ISAAC is persistently working on the issues chosen by the whole ISAAC family at the Issues Convention in October 2019: Anti-Racism, Gun Violence Prevention, and Housing (Task Forces that ALL are invited to join), and on Group Violence Intervention (a holistic approach introduced to the Kalamazoo Dept. of Public Safety by ISAAC in 2012, in which ISAAC continues to have representation on the GVI Governance Board and is instrumental in building the GVI Community Working Team).
Here’s what’s happened recently–thanks to everyone who supports the transformational work that we do together:
ISAAC & TRHT Housing Task Force
(a joint effort with Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation) is building on our 2020 success at getting the Housing Equity Ordinance unanimously adopted by the Kalamazoo City Commission–by meeting with surrounding municipalities’ leaders to help them adopt Housing Equity Ordinances too. Stephanie Hoffman has stepped down as co-chair since she was elected in November to the Kalamazoo City Commission, where her housing leadership will be invaluable, but former Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin has stepped in as the new co-chair! It was the Vice Mayor’s vision and determination that made the Housing Equity Ordinance happen, with the help of many of you in ISAAC and TRHT plus some great City Staff and City Commissioners. If you live in Kalamazoo Township, Comstock, Oshtemo, Texas, Portage or Galesburg, please let your Trustees or Council Members know that you would welcome a Housing Equity Ordinance in your community. We need to end all forms of housing discrimination!
Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF)
is focused externally on local criminal justice systems, and internally on increasing Task Force members’ understanding of anti-racism while deepening anti-racism practices in our work. Internally, members participate in reflective one-on-ones at meetings, have a book discussion group focused on examining and dismantling white supremacy, and are engaged in ERACCE workshops focused on Internalized Racist Oppression and Internalized Racist Superiority. Additionally, when Kalamazoo County reapportionment headed toward a reduction in the number of County Commission districts, the Task Force, with numerous valued community partners, advocated for having enough “majority-minority” districts for strong representation of Black and Brown residents on the County Commission. We held a Community Forum, where Apportionment Commission (AC) Members were invited, to lift community concerns and to examine maps submitted that were not racially equitable.
Gun Violence Prevention Task Force (GVPTF)
continues to strive to humanize gun violence. Numbers and statistics do not tell the whole story of what continual gun violence does to families and the community as a whole. Too many dreams have been permanently deferred due to gun violence. Hopes are being crushed by gun violence. Living with persistent gun violence is the equivalent of living in a war zone. Gun violence causes trauma to our bodies and minds. Those we lose to gun violence are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, loved ones…. This is why we have co-sponsored conversations about Trauma as it relates to community violence. Also, as part of our Public Meeting “asks”, the GVPTF has continued to meet with Law Enforcement, Officials and the Prosecutor to support strengthening mutual trust, building our capacity to communicate openly and effectively, and allowing the community to work more collaboratively with law enforcement and others for the safety, health and welfare of everyone. We are grateful to the KDPS reps who join meetings as we discuss reducing violence together. The GVPTF also advocated for using American Rescue Plan Funds toward Community Violence Reduction, as well as advocating for no reductions to our County Commission Election Officials.
Thank you for supporting this transformational work.