Friday, September 18, 2009

Introduction to The Resilience Research Centre

I'm a participant in a "forum for communication among researchers and practitioners concerning mentoring of youth which is hosted by Dr. David DuBois, or UIC. You can contact the list at <YOUTHMENTORING@LISTSERV.UIC.EDU>

Today a message was posted introducing the group to the Resilience Research Center,located at the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada

On the home page of their web site, they answer a question I was asking, and that you may be asking: What is What is Resilience?

Their definition is:

"Resilience is both an individual’s capacity to navigate to health resources and a condition of the individual’s family, community and culture to provide those resources in culturally meaningful ways."

In their understanding, resilience requires that individuals and communities be supported in the development of their capacity to find resources that bolster well-being, while also emphasizing that it’s up to families, communities and governments to provide these resources in ways individuals value. In this sense, resilience is the result of both successful navigation to resources and negotiation for resources to be provided in meaningful ways.

In other words, the individual and family have responsibilities, but so do communities and governments.

This is really important stuff to me because it reinforces the concepts of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. If businesses, philanthropy, government, faith groups and universities don't provide places close enough to kids to participate, with age appropriate mentoring and learning, it's difficult for youth and families to overcome the obstacles present in their communities.

Right now there don't seem to be many public or private policies that distributed needed operating resources to all of the high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago or the world, on an ongoing basis so that needed supports would be available in anywhere close to the level needed for most youth and families to climb out of poverty.

As this front page editorial from 1992 says, "7-Year-Old's Death at Cabrini Requires Action." The editorial writer goes on to say "This isn't something you can let the other guy be indignant over. It's past time for you to take responsibility for solving the problems of Chicago. Please don't let this be someone else's problem. It's yours. It's mine."

This was written before the internet. Now we have the potential to mobilize individuals and organizations from throughout the world to respond to this call to action.

I hope one of those is YOU and people you know and that you'll use the resources provide on this blog and the links to support your understanding and your involvement.

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