During the summer of 2020, the University of Orange launched a workshop series to pilot educational materials that could help organizations participate in collective recovery from the converging crises of the Covid-19 pandemic, racial oppression and climate change. Collective Recovery can be defined as the actions and activities that repair wounds to social systems, the collective organizations in which all humans exist. Our process was rooted in the foundational proposition that organizations make unique contributions to our recovery from fracture on fracture. The UofO organized a collective recovery team, which included several people who worked on the project in early iterations, as well as local organizers who had worked with collective recovery concepts.
An array of groups agreed to take part in the workshop series. These included both public health students who were new to community organizing and very seasoned leaders who had had success in deeply stressed neighborhoods. The organizations also differed in the domains of work they were carrying out, including health and wellness, arts and culture and community development. Each organization was told they could invite as many participants as they saw fit. In total we had 43 participants.
The participating organizations were:
- Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, Niagara Falls, NY
- We Run Brownsville, Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY
- Cipher, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
- The Village of Arts and Humanities, Philadelphia, PA
- Design Studio for Social Intervention, Boston, MA
- Good Shepherd Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation, New York, NY
- Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ
- Healthy Orange Coalition, Orange, NJ
- Music City, Orange, NJ
- The Audubon Society, New York, NY
- Student Union in Exile, Orange, NJ + beyond