The Community Resilience Project

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the work we do at OrganizingTogether. In partnership with The Fledge, we have pivoted towards the crucial aspects of our mission focused on community resiliency.

We have identified four categories of resiliency; social equity, food security, waste management, and sustainable energy. To help Lansing reach its full potential, we will be dedicating all investments and labor towards these categories.

The Community Resiliency Project is a social movement that is predicated on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and principles of abundance. This project includes grants and community investments, a learning curriculum for the residents of Lansing, Michigan, software development, and capacity building for organizations looking to virtualize their industry, restorative justice town halls, and engagement with local and state government agencies.

What is community resiliency?

Community resilience is the sustained ability of a community to use available resources (energy, communication, transportation, food, etc.) to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations (e.g. economic collapse to global catastrophic risks) (Bosher and Chmutina 2017).

Humans are a collaborative species. It’s through our collective action that we have modern medicine, sanitation, clean water, and an abundance of food. Sadly, human greed has led to inequality and injustice. To be resilient, or to respond to problems that arise, we are always better equipped when we work together and solicit a diversity of opinions and expertise.

The Community Resiliency Project combines strategies for collaborative decision-making and technology. Community residents are supported to take part in participatory action research and learning projects to develop strategies, manufacture goods, and build relationships through mediated reconciliation town halls.

To ensure the adequate distribution of resources and community investment in resilient organizations, OrganizingTogether and The Fledge want to hear from the Lansing community. We want residents to shape the narrative and drive the mission.

To do this, we have adopted a participatory methodology drawing on Participatory action research (PAR). PAR is an approach to research that seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively and following reflection.

PAR emphasizes collective inquiry and experimentation grounded in experience and social history. PAR rests on two principles: the pursuit of social change and the democratization of the knowledge process.

Actions Speak Louder than words

PAR methods include: participatory observation, community meetings, resource mapping, problem identification and visioning, transect walks, testimonials, theatre, personal / family / community diaries, timeline analysis, public dialogues, engagement with state authorities / investors / others, events and processes to reflect and learn from these, use of media, community exchange, and the co-creation of programming.

Individuals, entrepreneurs, organizers, businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies all have a stake in our collective future. OrganizingTogether at The Fledge plans to engage 200 Lansing-based organizations by June 2020 and will will hold weekly visioning and planning sessions that are open to the public and recorded.

Our goals is to solicited feedback from every member of the community by the end of the project through online open town halls, mail and online surveys, and community art projects.

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