Other Group

Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative

Website:

www.snap4freedom.org/home%20

Location:

Atlanta, Georgia

Formation:

2013

Type:

Left-of-center activist group

Fiscal Sponsor:

Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs

Executive Director:

Toni-Michelle Williams

Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative is a left-of-center activist group focused on criminal justice and Black transgender and “queer” issues. The group calls for the abolition of the police, the decriminalization of prostitution, and the repeal of numerous laws, including prohibitions on disorderly conduct and public indecency.

Founding and History

Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative was founded in 2013 as a project of the Racial Justice Action Center in collaboration with LaGender, Transforming, and Women on the Rise to organize against prohibitions on prostitution in Atlanta. From its formation until 2020, the organization was part of the Racial Justice Action Center, but in 2020 it was spun off as an independent organization. [1] [2] [3] It is sponsored by Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a left-of-center fiscal sponsor and nonprofit incubator. [4]

Finances

As a fiscally sponsored project, Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative does not file independent financial statements. However, the 2020 impact report from Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation indicates that it sent the group a grant of over “six figures” that year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. [5] The project has also received support in the past from the LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund. [6]

Issues and Activities

Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative is focused on Black transgender and “queer community” issues in the metro Atlanta area, specifically related to criminal justice and policing. The SNAP4Freedom School is a weekend community activist training program based on a black transgender feminist framework. [7] During the summer of 2021 the group is running a music contest for songs based on the themes of Black liberation, police and prison abolition, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The winners will be compiled into an album entitled “Break Up With 12,” the number 12 referring to the police. [8]

The group also facilitates the Atlanta Trans Leadership Project that works with a coalition of organizations and businesses to advance Black, transgender, and queer projects. [9] Solutions Not Punishments Collaborative also administers the Taking Care of Our Own Bund that provides resources to Black, transgender, and queer people for housing, food and clothing, and bail. [10]

In 2016 the Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative released a report entitled “The Most Dangerous Thing Out There is the Police,” arguing that Black transgender people were being unjustly targeted by the Atlanta police. Specifically, the report argued that the Atlanta Police Department is sexually assaulting Black trans people, that the Atlanta Police Department has a pattern of profiling black trans people, and that encounters with the Atlanta Police make trans people less safe. The report calls for several policy measures to be implemented, including repealing numerous laws and regulations, such as laws prohibiting disorderly conduct, public indecency, obstructing traffic, and disorderly conduct while under the influence. The report also calls for the decriminalization of prostitution and government-provided job training and resources for trans people. [11]

The Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative promotes the normalization of transgender lifestyles through events such as a campaign to recognize transgender mothers and caretakers and to advance the idea of “gender-expansive parenting.” The campaign uses the hashtag “#SNAPCoxMamasDay.” [12]

People

Toni-Michelle Williams is the current executive director of the Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative and has been involved with the group since 2015. She has a history of community activism and has been described as a “social justice crusader.” [13]

References

  1. LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund “The Solutions Not Punishment Coalition.” Accessed June 28, 2021. http://www.lgbtqracialjusticefund.org/grantees/snapco/. ^
  2. Solutions Not Punishment Co. “About.” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://www.snap4freedom.org/about. ^
  3. RJAC. “VICTORIES.” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://www.rjactioncenter.org/our-history. ^
  4.  “Solutions NOT Punishment Collaborative : Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE).” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://saveourplanet.org/projects/solutions-not-punishment-collaborative/. ^
  5. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. “BLACK LIVES MATTER 2020 IMPACT REPORT.” Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, 2021. Accessed June 28, 2021. https://blacklivesmatter.com/2020-impact-report/ ^
  6. LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund “The Solutions Not Punishment Coalition.” Accessed June 28, 2021. http://www.lgbtqracialjusticefund.org/grantees/snapco/. ^
  7. Solutions Not Punishment Co. “SNAP4Freedom School.” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://www.snap4freedom.org/snap4freedom-school. ^
  8. Solutions Not Punishment Co. “Break Up with 12.” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://www.snap4freedom.org/breakupwith12. ^
  9. Solutions Not Punishment Co. “Atlanta Trans Leadership.” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://www.snap4freedom.org/atlanta-trans-leadership. ^
  10. Solutions Not Punishment Co. “Taking Care of Our Own Fund.” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://www.snap4freedom.org/takingcareofourown. ^
  11. Solutions Not Punishment. “‘The Most Dangerous Thing Out Here Is The Police.’” 2016. Accessed June 28, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c8fc2dea56827f5c3c806c2/t/5d307889fc077d00017e2e72/1563457688383/DangerPolice+Full+Report.pdf ^
  12. Solutions Not Punishment Co. “#SNAPCoxMamasDay.” Accessed June 28, 2021. https://www.snap4freedom.org/mamasday. ^
  13. Needle, Chael. “Toni-Michelle Williams: Advocate.” AU Magazine, August 21, 2019. Accessed June 28, 2021. https://aumag.org/2019/08/21/toni-michelle-williams-advocate/. ^
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