Building Your Abolitionist Toolbox

Everyday Resources for a Punishment-Free World

Graphic notes by Laura Chow Reeve / Radical Roadmaps

What’s Structural Harm Got To Do With It?

with Jasmyn Story

"Native scholar Greg Cajete has written that in indigenous ways of knowing, we understand a thing only when we understand it with all four aspects of our being: mind, body, emotion, and spirit."

- Robin Wall Kimmerer

This session is about understanding harm from all aspects of our being. In our journey to witness, support, acknowledge, and heal, we can expand our understanding of moments of conflict, violence, or discord if we leave room for exploring the role structural and historical violence played in both the intent and the impact. We will discuss how structural and historical harm interplay with intergenerational and life span trauma. This trauma is deserving of support and witnessing in our processes.

In this session, we will explore how to utilize the concept of "Inflamed Structural and Inflamed Historical Harm" in our healing-centered justice processes. We will define the concept, discuss how it can be used, practice with virtual case studies, and discuss micro ways of implementing the usage of the tool.

Jasmyn Elise Story (they/them) is an international Restorative Justice Facilitator, Doula, and the founder of Honeycomb Justice and Freedom Farm Azul. Named one of Vice's 31 People Making History by Creating a Better Future, they are a dedicated human rights activist with a decade of experience working in the voluntary sector. As the former Deputy Director of Social Justice & Racial Equity for the Office of the Mayor of Birmingham, Jasmyn co-led the launch of the State of Alabama's first government sustained Women's Initiative. This decentralized movement aims to interrupt the cycles of harm plaguing Birmingham's women, children, trans, and non-binary folk. After completing their M.A. in Human Rights at the University College London, they are currently completing their Ph.D. as a third-generation Tuskegee University student.If as Melanie Brazzell theorizes, safety is “a toolkit to be deployed,” then abolitionists want to increase the number of tools that are salutary and get rid of the tools that don’t actually serve us.


Honeycomb Justice Handout