Care as first response: A toolkit for creating safe spaces

Posted by City of Philadelphia on April 27, 2021

Communities across our city are caught in chronic, simultaneous cycles of harm. We haven’t been able to sit still long enough to mourn one loss before the breaking news of the next loss arrives. We are righteously angry.

Violence is the quickest, easiest, and most immediately gratifying response to feeling offended, ashamed, defeated, or hopeless. But though it may be convenient, violence is always expensive. Violence only reproduces itself.

This moment requires care as a first response. When each morning brings fresh pain and that pain takes the form of protest, we must interrupt costly cycles of harm by offering care and not aggression. If people need a space to wrestle with their anger, we must create it. If people need room to show up for each other in solidarity, we must make way. Here’s the good news: care also reproduces itself!

Care is the daily provision to which we must be faithful. Let’s provide mutual care for each other. Know care, know justice, know peace.

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