entails. In crosswalking, not building bridges, it forces us as solution oriented community members to work with community to create solutions to find ways to the other side. When it came to crosswalking with Seattle police in the name of mutual respect and healing, it became apparent that YATTA Rising as a communal force held true to those values. But SPD not looking to uphold community and carefully walk alongside the people caused so much harm in the process.
After several months and tries with SPD, there came a point of realization where the YATTA Rising team grew to understand SPD was not capable of crosswalking because this process was not for them. In order to create respect mutually along with healing, it also requires accountability. And accountability requires consent, community and commitment. Otherwise known as the three Cs.
After understanding SPD wasn’t able to do the work with us, we shifted towards building police accountability for over a year. We have since recently shifted again with our focus now on creating equality within the world of first response alongside important community partners to address these issues directly and in a creative way outside of state ties. We’re currently in the process of creating a cohort and curriculum to provide for YATTAs as well.