Ongoing Resilience Programs
As a follow-up to the Resilient Communities Roundtable we have identified projects and activities we'll be involved with through the winter and spring of 2012-13. If anything on the list below sparks your interest, please join us.
Local Investment Opportunities for a Stronger Community Future
Meetings will resume in September, 2013, Yaw Chapel on SJ Campus
People want their core values reflected in other aspects of their lives, including how they invest hard-earned or inherited income. Today’s standard practices for investing allow narrow options in this regard, and pose substantial risks. Few if any of them contribute directly to local community well-being, to the long-term economic resilience of people’s home towns. Strategies for local investing are starting to emerge, especially in response to the 2008 stock market decline. Examples include Local Investment Opportunities Networks (LION) that are being created in communities small and large.
The Institute is convening this forum to offer Sitkans the opportunity to explore and learn from
various local investing strategies. The initial meeting fostered interest in a working group continuing to explore investment opportunities that will strengthen Sitka’s resilience.
Steps to Ensuring Sitka’s Food Resilience
An adequate affordable food supply is essential for any community to be resilient. The stakes go up when a huge proportion of a coastal island community’s food is shipped in by water and air, driving up costs and making the supply vulnerable to external circumstances (e.g. a break in barge service, rising shipping oil costs). And when the local climate and growing season pose significant challenges to farming / gardening that might allow for a level of self-sufficiency. Sitka has strong traditions of subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering, but not all households have easy access to the woods and waters or know the area’s edible plants. Steps have been taken to encourage more local food gardens, though not everyone has adequate space to grow enough food for their family.
To help the community better understand the realities behind all these factors, the Institute is partnering with the Sitka Community Food Assesssment WorkingGgroup to put together a comprehensive food assessment as a step toward developing a strategic plan for Sitka’s food resilience. A Ccommunity Food Survey has just been completed, and a Food Summit will be held in November to share our findings with the community before taking further steps on food security planning. The Working Group's ongoing meetings are open to the public and will be posted on our Upcoming Events calendar.
Coping with Grief and Fear Related to Global Planetary Threats
A Community Gathering | Date to be announced
Threats to the planet and the stability of our lives are mounting on many fronts. Climate change is
at the forefront. Environmental degradation and rapid loss of species is close behind, as is the instability of regional, national and global economies. Our tendency often is to distract ourselves from news stories about economic issues, from the increasingly frequent warnings of scientists. We prefer to believe everything will return to “normal.” But the distractions do little to assuage the fears that are lodged just below the surface and the accompanying grief for losses—of homes, jobs, favorite places—already sustained. This fear and grief affects young and old, often moving people toward despair.
Using the expertise of local grief counselors, our gathering on this theme will allow people to turn to each other for consolation and courage, and for constructive coping strategies and tools that can help build and sustain personal resilience. Such personal resilience is the backbone of resilient communities.