Five Years of Building Community Resilience

Author: Dr. Wendy Ellis, Director, Center for Community Resilience

Since 2015, the Building Community Resilience (BCR) collaborative has grown from five sites to a national network of cross-sector partners, including a major public health initiative focused on community resilience and a Policy Lab focused on advancing equity in policy. In 2019, in recognition of our growing influence in the field, the Center for Community Resilience was established within the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness.

The Center for Community Resilience (CCR) seeks to improve the health of communities by enabling cross-sectoral partners to align policy, programs and practice to address adverse childhood experiences in the context of adverse community environments — the Pair of ACEs. Our innovative framing of ACEs, with the explicit focus on equity and prevention, has influenced local initiatives, programs, public health practice and local, state and federal policy. Over the past five years, the Building Community Resilience networks have successfully led systems and policy change focused on addressing long-standing economic, social and health disparities by partnering with community, integrating service delivery and building political will for change.

Today, our partners are responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic that threatens the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. The pandemic has put on full display measurable inequities along the nation’s most fragile fault lines — race, immigration status and economic status. The groundbreaking work of CCR has been pivotal in influencing public health and child health advocates to center equity in their efforts to address trauma and build community resilience, enabling communities to not only bounce back in the face of adversity, but to ultimately thrive. To learn more about our work, please visit our website (www.ccr.publichealth.gwu.edu) or check out our annual report.

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Center for Community Resilience

A Milken Institute School of Public Health collaborative seeking to address the root causes of childhood & community adversity.