The Real Work is a 6-episode audio miniseries exploring transformative justice as a tool for preventing, addressing, and healing harm in Bay Area theater and beyond. Over the course of one year, nearly thirty local theater makers gathered monthly to learn together about transformative justice, under the facilitation of Mia Mingus, co-founder of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective. This podcast series documents our learnings with an aim to share out and grow our collective capacity to practice transformative justice, especially in our arts and activist spaces.

True to its name, The Real Work reveals the seemingly mundane relational practices we can engage with one another to build cultures of safety and thriving within our communities. From communication skills, giving and receiving feedback, and learning how to make good apologies, to understanding roots of harm, TJ illuminates patterns of violence and abuse and offers dynamic ways of taking accountability to fundamentally shift them.

This project is supported by an Investing in Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation

& the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, and was incubated with initial support from CalShakes.

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Transcript for Episode 1   A Kind of Origin Story
Includes Show Notes with Links & Information

Transcript for Episode 2   TJ 101
Includes Show Notes with Links & Information

How did The Real Work come to be? What were the conditions that set the stage (pun intended) for theater workers to come together to study & practice transformative justice? Let's find out...

On episode one, we got up to speed about the conditions that brought theater makers in the Bay Area to organize around TJ. This episode is dedicated to unpacking, at its core, what is TJ?

Our facilitator, Mia Mingus, used the metaphor of a fist to explain how, unlike our current severely punitive carceral system, TJ creates conditions that support folks to step up and take accountability when they’ve caused harm. In this episode, we explore how these systems have shaped us, and ask, how else can we respond to violence, harm, & abuse?

Transcript for Episode 3 Softening the Fist coming soon
Including Show Notes with Links & Information

We are producing ASL interpretation videos of each episode of our series to ensure accessibility for all.

Make a donation now to help us reach our goal. Donate via PayPal or become a sustainer on our Patreon.

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Transformative Justice: A Brief Description – entry from Mia Mingus's blog Leaving Evidence

Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective Resource Page — readings & media for further learning on transformative justice, accountability, & abolition

Interrupting Criminalization Help Desk — free consultation & thought partnering around intervention and ending violence without using the police