FLINT, Mich. – The public is invited to a free, family-friendly community event for Flint-area residents during spring break, Wednesday, March 27 through Saturday, March 30, at Flint Southwestern Academy.
“Shine Your Light” is the theme for the third annual Resiliency Week and Environmental Justice Summit, offering four days of community-centered activities and workshops that promote resiliency and building strong families. The event is sponsored by Flint Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST), a collaborative that supports the Flint community in navigating the aftermath of the Flint Water Crisis while strengthening the community’s collective capacity to minimize the risk of future crises.
“The summit promotes activities and local initiatives that build individual and community resiliency,” said Vicki Johnson-Lawrence, PhD, co-project director for Flint ReCAST and assistant professor at MSU College of Human Medicine’s Division of Public Health in Flint. “Our health and well-being comes from a combination of mental health, physical health, and recognizing how the built environment influences the community environment. This is why the summit addresses both resiliency and environmental justice. We want overall health – mind-body health – to be at the forefront of everybody’s minds.”
A sampling of families-friendly activities include:
- going to the movies to watch a showing of Inside Out at Flint Southwestern Academy;
- participating in Flint’s Youth Got Talent hosted by Ira Dorsey and Mayor Karen Weaver;
- celebrating César Chávez Remembrance Day with live performances by El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil student dancers and musicians in a play based on the children’s book “Harvesting Hope” by Kathleen Krull.
For community leaders and clinicians, speakers from across Michigan and the United States will be sharing their expertise on topics ranging from building healthy and resilient communities, environmental justice, building sustainable communities, healthy schools, supporting the well-being of Flint youth, and much more.
Speakers from across the country will travel to Flint for keynote addresses. Ronda Chapman, Senior Associate, PolicyLink will lead a session titled “Creating Sustainable, Just and Inclusive Local Communities and Economies”. Elaine Karas-Miller, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Trauma Resource Institute and Jacqueline Patterson, MSW, MPH, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program will lead a discussion focused on building healthy and resilient communities.
“The tools and resources built within the summit are inclusive of the entire Flint community. ReCAST along with the city of Flint is making sure it is available beyond professional circles and into community spaces, including youth, families, and residents from all backgrounds.”
Add no more than one paragraph about closing activities on Saturday. Resiliency Week will conclude on Saturday with activities for the entire community. The public is encouraged to learn more about the Community Resiliency Model, hear about the achievements of César Chávez during César Chávez Remembrance Day and learn about what mental health means in everyday life, and how to understand and improve it in yourself and others during “Health Bodies Start with Healthy Minds: A Community Conversation About Stress and Mental Health”. Saturday activities will take place at MSU College of Human Medicine.
Programming offers something different every day. Participation in the Resiliency Week and Environmental Justice Summit is free, and snacks will be provided. To see the full schedule of activities and register go to bit.ly/FlintReCAST. On-site registration is also welcome.