WHO WE ARE
The Alaska Resilience Initiative (ARI) is a network of nonprofit, tribal, and state government organizations, schools, businesses, and community coalitions working to solve complex social problems and promoting a healthy, just, and resilient Alaska. You can read (and print) our ARI one-pager here, read about our values and ethics here, and read our culturally-responsive, trauma-informed definition here.
Our shared goal
Mobilizing Alaska to end child maltreatment, intergenerational, and systemic trauma through healing and strategic advocacy.
What we do
As a collective impact effort and movement-builder, we serve an umbrella role for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), trauma and resilience work in Alaska – supporting and bringing together those doing the work. Our work, encapsulated by the roles of connector, solutions engineer, and advocate, takes shape in a shared process through the voices of all involved, via the steering committee and a workgroup, which is open to volunteers.
Connectors. We serve a networking function, connecting communities and organizations with one another. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we share tools and resources via email, presentations, one-on-one, and through this website. We support a cohort of trauma and resilience trainers, and connect them with organizations, healthcare clinics, and schools to present tailored, scientifically accurate, culturally-responsive, and compelling information. We also support the work of community coalitions that are testing trauma reduction and resilience promotion strategies in their communities, and helping bring their test strategies to scale statewide.
Solutions Engineers. We bring people together for collective and strategic visioning, planning and cross-sector organizing. In the process, we are able to identify gaps in the field, tools or resources that are needed that could serve all people doing work to address ACEs. We then are able to draw on a network of experts to help co-create these tools, such as the History and Hope curriculum, and a brief on trauma-informed government.
Advocates. As a network with both grassroots and grass-tops members, we are uniquely positioned to educate and advocate on key policy issues affecting child maltreatment, intergenerational and systemic trauma, well-being and resilience. Our policy workgroup drives long-term advocacy work. Our first policy victory was the passage of ACEs and brain development language into state statute, which you can read about here.
What we don’t do
ARI’s work is not intended to replace or replicate the efforts of other communities, organizations, schools, tribes, and coalitions that are working toward similar goals. Rather, we strive to bring together and support existing efforts by serving an umbrella function and by using a collective impact approach.
A pilot for movement-building
ARI was one of 14 communities in the U.S. chosen by the Health Federation of Philadelphia, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California Endowment, for the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) grant, which took place from 2015 - 2017.These 14 communities were chosen to pilot and teach others about movement-building related to trauma and resilience. Although this grant period is over, we are fortunate to still be part of this network for collaboration and to contribute our unique Alaskan experience of trauma and resilience work to national toolkits, presentations, and resources.
How is this work supported?
ARI is able to do this work of connecting, engineering solutions, and advocating, thanks to the belief in and investment by our funders. These include, or have included: The Alaska Children’s Trust (our backbone agency), Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, Doris Duke Community Foundation, Providence Alaska Foundation, Alaska Emergency Medicine Associates, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and Alaska Community Foundation.