Workshop Number: 15
Leaders: Tori Bateman, Peniel Ibe
Who May Register?: Open to All
Worship/Worship-Sharing: 10%
Lecture: 50%
Discussion: 25%
Experiential Activities: 15%

Who May Attend?
part-time attenders welcome (can come any session)

Communities want healthcare and housing, not weapons, war, and abusive policing systems – and people across the country are speaking out by participating in budget building! Join us to create your community’s “ideal” budget and learn how to make budget advocacy accessible to the people impacted by government spending.

Workshop Description

At the grassroots level, immigrant leaders are asking their communities— if you could use the billions of dollars spent on immigration detention each year on something else, what would it be?

At the state level, community organizers are asking— why do state budgets include tax cuts for the wealthy and funding for police departments, while underfunding essential state programs?

And at the federal level, policy advocates are asking why over half of the federal budget is going towards weapons, war, and abusive law enforcement agencies, instead of being used for the wellbeing of communities in the United States and internationally.

Budgets are moral documents, reflecting the things in our lives, communities and society in which we place value. Join us in exploring participatory budgeting using the learnings from Quaker Social Change Ministry (QSCM). By drawing from QSCM, this workshop will employ a transformative approach that combines Spirit and action in participatory budgeting emphasizing the need to build covenantal relationships, and center communities most impacted by injustice.

In this participatory workshop, you will work with others to visualize your community’s “ideal” budget, and then hear from speakers on how they have managed to make budget advocacy accessible to the people who will be impacted by local, state, and federal spending. 

By the end of the workshop, attendees will have gained a sense of what issues can be addressed in budget processes at the local, state, and federal level, and generated ideas for how to engage their community in building a better budget together. We will reflect together on what we’ve learned from “moral budget” processes and the pandemic, and what these things mean for participatory budgeting in the future. 

No materials costs. Please bring a laptop with you for research during the workshop. Recommended readings include the National Priorities Project’s “State of Insecurity” report (here), and watch AFSC’s webinar on the appropriations process as it relates to immigration detention (here). These readings are not required for attendance, but will help build your familiarity with background on issues and budget processes.


Leader Experience

Peniel and Tori work in the American Friends Service Committee’s advocacy office in Washington, DC. They have led faith-based advocacy efforts on economic justice, sustainable peace, and migration justice, and work to funnel national resources to our communities instead of corporations, carceral systems, and war.

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