Case Study: From Healing to Action, Something Great is Happening Across California

Through its Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice project, Californians for Safety and Justice is putting crime survivors at the center of public policy.

Californians for Safety and Justice has built a network of thousands of crime survivors who are advocating for a criminal justice system that prioritizes healing, prevention and treatment - not more prisons and jails. Crime survivors have advocated for new funding to open eight more trauma recovery centers in the state and helped pass historic criminal justice reforms.

In 2017, Change Consulting provided communications support for an inspiring series of events across California led by crime survivors. Survivors Speak, organized by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, featured regional events in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Stockton, and culminated in the fourth annual statewide convening at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

The theme of this year’s convening was “From Healing to Action,” lifting up the voices crime survivors, and providing attendees a platform to share their stories, honor their loved ones, call for new safety priorities that reflect their needs, and inspire others to join the movement.

Over five months, Change Consulting worked closely with Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and Californians for Safety and Justice to create and implement a communications strategy that combined earned media with digital and social media and thought leadership. To lay the foundation for consistent communications, we created a framework of content for the Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice team to reference throughout the series of events. This included core messaging and a communications toolkit with turn-key content for regional leaders to use in reaching out to their network and their audiences through various channels.

We also presented various options for the theme of this year’s convening before helping the team decide on “From Healing to Action,” and helped guide the branding process by working with a designer to create a logo.

The Survivors Speak events in Los Angeles, Stockton, and Sacramento captured the attention of media outlets across California, with outlets featuring individuals’ stories from the Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice regional chapters, and the successes of the larger network, in addition to coverage of the events themselves. Four members of the crime survivors network authored op-eds that outlined the needs of their communities and were featured in regional outlets. In total, Survivors Speak secured more than 70 media placements for the series of events.

To engage crime survivors, advocates, and community leaders, our communications strategy extended beyond traditional media relations. On March 30, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice hosted a Survivors Speak Twitter Day of Action. During the all-day social media event, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice prompted participants to share stories about their loved ones, call for reform, and honor those that have inspired them to move from healing to action. Tweets featuring the hashtag #SurvivorsSpeak were delivered to over one million timelines.

We also worked with the Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice team to build out an official mobile app for the event. The Survivors Speak 2017 app offered event logistics, Californians for Safety and Justice and Alliance for Safety and Justice resources, and enabled survivors to connect with each other during the convening. Throughout their time in Sacramento, attendees introduced themselves via the app, posted to the message board, and uploaded a steady stream of photos capturing their experiences.

When survivors speak, change happens. Congratulations to Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, CSSJ chapter leaders, partner organizations and event partners Ambassadors Circle and Girl Friday Events on a successful Survivors Speak 2017.

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