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KENTON KIRBY, DIRECTOR OF TRAUMA SUPPORT SERVICES, MAKE IT HAPPEN: Strength is the power to stand on your two feet after something happened to you and say, "This happened to me. It didn't break me. I'm still here, and I can figure out the next steps."
R. DALE WALKER, MD, (CHEROKEE), DIRECTOR, ONE SKY CENTER: Resilience is the building of these positive pieces in a life so that they hold together, to work with an individual in their recovery.
MICHELLE GARCIA, DIRECTOR, OFFICE FOR VICTIM SERVICES & JUSTICE GRANTS: For every victim, the definition of justice may very well be different. Victim services can work with victims to help them define what justice means for themselves, and then supporting them as they pursue that justice.
CHIC DABBY, CO-DIRECTOR, ASIAN PACIFIC INSTITUTE ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: Survivors can be isolated in their communities. They have to be able to assess and evaluate what is going to be the safest option for them.
KENTON KIRBY: We want to be able to evolve with our participants, so we really keep their voices present in our work.
ERIN ESPOSITO, DIRECTOR, IGNITE (VOICE OF INTERPRETER): I am a survivor. For me, for example, part of my resiliency is being in the field. I feel that it's really important to be part of the change, to have my story heard.
WOMAN: High five!
MICHELLE GARCIA: All of us want to live in safe and strong and healthy communities. Not everyone gets to go through life without having experienced some degree of harm. How do we try and repair that harm that was done to that individual and to the community as a whole?
ERIN ESPOSITO: When I think about strength for service providers, as a deaf person I think of going into space where there's no barriers.
WOMAN: I think it's really about all the issues that all of the advocates are facing right now.
CHIC DABBY: And that means working in a multidisciplinary framework. It means approaching community and systems and survivors with a way to really understand what needs are going to be met. So oftentimes when I'm working with a survivor, I want to know, "What does help look like to you?" Not, "Here's my menu, and these are all the things I can offer you. Which one do you want to pick?"
KENTON KIRBY: Multidisciplinary collaborations strengthen service providers because we're constantly in communication with each other. It's very important for us to find partners out in the community—for example, job programs or drug treatment programs.
R. DALE WALKER: It's gonna take that partnership. It's gonna take some bridges...When the players play together in the agencies in that they really bond and develop the programs, you can actually see how they're measuring change within both the clients and the professional staff.
MICHELLE GARCIA: As a funder, we think it's really critical that victim service providers are partnering, and we can actually incentivize them to do that. We strongly believe in creating continuums of care. And so for our providers, we actually require that they enter into agreements with each other.
KENTON KIRBY: It's important to have the continuum of services for our participants. A lot of times these young men—based on the systems of systemic racism—a lot of these young men don't get the opportunity to heal from whatever hurt that they've seen. We need to be consistent in how we work with them.
ERIN ESPOSITO: And if you don't have that cultural competency or the compassion, then you're not going to be able to deliver and provide resources that are intended to be provided to our survivors to get them past the state of victimization.
CHIC DABBY: Part of what culturally relevant services is also about is being able to push back on community norms that need to change and to identify those norms so victims and survivors feel stronger.
R. DALE WALKER: It's always good to look at the strength within the group, find the positive pieces there, and build from within.
MICHELLE GARCIA: Resiliency is the core that allows us to heal, that allows us to survive. And when we think about whether it's vicarious traumatization or secondary trauma and what a very real threat that is for service providers, it's being able to go back to that core.
CHIC DABBY: You don't only need services for people who are harmed, you also need an investment in well-being for everybody. And I think that's a very important component of justice.
ERIN ESPOSITO: We can make our communities better. We can make our community stronger.
MICHELLE GARCIA: In order for that to be successful, in order for us to have thriving and healthy communities we have to first recognize and build on the strengths that we have. We have to engage in the efforts that feed those resilient responses both in individuals and in organizations. And, ultimately, those will contribute to the achievement of justice.