When someone harms us, we usually want them to own up to it and apologize, right? But when we cause harm to others, intentionally or not, is it easy to lay down our defenses and be accountable to them? (Hint: It’s usually not.)
Here’s why it’s not easy: Culturally and collectively in the U.S., we tend to lack the conditions, systems, and skills that support harm-doers in engaging with accountability. In this video, experts discuss the reasons that people cause harm, and explore what accountability processes might look like.
“We can support people who do harm by recognizing that we all cause harm,” says Elliott Fukui, a disability justice organizer, facilitator, and trainer. The acceptance of this mighty truth might be a good first step.
This video is part of the Building Accountable Communities video series from the Barnard Center for Research on Women. It features comments from adrienne maree brown, Stas Schmiedt, Lea Roth, Mimi Kim, RJ Maccani, Priya Rai, Mia Mingus, Martina Kartman, Elliott Fukui, Sonya Shah, Rachel Herzing, Shira Hassan, and Ann Russo, and was produced by Mariame Kaba, Dean Spade, and Hope Dector.
More from this series:
Ayu Sutriasa is the digital editor at YES!, where she edits stories in the health and wellness beat, in addition to specializing in gender and body politics. She currently lives on unceded Duwamish territory, also known as Seattle, Washington. She speaks English and French. Find more of her writing on Substack.