Have you or someone you know been the victim of a traffic crash? Join us on May 12
Families for Safe Streets will host an online gathering led by a social worker and trauma survivor
We all are feeling the ups and downs of our shelter-in-place environment. But for those who have been affected by a traffic crash, social isolation can be truly formidable, accentuating isolation, anxiety, and heartbreak.
Enter Families for Safe Streets, with 14 chapters across the country uniting people whose lives have been upended by traffic violence: either having lost a loved one in a traffic crash or having survived a traffic crash themselves.
Families for Safe Streets chapters (including right here in the Bay Area) regularly bring together members to share their stories, comfort each other, and turn grief into action by advocating for changes to keep everyone safe when walking and biking.
So when stay-at-home orders rolled out and abruptly ended intimate gatherings for Families for Safe Streets members, I joined fellow organizers in a conversation about how we could find a way to bridge our chapters and provide solace. As someone who is not directly affected by traffic violence, I am continually inspired by Families for Safe Streets members’ resourcefulness, positivity, and willingness to find constructive solutions in the face of devastation.
And so I found myself on ZOOM at 6AM this past Monday, brainstorming with DC chapter co-lead, Christy Kwan, New York organizer Chana Widowsky, and New York founding member Judy Kottick. Christy had just lost a friend to COVID-19, and Judy was still recovering from her own three-week battle with the virus. I could see an uncharacteristically empty New York Street in the background during our conversation.
Together, we brainstormed an online gathering of mind, body, and spirit to help people to connect their personal stories to the events happening around us, hear how others are dealing with the situation, gather ideas and resources… and most of all, find grounding and strength among peers.
The May 12 online event (7:30PM Eastern / 6:30PM Central / 4:30PM Pacific) will be facilitated by Aviva Perlo, a licensed social worker, and director of Creative Coping, who is herself a trauma survivor. It will include a brief presentation, followed by breakout room conversations to enable people to gather with peers who have experienced crashes similar to their own.
As of this writing, we have heard from members in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
We may be physically isolating, but we don’t need to be isolated.
If you have been personally impacted by traffic violence, I hope you will join us on Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30PM Eastern / 6:30PM Central / 4:30PM Pacific.
Learn more about San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets. San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets receives support and guidance from Walk San Francisco.