Just Beginnings Collaborative stands at the intersection of theory, practice, and resourcing. In close partnership with movement leaders working to remove systematic barriers and reduce harm, our Activist-in-Residence program embraces a cyclical process of thinking/doing, learning, and making as the path to transformative child sexual abuse prevention.
Activists-in-Residence are more than grantees or fellows; they are collaborators committed to a deep and sustained relationship to facilitate mutual learning and growth. As we accompany our residents in their work and listen closely to their needs, they join us in participatory research and hypothesis testing, the removal of systemic barriers to transformative approaches, and the building of practices that honor the experiences of children.
The Activist-in-Residence program aims, ultimately, to draw close and empower movement leaders already listening to and supporting those who our systems are not interested in keeping safe. Together, we are not only rethinking child sexual abuse prevention, but also modeling radical pathways for resourcing.
Shannon Perez-Darby (she/her)
A founding member of the Accountable Communities Consortium, Shannon Perez-Darby is a queer, mixed-race, Latina, anti-violence advocate, author, activist, and consultant working to create the conditions to support loving, equitable relationships and communities. With over 15 years of experience, Shannon centers queer and trans communities of color while working to address issues of domestic and sexual violence, mandatory reporting harm reduction, accountability, and abolition. Shannon resides and works in Unceded Duwamish and Coast Salish land (Seattle, WA).
During her residency, Shannon will focus on continuing to build and advance the work of Mandatory Reporting is Not Neutral (MRNN) in Washington state. Developed by a collective of current and former anti-violence advocates, MRNN works to share survivor stories about the impact of mandatory reporting, educate communities on harm reduction practices, and change the conditions that lead to violence and abuse. Some of Shannon’s activities during the residency program will include:
- Base building to increase community engagement with MRNN
- Developing and providing trainings and education on harm reduction and best practices
- Organizing for greater change
For JBC, transforming mandatory reporting is a critical step in reducing and ultimately removing the violence and harm caused by systems responses. Laws that require mandated reporters to report even suspected neglect or abuse prioritize punishment over the actual safety of children, fail to address family struggles rooted in conditions of oppression, and perpetuate harm through retributive practices designed to criminalize, separate, and control.