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A Highlight from the 3rd Annual National Symposium for State and Local Reparations

In a landmark event held in Evanston, Illinois, the 3rd Annual National Symposium for State and Local Reparations brought together over 200 activists from 26 states, united in their mission for reparative justice. Amidst this powerful gathering, a standout session led by Defining Humanity, in collaboration with FirstRepair, showcased an innovative approach to community empowerment and engagement.

The session was an immersive, hands-on workshop that transcended traditional dialogues on reparations, engaging participants in a tangible process of creation. By dividing into groups, attendees were equipped with a variety of tools to aid in the envisioning process. Scaled models and movable furniture pieces allowed for a dynamic exploration of space, enabling participants to physically manifest their ideas for the resource center.

Innovative visioning dot exercises and inclusive voting mechanisms ensured that every voice was heard, with each dot and vote representing a community's aspiration for the space. This participatory approach not only democratized the design process but also imbued the envisioned resource center with the collective spirit and desires of the community it aims to serve.

The envisioned resource center stands as a testament to what can be achieved when communities come together to dream and design. It's imagined as a vibrant hub that transcends the notion of safety to become a cradle of learning, innovation, and togetherness. In this space, the community's potential is not only recognized but actively nurtured, making it a true embodiment of reparative justice.

The session's outcome, rich with community-driven insights and designs, now lays the groundwork for the next steps in bringing the resource center from concept to reality. It represents a significant stride towards creating spaces that not only address historical injustices but also pave the way for a future where equity, learning, and community togetherness are interwoven into the fabric of everyday life.

As this visioning session illustrates, the path to transformative change and reparations is a collective journey that thrives on community engagement, creativity, and shared visions for the future. Defining Humanity and FirstRepair's collaborative effort at the 3rd Annual National Symposium for State and Local Reparations has not only highlighted the power of collective action but has also set a precedent for how communities can come together to design futures that reflect their deepest aspirations and needs.