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11/6/2019 | Racial Justice

Inaugural Justice Transformation ‘Freedom Lab’ Held in Milwaukee, WI

At the start of October, CPD’s Justice Transformation team held the first ever ‘Freedom Lab’ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In partnership with Law for Black Lives and Policy Link, the two day event brought together CPD affiliates and allies, including including BLOC, LIT and the Liberate MKE campaign––which is calling for a $20 million divestment from the police department and investment into community priorities. 

Nearly 25 organizers from Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, and Detroit joined us to discuss challenges, opportunities, and lessons from ongoing and anticipated campaigns to demand municipalities shift resources away from policing and prisons towards community investments in health and well-being. 

Attendees discussed city budget analysis, and had a fishbowl conversation about campaign experiences––in which LIT staff masterfully presented their recent victory at the Milwaukee school board redirecting money from school-policing to trauma care. They did a deep dive into communications strategies, engaged with electoral politics/elected officials, and facilitated breakout sessions on lobbying, storytelling, participatory democracy, budgeting, and power mapping; a visual tool used by social advocates to identify the best individuals to target to promote social change. 

Together they developed a range of budgetary, campaign, narrative, organizing resources and tools to share together, with the anticipation of creating a more robust toolkit for affiliates and allies to use in their localities. The CPD Network will continue it’s vital work to end  discriminatory and oppressive policies that marginalize Black people and other communities of color and we cannot do this work alone. Please make a donation to support this important work today!