The current vision and mission are continuously being updated. Please see the current draft below but know that all found in this group is a work in progress.
West Chester Alliance for Social Justice
Vision: A West Chester Community that is a safe place for a diversity of residents to thrive, where people are actively working on social justice issues.
Mission: To provide access to education, community, and action around social justice issues in the community of West Chester, PA.
West Chester Allies is a grassroots platform for social justice action and education. Established in response to the murder of George Floyd and the desire to act to improve our community, the group will work to support movements such as Black Lives Matter and will engage in work on a variety of social justice topics such as anti-racism education, LGBTQ+, womens’ rights, poverty and economic justice, and more. The work of the group will be defined by its members and their interests.
The group will operate by the following principles:
- Voices of People of Color and other marginalized groups will be centered and amplified. For example, if we are discussing issues related to racism, the lived experience of people of color will always be amplified and prioritized – never debated or questioned.
- We will make mistakes, we will be accountable for our mistakes, and we will be accountable for repair. Please see the group resources on how to respond when being called out/in (link).
- We will prioritize coalition building and coordinating vs building our own programs. We will aim to create broader coalitions and support existing efforts. Others in our community have put many years into building programs and knowledge, and we will recognize the value of their labor and learning.
Where does this group work and who can be a part of it?
This group was created for working on social justice issues the West Chester area. The idea behind this more narrow geographic focus is that we can focus on a wide range of social justice-related issues. The more narrow geographic focus also allows for us to build community, which is an essential part of combatting prejudice. People who live outside of West Chester are welcome in this group if they wish to work on social justice issues in West Chester and/or if they are here to learn and perhaps replicate this kind of work in their own communities. The events section will show both local events and regional events so that we can stand in solidarity with others doing this work in our region. Thanks for your continued patience as be build structure for this very new group.
How was the group started?
The West Chester Alliance for Justice was founded on May 30, 2020 by Sarah MacElroy and Emily Arnold. Sarah had gathered friends and other community members to demonstrate in the West Chester Borough in response to the killing of George Floyd by police and in solidarity with protests around the country demanding an end to police brutality. Emily was among the approximately 30 people to attend the May 30th protest, after which Emily and Sarah discussed a shared desire for continued activism, outreach, and a way to coordinate social justice engagement in the community. West Chester Alliance for Social Justice was created to be this coordination and convening platform for social justice action and education.