“Building Transformational Resilience for Climate Change Traumas and Toxic Stresses”

ACEsConnection

An event hosted by ACE’s Connection

You are invited to watch the webinar together at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 129 NW E Street, Grants Pass, OR – to share the learning.

September 10, 2019 11:00 am

You can sign up now here. Copy/paste this into your browser: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VcuqXdZJTp-HeD5PLJQrIQ

You will learn:

• how climate change creates personal, family, and community traumas and toxic stresses;
• how those traumatic stressors trigger feedbacks that expand and aggravate ACEs and many other person, social, community, and societal maladies;
• why current approaches are woefully inadequate to address what is already occurring and rapidly steaming toward us and why prevention is the only realistic solution;
• the framework for prevention we call Transformational Resilience that includes resilience education and skills-development focused on both Presencing and Purposing skills.


Speakers:
Bob Doppelt, Executive Director, The Resource Innovation Group, and Founder and Coordinator of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC).

The International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC) is a network of over 400 mental health, social service, social justice, climate, emergency response, faith, and other professionals working to prevent harmful personal, family, community, and societal maladies resulting from climate change generated traumas and toxic stresses by ensuring that every adult and child in the U.S. and worldwide learns preventative Presencing (self-regulation) and Purposing (adversity-based growth) information and skills.

Please submit any questions to: alison.cebulla.aces@gmail.com

A Nation of Weavers

An excellent article on the importance of building “radical mutuality”, by David Brooks:

The social renaissance is happening from the ground up.

David Brooks

By David Brooks

Opinion Columnist

Photo by Gabriela Bhaskar for The New York TimesGabriela Bhaskar for The New York Times

I start with the pain. A couple times a week I give a speech somewhere in the country about social isolation and social fragmentation. Very often a parent comes up to me afterward and says, “My daughter took her life when she was 14.” Or, “My son died of an overdose when he was 20.”

Their eyes flood with tears. I don’t know what to say. I squeeze a shoulder just to try to be present with them, but the crying does not stop. As it turns to weeping they rush out of the auditorium and I am left with my own futility. What can I say to these parents? What can I say to the parents still around who don’t yet know they may soon become those parents?

This kind of pain is an epidemic in our society. When you cover the sociology beat as I do, you see other kinds of pain. The African-American woman in Greenville who is indignant because young black kids in her neighborhood face injustice just as gross as she did in 1953. The college student in the Midwest who is convinced that she is the only one haunted by compulsive thoughts about her own worthlessness. The Trump-supporting small-business man in Louisiana who silently clenches his fists in rage as guests at a dinner party disparage his whole way of life.

These different kinds of pain share a common thread: our lack of healthy connection to each other, our inability to see the full dignity of each other, and the resulting culture of fear, distrust, tribalism, shaming and strife.

On Dec. 7, 1941, countless Americans saw that their nation was in peril and walked into recruiting stations. We don’t have anything as dramatic as Pearl Harbor, but when 47,000 Americans kill themselves every year and 72,000 more die from drug addiction, isn’t that a silent Pearl Harbor? When the basic norms of decency, civility and truthfulness are under threat, isn’t that a silent Pearl Harbor? Aren’t we all called at moments like these to do something extra?

My something extra was starting something nine months ago at the Aspen Institute called Weave: The Social Fabric Project. The first core idea was that social isolation is the problem underlying a lot of our other problems. The second idea was that this problem is being solved by people around the country, at the local level, who are building community and weaving the social fabric. How can we learn from their example and nationalize their effect?

We traveled around the country and found them everywhere. We’d plop into big cities like Houston and small towns like Wilkesboro, N.C., and we’d find 25 to 100 community “Weavers” almost immediately. This is a movement that doesn’t know it’s a movement.

Some of them work at organizations: a vet who helps other mentally ill vets in New Orleans; a guy who runs a boxing gym in Appalachian Ohio where he nominally teaches young men boxing, but really teaches them life; a woman who was in the process of leaving the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago when she saw two little girls playing with broken bottles in the empty lot across the street. She turned to her husband and said: We’re not moving away from that. We’re not going to be just another family that abandoned this place.

Many others do their weaving in the course of everyday life — because that’s what neighbors do. One lady in Florida said she doesn’t have time to volunteer, but that’s because she spends 40 hours a week looking out for local kids and visiting sick folks in the hospital. We go into neighborhoods and ask, “Who is trusted here?” In one neighborhood it was the guy who collects the fees at the parking garage.

We’re living with the excesses of 60 years of hyperindividualism. There’s a lot of emphasis in our culture on personal freedom, self-interest, self-expression, the idea that life is an individual journey toward personal fulfillment. You do you. But Weavers share an ethos that puts relationship over self. We are born into relationships, and the measure of our life is in the quality of our relationships. We precedes me.

Whether they live in red or blue America, they often use the same terms and embody the same values — deep hospitality, showing up for people and keep showing up. They are somewheres, not anywheres — firmly planted in their local community. I met one guy in Ohio who began his work by standing in the town square with a sign: “Defend Youngstown.”

The phrase we heard most was “the whole person.” Whether you are a teacher, a nurse or a neighbor, you have to see and touch the whole person — the trauma, the insecurities and the dreams as much as the body and the brain.

But the trait that leaps out above all others is “radical mutuality”: We are all completely equal, regardless of where society ranks us. “I am broken; I need others to survive,” an afterschool program leader in Houston told us. “We don’t do things for people. We don’t do things to people. We do things with people,” said a woman who builds community for teenagers in New Orleans.

Being around these people has been one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. Obviously, it’s made me want to be more neighborly, to be more active and intentional in how I extend care.

But it has also changed my moral lens. I’ve become so impatient with the politicians I cover! They are so self-absorbed! Social scientists tell us that selfishness is natural, people are motivated by money, power and status. But Weavers are not motivated by any of these things. They want to live in right relation with others and to serve the community good.

Their example has shown me that we don’t just have a sociological problem; we have a moral problem. We all create a shared moral ecology through the daily decisions of our lives. When we stereotype, abuse, impugn motives and lie about each other, we’ve ripped the social fabric and encouraged more ugliness. When we love across boundaries, listen patiently, see deeply and make someone feel known, we’ve woven it and reinforced generosity. As Charles Péguy said, “The revolution is moral or not at all.”
Get a more personal, less conventional take on political developments, newsmakers, cultural milestones and more with Frank Bruni’s exclusive commentary every week.

So the big question is: How do we take the success the Weavers are having on the local level and make it national? The Weavers are building relationships one by one, which takes time. Relationships do not scale.

But norms scale. If you can change the culture, you can change behavior on a large scale. If you can change the lens through which people see the world, as these Weavers have changed mine, then you can change the way people want to be in the world and act in the world. So that’s our job. To shift the culture so that it emphasizes individualism less and relationalism more.

Culture changes when a small group of people, often on the margins of society, find a better way to live, and other people begin to copy them. These Weavers have found a better way to live. We at Weave — and all of us — need to illuminate their example, synthesize their values so we understand what it means to be a relationalist and not an individualist. We need to create hubs where these decentralized networks can come together for solidarity and support. We need to create a shared Weaver identity. In 1960, few people called themselves feminists. By 1980, millions did. Just creating that social identity and that sense of mutual purpose is an act of great power.

I guess my ask is that you declare your own personal declaration of interdependence and decide to become a Weaver instead of a ripper. This is partly about communication. Every time you assault and stereotype a person, you’ve ripped the social fabric. Every time you see that person deeply and make him or her feel known, you’ve woven it.

We also need to have faith in each other. Right now, millions of people all over are responding to the crisis we all feel. We in the news media focus on Donald Trump and don’t cover them, but they are the most important social force in America right now. Renewal is building, relationship by relationship, community by community. It will spread and spread as the sparks fly upward.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

David Brooks has been a columnist with The Times since 2003. He is the author of “The Road to Character” and the forthcoming book, “The Second Mountain.”

Blue Zones Project – Grants Pass

GP KO Blog.png

“Using secrets discovered in the original Blue Zones—rare longevity hotspots around the world—we help transform communities into thriving places to live, work, eat, and play.”  Blue Zones Project

Blue Zones Project–Grants Pass started the new year with a free and family-friendly public Kickoff celebration.

Held at Grants Pass High School on January 20th, the Kickoff attracted more than 600 community members who spent their afternoon exploring ways to be healthier and happier, and learning how to help improve the well-being of their community.

The upbeat Kickoff featured demonstrations by Club Northwest of tai chi, yoga, and aerobics, as well as a rousing performance by the Grants Pass High School Jazz Band.  Attendees enjoyed a wellness fair featuring local well-being organizations and resources.

A highlight of the event was a panel discussion hosted by Dr. Robin Miller, well-known author and KOBI-TV health expert. The panel featured Peggy Maguire, president of Blue Zones Project leadership funder, Cambia Health Foundation, and Sarah Foster, executive director of Oregon Healthiest State, a Blue Zones Project partner.

At the heart of the Kickoff was a keynote presentation by Nick Buettner, one of the original Blue Zones researchers and current Blue Zones community and corporate program director. After discussing the lifestyles and secrets of people living in the original Blue Zones around the globe, Buettner asked the crowd to make a personal commitment to their own and their community’s well-being. Nearly 300 people signed the pledge to make healthy lifestyle changes in their own lives.

“Community leaders and volunteers have worked hard over the last few months to develop our strategic plan and this Kickoff event is the official launch of Blue Zones Project in our community. We hope individuals and families will join us to learn and experience how we can all live longer, better lives,” said Diana Hoover, Blues Zones Project community program manager. “By focusing on helping change the settings where people spend most of their time we can make healthy choices easier, and we can make Grants Pass an even better place to live, work, learn, pray, and play.”

Blue Zones Kickoff events follow the expansion of a community well-being transformation strategy led by Oregon Healthiest State, an initiative focused on supporting communities in building a culture of health. Blue Zones Project was brought to Oregon by Cambia Health Foundation in support of Oregon Healthiest State. Community champions Asante Health System, AllCare Health, Primary Health of Josephine County, and Siskiyou Community Health Center are providing support for the Grants Pass initiative. Office space is being donated by Club Northwest.

“Our vision is for Oregon to be the healthiest state in the nation” Sarah Foster of Oregon Healthiest State told the audience. “To do this we have partnered with Blue Zones Project to create opportunities for lasting well-being transformation. It is so inspiring to see the Grant Pass initiative move from planning to implementation, especially knowing how much local thinking and leadership is guiding the work. The Kickoff celebration is an exciting milestone in the life of the initiative and I am greatly looking forward to it.”

BlueZoneGrantsPassTeam
Blue Zones Project – Grants Pass Team  

Hoover Diane circle.jpgDiane Hoover
Before serving for six years at the Josephine County Health Department, Hoover spent 26 years in the United States Navy Medical Service Corps.  Her role, as Community Program Manager for the Blue Zones Project, will be to direct the execution of the initiative; to work directly with advocates, leaders, and volunteers; and to help drive policy priorities set by the community.

George Prokop circle.jpg

George Prokop
Having previously launched programs and services worldwide while working for Hewlett-Packard for 30 years, Prokop brings a broad set of experiences to the team. He will be responsible for planning, executing, and finalizing projects while ensuring that programs stay aligned with Blue Zones Project strategies.

Cort D. Cox circle.jpg

Cort Cox
Cox joins the Grants Pass Blue Zones team after two years with the Blue Zones Project—Klamath Falls initiative. Cox is passionate about working closely with the community to create positive individual change.  His role will focus on driving communication efforts for the initiative while managing activities to inspire people to engage with Blue Zones Project practices and resources.

Denise Kalic circle.jpg

Denise Kalic
With more than 20 years of experience in sales and business development, most recently with Harry & David and Lithia Motors, Kalic will be working directly with organizations across the region including grocery stores, schools, and worksites, helping them create settings that encourage improved well-being for the people they serve.

A COMMUNITY-WIDE APPROACH TO WELL-BEING

We don’t just rely on individual behavior change. We improve community health by making permanent and semi-permanent changes on multiple levels. We improve or optimize city streets (smoking policies, bike lanes, sidewalks), public spaces (parks, lakes, walking paths), schools (cafeterias, safe walking paths to school), restaurants, grocery stores, employers, faith-based organizations, and community involvement.

EFFECTIVE . IMPACTFUL . SUSTAINABLE .