Kresge Foundation Grants New Funding to Building Community Resilience to Further Efforts to Build Equitable, Resilient Communities

April 26, 2019

The Building Community Resilience (BCR) collaborative and networks, based at the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, has received an additional $100,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to further its work to address the Pair of ACEs – adverse childhood experiences in the context of adverse community environments. This new grant adds to Kresge’s initial $800,000 investment in BCR, awarded in 2017.

BCR’s work brings large systems, including health care, education, juvenile justice, social services and government, together with community. This strategic process joins individuals with the wisdom of lived experience and established social networks with other sectors to develop a shared understanding and strategic plan that builds toward measurable program, practice and policy changes necessary for resilient, equitable communities.

The progress made within the BCR collaborative and network is “striking,” said Katie Byerly, program officer at The Kresge Foundation. The Foundation has been particularly impressed with the creation of community dialogue around BCR’s novel framing of the Pair of ACEs, and bringing community partners to the table for deeper engagement on equity.

“The work to better understand the drivers of trauma in communities and the analysis of inequities provides a better understanding of the solutions needed,” Byerly said.

BCR is “providing examples for the field on ways to center equity and a historical perspective of trauma and healing in their systems change work,” she adds.

Watch BCR’s Newest Video: Healing Through Equity & Resilience

Many Americans, particularly children, live in neighborhoods where community traumas have been replicated over generations. Yet the very individuals enduring them are rarely asked their perspectives, much less brought to the decision-making table to help drive solutions that would improve community outcomes.

BCR, led by Project Director Wendy Ellis, MPH, DrPH, is working to change this dynamic. 

“You can't achieve resiliency in a community without establishing equitable access to upward mobility,” Ellis said. “A community with the supports in place for children and families to not only bounce back in the face of adversity, but bounce forward –requires an acknowledgement of the inequities that drive disparity in many American communities. In BCR we understand that dialogue about our nation’s history of structural racism is difficult, painful and necessary to undo what has been in place for nearly 250 years. Our work brings people to the table, rather than shaming and blaming that can drive people further apart.”

Read Ellis’ latest blog at