City of Cambridge Launches Needs Assessment Focused on Domestic Violence Survivors of Color

The City of Cambridge is beginning a needs assessment to evaluate and clarify justice needs for survivors of color who have experienced domestic and gender-based violence. These efforts, being led by the city’s Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative (DGBVPI), are part of a larger community-based effort where several entities, including local non-profit organizations and community groups are assessing best practices in providing comprehensive and inclusive support of all members of the Cambridge community. This needs assessment is a step that will amplify the needs of minoritized survivors within the Cambridge community.

“The DGBVPI is uniquely positioned to collaborate with City departments as well as community service providers and survivors to understand the challenges and opportunities in Cambridge for better serving survivors of color,” said DGBVPI Coordinator, Liz Speakman.

The City has partnered with Start By Talking, LLC. (SBT), a Georgia-based anti-racism education and assessment company that supports leaders and organizations in understanding their relationship with oppression and White Supremacy through executive coaching, organizational assessment, online education, and training on the Anti-Oppressive Advocacy® framework. Founder Wanda Swan serves as the lead consultant and is excited to support Cambridge in this leg of their journey of exploring equity for all its citizens.

“Traditional philosophies and systems of care for survivors cater to a White-centered narrative and approach that often leaves survivors of color othered and isolated,” said Wanda Swan. “This opportunity is a brave one that will nuance that traditional narrative and give some clarity around how an anti-oppressive approach to survivor care that centers marginalized lived experiences can better serve all survivors.”

SBT is in the preliminary stages of conducting their assessment and has partnered with the DGBVPI to create Needs Assessment Advisory and Steering Committees, comprised of City of Cambridge staff, non-profit employees and community members. The Advisory and Steering committee members will meet regularly to help guide the process and receive anti-oppressive training. They are slated to make the survey and focus group opportunities available to survivors of color who reside in Cambridge as early as October and are encouraging all to participate. SBT and the DGBVPI will be widely promoting opportunities for participation in surveys and focus groups through the City of Cambridge and local communication channels as well as social media platforms. If you are interested in learning more or adding your name to our list of interested participants, please email Liz Speakman at espeakman@cambridgema.gov.
Page was posted on 9/15/2021 11:48 AM
Page was last modified on 9/15/2021 11:48 AM
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