Hello all. Welcome to 2021. We hope you are staying safe and healthy. We’re living in a critical time and change is afoot. There is much work to do to eradicate racism and build new systems that enable justice to occur. We are committed to doing that work collectively, both internally and externally. Thank you for joining us. We want to express our appreciation and gratitude for your engagement and work towards our collective liberation. 

As we move into 2021 we are committed and hopeful. We are looking forward to continuing to build ways for people to build anti-racism and restorative justice work into their everyday lives. Our staff is committed to offering tools to members and the broader community to interrupt racism and raise the level of anti-racism practice and commitment. We aim to play an important role in making anti-racism and abolitionist restorative justice work the norm in Madison. 

This year we also aim to work towards mending the disconnect between the broader TimeBank mission and our restorative justice and anti-racism work. We are asking questions like how can timebanking itself be more restorative? How is timebanking anti-racist? Throughout 2021 we will be offering activities and events that continue to explore how we as an organization are ensuring that timebanking itself is both restorative and anti-racist. Communities most impacted by injustice will play a prominent role in these conversations and re-imagining activities, as well as in identifying and making decisions around changes that may need to occur to ensure timebanking is equitable and works for everyone. Together we’ll explore things like: What does it look like for White people to step forward as co-leaders in dismantling white supremacy and racism? What do we need to put in place to bring out BIPOC voices and leadership so space, systems, and structures aren’t dominated by White voices? What do we need to adjust to ensure our commitments to anti-racism and restorative justice are woven throughout timebanking and all that we do as an organization? We very much look forward to engaging in these discussions and activities throughout the year.

We are in the process of actively planning a working conference for organizations seeking to dismantle white supremacist culture within their organizations. We are working to address specific needs for organizations wanting to participate. We welcome your questions and input about this conference. Your input and feedback will help in the planning.  If you are interested in participating, please connect with Damita at [email protected]. We’ll keep you posted as details become available. 

  1. Upcoming Events and Ongoing Opportunities
  2. Project Updates
  3. Staff News and Celebrations
    Upcoming Events and Ongoing Opportunities TimeBank Annual Meeting and Board Election – Tuesday, Jan 26th – 6 to 8 pm via zoom Please join us for our annual meeting and board election via zoom on Tuesday, January 26th from 6-8pm. Learn what we’ve been up to, what our goals are for 2021, and participate in our board election. Each board member serves a two year term. As described above, we have a lot of important work to do. New people interested in joining the board include: Bianca Gomez, Bill Baldon, Sarah Ishmael, and Savang Chhorm. 2020 Board members that have ended their terms and have confirmed running for re-election include: Lisa Dugdale and Jeanie Vershay.  https://danecountytimebank.org/event/timebank-annual-meeting-and-board-election-0 Restorative Anti-Racism Circle – Wednesday, Jan 27th – 7 to 8:30 pm via zoom This monthly Restorative Justice Circle is devoted to dismantling white supremacist culture. Transformative Action Network Members are strongly encouraged to attend, as this space and practice is essential for developing co-conspirator and abolitionist action. Queer, Black, Indigenous, Brown, White, and Asian American folks are all welcome in this circle to share voices on anti-racism and dismantling white supremacist culture. https://danecountytimebank.org/event/restorative-anti-racism-circle-0 100 Strong Action Mondays – every Monday from 7:30 to 8:30 pm via zoom 100 Strong is an emerging group of activists committed to offering non-violent, direct and collective response to violence against Black people. Embracing ongoing creative, educational, and contemplative action, members are intentional about dismantling white supremacist culture through the cultivation of reflection, awareness, interdependence, gentleness, and long term resistance to forces of dominance. All community members wanting to respond to build the power of collective response are welcome to attend our action meetings on Monday nights. This year we’ve started with a letter campaign in response to the death of Dr. Susan B Moore. We are currently in the process of building an incident directory. Members are welcome to share incidents to be included in the directory as well as share ideas about creative responses.  https://danecountytimebank.org/event/100-strong-1 Community Lab for Intentional Practice (CLIP) – Feb 15th – 2:30 to 3:30 pm via zoom The Lab is focused on providing an alternative community space for developing abolitionist, co-conspirator and restorative justice practices that eliminate racial disparities in Dane County and empower the voices of those most impacted. CLIP prioritizes expanding self-awareness and the ability to offer transformative practice at interpersonal and institutional levels of engagement. Recognizing that unlearning the ways we participate in white supremacist culture are deeply ingrained, members are committed to consistent and long term work. CLIP offers ongoing restorative circle opportunities, anti-racism, institutional harm, and practice that builds capacity to relate to real life and hypothetical scenarios. Our work in the lab also includes opportunities to engage in creative, contemplative and collaborative projects that dismantle institutional injustice and develop alternative infrastructure. Organizations are welcome to request lab sessions that respond to their specific needs. https://danecountytimebank.org/event/community-lab-intentional-practice-clip
    Project Updates Community Helpline
    We have a small staff and are learning how to maneuver with the extra challenges we’re facing due to covid. We are looking for Member support in order to sustain the community helpline. We see tremendous value in this resource and are looking for members interested in earning hours coordinating and running the helpline. If you see value in the Helpline and want to contribute to an effort to sustain it, please contact [email protected].
    Black Women’s Restorative Circle
    The Black Women’s Restorative Circle will be reforming as a Black Community Circle. Stay tuned for more details!
    Our Justice League – Youth Ambassador Project 
    Our Justice League Ambassadors set out to build leadership, community, mutual respect and civic engagement among chronically underserved and pushed out Black youth at Lafollette High School. Using creative expression, restorative justice, mentoring with Black college students and HBCU students, apprenticeships with local tradespeople, scholars and leaders, as well as school and community-based projects, ambassadors gain skills they need to enrich and sustain the quality of life they wish to live. Students learn the qualities and skills of diplomacy and how to represent each other’s interests for the sake of the larger community. They will gain skills such as public speaking, negotiation,restorative justice circle facilitation, racial justice values and skills, and become more knowledgeable about Black history and culture.  
    Because of their ability to show up in the school setting as the bringers of these much-needed resources and skills and as the champions of restorative practices, they will help transform racial disparities that currently inhibit their ability to thrive. With the support of adult teachers, mentors and leaders, we will repair the harm caused to them through our neglect and failure to respond adequately to their needs and teach them what they need to succeed and thrive in every aspect of their lives. 
    Black Adult Restorative Justice Practitioner Training – Saturdays starting 2/20 – 3/20 from 10-12 and 2-4 for adults organized by Dr. Damita Brown, Bill Baldon and other RJ team practitioners. More details coming soon.
    Black Youth Restorative Justice Practitioner Training – A 10 class series beginning in February. This class will transform into membership with R Justice League and connect with the Ambassadors project and will meet during school as independent study. More details coming soon.
    Staff News and Celebrations Thank you Araceli Esparza!
    Araceli joined the TimeBank team just as Covid was hitting as the Communications and Exchange Coordinator. As she transitions to new opportunities, we want to thank her for her work with us over the past 10 months. Araceli has helped to shape the new member sign up process, the member meetups, as well as increasing our social media presence and visibility. Thank you, Araceli. Best of luck to you.
    Congratulations and Happy One Year Anniversary to Kayasia Blake – Restorative Justice Coordinator
    Please join us in celebrating Kayasia Blake’s one year anniversary as our Community-based Restorative Justice Coordinator! Kayasia has been a leader in the TimeBank’s restorative justice work since she was in high school at LaFollette. As a LaFollette High School graduate, a practitioner of restorative justice as a youth, and now as an adult restorative justice practitioner in our community, Kayasia brings a critical perspective to this work and to our team. We’re so happy to celebrate her. Her brilliance, passion for youth, growth mindset, joy, as well as her deep commitment to making the world a better place are just a few of the many things we love and appreciate about Kayasia. We’re so thankful she’s part of our team. Along with heading up our community based Youth Restorative Justice Project, Kayasia organized some impactful, important, fun, and healing events over the past year. In collaboration with Alexis Gardner, Kayasia co-organized Unbreakable: Seeing the Sister Beside You in July.  Kayasia also organized and hosted a hugely talent filled and joyful Open Mic Night as part of the TimeBank’s 15 year anniversary celebration. Much love and gratitude, Kayasia, thank you for all that you bring to our team.
    As always, thank you for engaging with us. We look forward to digging in with you in 2021.

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