Journey to Black Safety Survey

The Journey to Black Safety Survey came together as a collaboration between KCEN, Equity Alliance of Washington, and First Place for Black residents of Martin Luther King Jr. County to share their insight on what safety means to them. Black safety is important because for centuries our community has been attacked and undermined in a multitude of ways. “I think it’s an opportune time coming out of the pandemic to talk with our Black community members and gather their feelings, ideas, hopes, and strategies around safety. Then we will take those gems and nuggets of information and create something new and powerful and bring it back to our people. We have to be the change we want to see,” says Evelyn Thomas Allen, President & Executive Director of the Equity Alliance of Washington. 

KCEN’s partner organizations came together to apply for these funds because, as Emijah Smith, Chief of Staff at KCEN says, “They have some proven models around housing and resources that work for families that can enhance safety.” Learning from those models as we implement the ideas from the community will be key in establishing a comprehensive approach to safety. It also impacts our health and well-being, so increased safety in our community will expand our life expectancy

All members of the Journey to Black Safety team care deeply about safety in our community. Jasmine Smith, one of KCEN’s interns adds, “Black safety is important to me because as a young Black woman I have to think twice about the choices I make everyday, hoping that a certain way I react in a situation doesn’t lead me to harm because of my race.” Khalia Carter, Operations Manager for KCEN said, “I would like to see fair and equitable communities that are policed the same as other communities regardless of racial demographics and economic statuses.”

When talking about safety even within the Journey to Black Safety team, it’s clear we all have a vision for what it could look like. This is why hearing from our community members is so key to creating new processes around safety. TraeAnna Holiday, Media Director for KCEN shares, “Getting on a journey to Black safety involves us going back to caring for each other in community. In my day, it was being raised by everyone even if they weren’t in my household. It was being held accountable by people other than my parents. It was ensuring that I showed up as the best version of myself on a daily basis.” Through some of the preliminary work, others have echoed the need to bring back historic practices that provided safety throughout our community.  

“Safety is also about investing in education, affordable healthcare, housing, public transportation, and jobs,” urges Pauline Gary of Equity Alliance of Washington. KCEN is passionate about addressing these faults and implementing positive yet effective solutions to rectify these issues. We would like our community to truly be able to enjoy our environment and all the amenities that should be afforded it. Take the survey today to be sure your voice is included in the creation of new safety solutions.

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