Building community is at the heart of community resilience. Strong neighborhoods have shown to have a plethora of benefits, from reducing violence to rebuilding communities after natural disasters —especially for the region’s most vulnerable populations. The Challenge is excited to promote projects that both strengthen community ties AND help to address important issues like food security and preparing for a natural disaster.

Spotlight on Local Heroes:

Dianne Quinley is a Berkeley resident who passionate about neighborhood organizing. She put together a block party in Berkeley during the Challenge to build community ties with her neighbors on May 21st. The gathering featured activities to promote networking, and of course great potluck food.

transition_scene_color_2Linda Currie is an inspirational community organizer and co-founder of Transition Berkeley. She is leading efforts to bring Transition Streets to Berkeley, a 6-part curriculum sponsored by Transition U.S.  that brings together neighbors to discuss and put into action projects to lower household carbon footprints.

Challenge Events

fairBuilding Community at the Berkeley Emergency Preparedness Fair: Our Community Partner Transition Berkeley and Challenge intern co-hosted a workshop at the April 30th Emergency Preparedness Fair in downtown Berkeley, hosting a lively conversation about how to prepare for both natural disasters and climate change. Among the synergies that workshop presenters Linda Currie and Pia Greig  were growing a garden, having water storage like rain water catchment and getting to know your neighbors through the innovative neighborhood program “Transition Streets.” Extra benefit: we met fellow community organizer Marcella Licea, who introduced us to the Benicia Community Garden and wrote a Challenge pledge to continue helping to grow this exemplary resilience-building project!

FestivalCreating Commons Festival: The CRC was proud to co-sponsor the Creating Commons Festival at the PLACE for Sustainable Living, a wonderful example of all five Challenge themes! What a festival it was – from the beautiful opening Share Your Peace ceremony to Brazilian music rocking the house to pasta making on a bicycle – the universal truth is that building resilient communities can be fun and festive. Many thanks to Bija to helping to support the Festival, a non-profit that donates funds to help support community projects with urban farming and sustainability themes.

Challenge Pledges:

Neighborhood_Block_Party“I pledge to organize a block party this year,” — Oliver


“During the Challenge I organized two introductory sessions about  helping the wonderful Transition Streets curriculum” — Lina