Community Care (Co)pilot: Our First Steps!

Quick Recap & Review

We’re developing a Code of Care together as a Network; we’ve started a community care pilot to increase awareness and strengthen trauma-informed skills within our community. Co-practices in this pilot invite individuals and small groups to join me, a peer support specialist, for a conversation around how we define care and harm for ourselves and navigate those experiences with others.

The First Week
Several members of the community signed up in the first week – I am so grateful for your participation! Each of you brought so much empathy and energy for co-creating care in our sessions; I hope you were as inspired as I was by our time together.

This article by Alicia A. Wallace on transforming acts of self care into community care gives great insight into the themes Network members and I discussed together in our co-practices. In her article, she gives us several actionable examples of what community care looks like in practice, and why it’s so important:

“Doing these things together and for each other creates a sense of belonging and builds the intimacy that’s one of our basic needs. It reminds us that we weren’t meant to walk these paths alone, but to learn from and care for one another as we find better ways to live together.”

My Favorite Part
Without a doubt, my favorite part of peer-based practices like these is the magic of reciprocity. Not only that precious feeling of, “Wow, they’re really seeing me.” but also “Wow, I’m really seeing them.”

Trauma confuses those signals for many of us – I know it does for me. Here’s a snippet from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies report on trauma and relationships that speaks to this reality:

“Living through traumatic events may result in expectations of danger, betrayal, or potential harm within new or old relationships. Survivors may feel vulnerable and confused about what is safe, and therefore it may be difficult to trust others, even those whom they trusted in the past.”

An effective antidote to trauma’s impact on interpersonal relationships is experiencing this kind of peer-based reciprocity regularly – but experiencing it often feels like the luck of the draw or miraculous in nature. It can be manifested through community care practices, too!

Our Next Steps
Community care is one aspect of many in the Network’s ReVisioning plans rolling out this quarter – take a look at Ben’s post from January (Feb update coming soon!) to see more of those plans and where our co-practices fit into the larger picture of inclusive and restorative work.

Check out the #code-of-care channel on Slack to stay up to date and join the conversation around how we apply these principles to our community’s standards.

Sign up today to join me in a co-practice! And keep an eye out for pop-up Lunch & Unlearn sessions with me in the Pawnee Pub as I draw from sources that help me check my boundaries for biases and my intentions for impact awareness.

Do you need direct support due to experiencing distress that impacts your sense of wellbeing and belonging in our community? You can write in the notes “direct support” or just reach out to me on Slack for more immediate connection.


Excited for the Lunch & UNlearn sessions! :smile:

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