Connecting to Build Resilience

Submitted by Christie Nash on March 9, 2016 - 4:03am
Seekers Journal

Dear learner,

"Communities that are resilient have the ability to sustain a sense of hope and purpose while adapting creatively in the face of challenges." Sylvia Cheuy

The case for cultivating community resilience is most often linked to the issue of disaster preparedness, however, its value is greater. Community resilience provides neighbourhoods and communities with the ability to respond effectively - and creatively - to challenges related to health, education, employment or community infrastructure (such as housing or public transportation).

In this March 2016 edition of The Seekers Journal we provide you with notable resources that build the case for investing in social infrastructure as well as inspiring stories of neighbours coming together to build vibrant communities. Deepening Community is also excited to bring a brilliant Spring 2016 learning series to our members. We have monthly webinars lined up including Abundant Community Edmonton on March 23rd with Anne Harvey and Howard Lawrence. This initiative is part of a large movement that is neighbourhood focused, citizen centered and gift based and this webinar will explore ways to create more connected and capable neighbourhoods.

We are also working closely with Anne and Howard to bring our Deepening Community: Resilient Neighbourhoods · When People Care gathering to Edmonton, Alberta from June 7-9, 2016. At this year's national three-day gathering we will revive your hope in the power of residents and community. Discover the inspiration, connections, knowledge and tools that you need in order to connect, engage and mobilize residents. Deepening Community will inspire and support you in nurturing thriving, inclusive and resilient communities.

We hope to see you there! 

We always love to hear your stories and learn from your resources! Connect with us online at or on Twitter. 

Happy reading! 

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The Case for Cultivating Community Resilience


By: Sylvia Cheuy

Communities today are shaped and impacted by a myriad of complex issues and their ability to respond effectively. Communities that are resilient have the ability to sustain a sense of hope and purpose while adapting creatively in the face of challenges. Neighbourhoods and communities eager to develop their capacity for resilience will be inspired by Creating Resilient Communities: A How-To Resource Guide. It provides a comprehensive set of resources and case examples that illustrate the impact and value of cultivating community resilience.

The three primary ingredients of community resilience are: community resources, collaboration and collective action. Ultimately, it requires focusing on assets and emphasizing "... the existence, development and engagement of community resources by community members to thrive in an environment characterized by change, uncertainty, unpredictability and surprise."
The case for cultivating community resilience is most often linked to the issue of disaster preparedness however its value is much broader than that as it is equally important in providing neighbourhoods and communities with the ability to respond effectively - and creatively - to challenges related to health, education, employment or community infrastructure (such as housing or public transportation). Communities and neighbourhoods that know how to effectively leverage their resources, relationships and networks are much more likely to flourish and promote individual and community well-being.

Read the full post

Enhancing Social Connectedness for Healthier Communities


By: Planh

A socially connected community is a place where everyone feels like they belong. It’s a place where people know their neighbours and feel motivated to get involved, build relationships, and contribute to the creation of strong social networks. A socially connected community requires spaces and events for people to gather, create new friendships, and contribute to the community through volunteering. Socially connected communities support strong citizen engagement and increase the health and well-being of residents. Local governments can play a role in fostering social connectedness and helping communities thrive by creating strong social environments.

In their latest publication, Planh provides some great resources ideas for what local governments can do to increase social connectedness in communities. They also hosted an informative webinar featuring Milton Friesen, Louise Roberts and Stacy Barter and provided a number of valuable resources.

Read the full post

LIsten to the webinar

Access the resources

#Lovemyhood Stories



By: Kitchener Neighbourhood Strategy

"I've lived in Edgewater Estates since 2009. I love the location. We're right in the middle, close to Cambridge and Waterloo. I love that we have the Lackner Woods Plaza right nearby. It has a convenience store, a pizzeria, a bank and a dentist that we go to. We live close to parks which are great for the kids and they're building a new school right across the street, which we're very excited about." - Tina #lovemyhood 

Read the full post

Read more about the Kitchener Neighbourhood Strategy

London Strengthening Neighbourhoods Strategy


By: Karen Oldham and Cheryl Smith

In 2008, the goal of the London City Council was to position London within the top rank of Canadian Municipalities. Community Vitality was a priority with the goal to assure the health, safety and well-being of individuals and families while promoting liveable and inclusive neighbourhoods.

Focusing on people and place as foundation for great neighbourhoods, it was proposed that London develop a strategy that was inclusive of all neighbourhoods.

In February 2016, Karen Oldham and Cheryl Smith of the City of London presented the story of the London Strengthening Neighbourhood Strategy and provided some insights into where they are headed next.

Listen to the webinar

Learn more about the LSNS

Upcoming Events


Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayors Lead

April 5-7, 2016 in Edmonton, AB

This dynamic gathering will bring together mayors, provincial and territorial representatives, poverty reduction roundtable members, and interested individuals across the country in an effort to:

  • Raise awareness about the issue of urban poverty;
  • Present solutions and examples from cities that are addressing urban poverty effectively; and
  • Develop recommendations for provinces and the federal government to help cities tackle poverty.

Register today!


Champions for Change

April 19-21, 2016 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Join together with the Tamarack Institute, the Collective Impact Forum, and Backbone organizations from across North America and internationally to enhance your collective impact. This years' agenda will provide you with inspiration, information and tools to offer the essential leadership and support required for your community's collective impact initiative to maximize its impact.

Register here!


Deepening Communities: Resilient Neighbourhoods ♦ When People Care

June 7-9, 2016 in Edmonton, Alberta

Join together with neighbourhood leaders, community builders, civic leaders, academics, municipal leaders, and other passionate learners to explore ideas that will accelerate the communities agenda.

This gathering will provide you with inspiration, connections, knowledge and specific tools to offer the leadership required to connect, engage and mobilize residents in your community and beyond to generate a shared vision and action plan; in turn, developing programs and policies for change.

Register here!


Abundant Community Edmonton
March 23, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

Join Howard Lawrence and Anne Harvey, the innovators and activators of this unique neighbourhood-building framework for a free Tamarack webinar. They will provide an overview of the successes and challenges of this initiative and open up the dialogue for a Q&A with participants.

Register here!


An Other Kingdom
April 28, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

Our seduction into beliefs in competition, scarcity, and acquisition is producing too many casualties. An Other Kingdom provides a new narrative, a shift in our thinking and speaking, to take us out of a culture of addictive consumption into a place where contract is replaced by covenant, consumption is replaced by neighbourliness, and our time is reclaimed as our own.

Join authors Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, and John McKnight for an intimate conversation about their new book An Other Kingdom. Discover what has inspired them to write this book together and explore their vision for their proposed paradigm shift.

Register here!


Promise Neighbourhoods
May 4, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

Please join Michael McAfee, Vice President for Programs at PolicyLink and Co-Director of Promise Neighbourhoods Institute for an in-depth presentation on this innovative neighbourhood program, his journey to build a legacy grounded in equity, and how PNI is using Collective Impact as a framework to build communities of opportunity.

Register here!