It has been 18 months since we first started “social distancing” and shutting down some of the most vital components of what is at the heart of community, such as parks, trails, cafes, community centres, events and social gatherings.
We find ourselves at a unique crossroads in time. We have all been working hard to find solutions to a problem whose scope is beyond anything we’ve ever encountered before.
The impacts are deep, affecting our jobs, our families, and our communities. It is in that last word – communities – that we will find the strength to not only persevere but to emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.
Reflecting as communities
Thinking ahead to 2022 when there is still so much uncertainty is not an easy process.
Most of the time, we pull out old frameworks and alter them to fit the needs of what is currently happening. According to an article we wrote called Asset-Based Community Recovery Framework, communities are heading into the Resurgence Stage of the Pandemic.
The Resurgence Stage is marked by hope, which, in turn, inspires action. It is the reclamation of a community’s power. It is a conscious step toward addressing and working with what has been revealed by recognizing gifts, fostering connections, telling stories and asking questions:
- What has changed during this time that you don’t want to lose sight of?
- What are things you needed that you wish you had that the community can now provide?
- What challenges have been revealed that you feel need to be addressed?
- What capacities have been revealed or strengthened that can assist in addressing these challenges?
Hope and possibility
During 2021, the Deepening Community Team worked with communities across Canada to think about hope and the possibilities for our communities during and post pandemic.
As we near the end of another strange year, let’s reflect on what we learned and inspire each other.
Here are some ways that you can deepen your learning and get inspired about community-level change:
Listen to a podcast
- Discussing Asset-Based Community Development with John McKnight
- Social Reconnection as a Solution for Health
- Democracy – A New Idea for Doing With not For Community
- Monitoring Happiness and Community Well-Being
- Reconnecting our Communities: How the Roving Listener Built Community One Neighbour at a Time
Read a resource
- CASE STUDY | Building a Neighbourhood Plan, doing With Not For
- CASE STUDY| Crafting Social Capital One Home at a Time
- PUBLICATION | CDC Impact Report
- ARTICLE | Exploring the Importance of Social Capital
Read a blog post
- When Communities Become “Unessential”
- Authentic Virtual Engagement: A Greenway Chaplin Community Centre Story
- Albert Includes Social Well-being in their COVID-19 Recovery Plans
- What is Social Capital and How Do You Build it?
The CDC team wishes you and your communities a happy, healthy holiday season and a 2022 year full of hope and possibilities.
Remember that these are unprecedented times; we have not been through this before and we do not have all the answers. We need to give permission to be emergent and creative and inspire each other!
Thank you for all your support and contributions to stories, resources and discussion. We can’t wait to connect with you all in 2022!
The Cities Deepening Community Team
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