As Company Directors of a new Community Interest Company, we have spent some time over the Christmas season thinking about our ethos and the vision for Safeguarding Provision C.I.C.
In advocating for, empowering and protecting the vulnerable, and in equipping others to do the same we will work towards interrupting injustice.
The concept of interrupting injustice is drawn from a section of Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (Clairborne et al 2012) entitled "Peacemaking".
"Peace is not just about the absence of conflict; it's also about the presence of justice. ... A counterfeit peace exists when people are pacified or distracted or so beat up and tired of fighting that all seems calm. But true peace does not exist until there is justice, restoration, forgiveness. Peacemaking doesn't mean passivity. It is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice. It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free."
Peace and justice mean different things to different people. For us the key is in creating safe organisations and communities where the likelihood of hostility, conflict, abuse or other injustice is minimised. It is then about ensuring that where hostility, conflict, abuse or other injustice occurs that there are effective systems in place for recognising and responding appropriately to this - interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice. It is about empowering communities and individuals to access appropriate justice systems, as well as relevant services and support, advocating on their behalf where this access is not possible. We plan to develop tools for achieving restoration and forgiveness, where appropriate, for those that wish to use these approaches when injustice has occurred. Interrupting injustice will involve working in collaboration with individuals, organisations, communities and the Welsh Government in order to ensure improved approaches to achieving peace and justice for all in Wales, driving societal change where this is necessary.
We recognise that this is radical, ambitious and challenging. It may seem overwhelming, unrealistic and unachievable as it stands. However, this approach will provide the overarching umbrella, our ethos, under which individual, achievable and more narrowly focused projects will sit. Each project will have an individual vision, narrower community interest, and will build on best practice in relevant fields through an evidence and research based approach. Each project design will ensure close involvement with the communities that we wish to serve. We will provide updates on individual projects as we finalise the details over the coming months.