Inviting Resilience


“In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways.”

~ Dr. Michael Ungar, Dalhousie University, Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience


“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats and even significant sources of stress – such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stresses.”

~ American Psychological Association


“Resilience does not come from rare and special qualities, but from the everyday magic of ordinary, normative human resources in the minds, brains, and bodies of children, in their families and relationships, and in their communities.”

~ Dr. Ann Masten, University of Minnesota

What is Resilience?

Although researchers may disagree about the precise terminology surrounding the concepts of resilience/resiliency and their indicators, there is wide agreement about the following fundamentals:
1. Being resilient does not mean that a person does not feel any pain, sadness, or distress in response to trauma or life adversity; these reactions are experienced by everyone. Rather, resilience resides in how one makes sense of and deals with their traumatic experiences.

2. Resilience is not an inherent trait that a person either has or does not have; it is a learned way of thinking, feeling, and acting that can be developed in anyone.

3. Although resilience may appear to originate from within an individual, this inner capacity is ultimately enabled by caring and supportive relationships: ones that nurture a sense of personal dignity and agency, interpersonal connectedness and trust, and a hopeful outlook on the future.

Our work is built on the premise that resilience is more likely to occur when we provide the services, supports and health resources that are trauma- and violence-informed and make it more likely for every individual to do well, in ways that are meaningful to his or her family and community.

Black and white photography by:
Lora Jude DeWolfe