Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 3, Resilience Circles
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Paper and pens
- Optional: Copies of the UUA hymnbook Singing the Journey
Preparation for Activity
- Read and copy Handout 3, Resilience Circles.
- Label three sheets of newsprint “Learning,” “Mutual Aid,” and “Social Action,” and post them.
- Optional: Preview Hymn 1021 in Singing the Journey, “Lean on Me.”
- Optional: Recruit a volunteer song leader from the group.
Description of Activity
In this activity we will learn about and practice the idea of resilience circles. In this economic model, people work together in small, covenanted groups to provide mutual economic support.
Explain that resilience circles are ongoing community groups whose members together respond creatively to economic adversity through learning, mutual aid, and social action. Distribute Handout 3, Resilience Circles, and ask participants to read it. Invite questions or comments. Ask if any participants have had a similar (formal or informal) support group experience. If so, invite them to share something about their experiences.
Invite participants to imagine that they are a newly convened resilience circle. Their assignment is to generate together ways to serve their mission. What learning, mutual aid, and social action projects could the group do in the near future? Encourage participants to make the role play as real as possible. For example, what skills or services could be shared that are actually needed and then available within the group. Ask the group to try to agree on at least one actionable “real” item in each area (learning, mutual aid, social action). Offer to serve as the scribe while the group generates and evaluates ideas together. Allow ten minutes for the role play.
Then invite reflections on the experience. Ask participants what felt encouraging, difficult, or surprising. Then ask:
- Can you imagine being part of a resilience circle in your community?
- Can you envision a way resilience circles might make a difference in the Southside neighborhood considered in Activity 2? How?
If you choose, end the activity by singing together “Lean on Me,” Hymn 1021 in Singing the Journey.