Lightning Bolt supports communities preparing for natural and political disasters. In our Community Safety Trainings for local businesses, we convene expert trainers and local small-business workers and owners to build skills in 5 key areas of community safety:
1) De-escalation and alternatives to calling the police
2) Know your rights if ICE attempts to enter your business
3) Basic medic skills for treating gunshot wounds, stab wounds, & tear gas
4) Gender-neutral restrooms and transgender-friendly spaces
5) Accessibility and disability justice beyond the ADA
Trainers in each area of safety come from esteemed local organizations, and trainers are directly impacted by the area of safety in which they teach. Trainers have included teachers from:
- Sins Invalid
- Transgender & Intersex Justice Project
- People's Community Medics
- Instituto Familiar de la Raza
- Oakland Power Projects
As of this writing we have completed our first training cohort of individuals from 6 small, People-of-Color-owned businesses in Oakland, and are working on convening our second cohort. Our goal is to train people from 50 Bay Area businesses by the end of 2017.
OUR FIRST COHORT:
Red Bay Coffee
Reem's Arab Bakery
Tamales La Oaxaqueña
Akat Cafe Kalli
As Lightning Bolt collective members coordinating this project, we span multiple communities — Black, disabled, immigrant, and queer — working for peace and justice. We have seen how concrete safety trainings can empower our friends, neighbors, and ourselves in the face of escalating systemic violence and everyday crises. We believe that compassion in action, guided by people directly impacted amidst today’s political disasters, is critical for moving beyond symbolic sanctuary into real, nonviolent protection. We believe that local businesses can become vital hubs in a network of compassionate grassroots defense.
On a personal level, disaster preparedness helps us move from fear, into love, toward action.
Funded by Oakland, CA (June 2017)