Community psychology and Covid-19: Towards an environmental justice?

Community psychology and Covid-19: Towards an environmental justice?

Webinar with Donata Francescato | 11th June 2020, 5 PM (UTC +2)

Please register here.

About the webinar

Covid 19, health and climate change are not distant cousins! Let’s not get back to normal after coronavirus! The old normal has polluted our Earth, created vulnerabilities and oppressions, and now is the time to create new futures.

Community psychology and environmental justice

For many decades, community psychology has been fighting oppression, violence, poverty, inequalities, and discrimination while environmental problems have been neglected in our research and practice.

  • Will the coronavirus make community psychologists more interested in climate justice?
  • Should fighting environmental injustice be the top priority for community psychologists?
  • What attitudes do you think most community psychologists have toward climate change?  
  • What can community psychologists do as professionals and activists to increase environmental justice?  
  • Should community psychologists promote a planetary sense of community?
Picture by Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Rethinking our approach

The burden of climate change is extremely high, and it is already negatively impacting the health and well-being of our communities.

  • What are the most urgent environmental problems?
  • Do you want to save the planet you live in?  
  • Is there a “real world” or is everything socially constructed? 
  • Can we reach sustainable development by 2030?
  • Would you invest in a green bond?
Picture by Desiree Martin/AFP/Getty Images

About the presenter

Donata Francescato: is an Italian former Professor of Community Psychology and currently scientific director of ASPIC, in Rome,  she co-founded the feminist magazine “Effe” in the 70s and created an online archive in 2015 (www.efferivistafemminista.it). She received an Award from the European Community Psychology Association in 2013 for advancing CP both in Italy and in Europe, and for developing specific intervention and research methods involving community profiles and organizational analysis. In 2019, she was selected for the Award for Special Contributions to Community Psychology from the Division 27 of the American Psychological Association, for her contributions to theory, research, methodologies and training and her dissemination to the general public through mass media intervention (www.donatafrancescato.it). She introduced the Participatory Multidimensional Organizational Analysis (PMOA) model, Socio-Political Empowerment Training Labs, and innovative online collaborative learning models for conducting integrative, interdisciplinary, and empowering community practice. Since 2019 she has been  an activist in the Parents group of the movement promoted by Greta Thurnberg, Fridays for the Future (FFF).

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in Webinars
Laughter in a Time of Crisis

Laughter in a Time of Crisis

The city of Juneau, in the U.S. state of Alaska, normally has a hiking hotline for those seeking volunteer-led walks in the area. But when the pandemic struck, hiking programs were suspended. The hotline might have been suspended too, but local officials had a very different idea. They decided what was needed in this challenging time were some light-hearted moments, and a chance to laugh. So they turned their hiking phone number into a laugh line. Anyone who called heard a pre-recorded joke, usually with a bad pun. Example: “What kind of music is scary for balloons?” “Pop music!”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

According to reports, the new laugh hotline was an immediate success — so much so that the line became overloaded. And suggestions for jokes have been received from across North America.

This example shows that it’s possible to turn a difficult situation into something positive and beneficial It does take creativity, and the ability and willingness to go beyond usual boundaries. It was surprising that the laugh line attracted so many people. But in a stressful time, laughter is a good coping tool, which helps people stay connected. And people need to laugh. In the words of a local parks and recreation employee, “After all, laughter is the best medicine.”

To hear a joke on the hotline, call (907) 586-0428. To submit a joke for hotline consideration, contact Parks.rec@juneau.org.

Story shared by Bill Berkowitz, United States of America.

More info here or at Bill_Berkowitz@uml.edu

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions
Huerto Comunidad Coop San Francisco

Huerto Comunidad Coop San Francisco

More than the Covid 19, we have earthquakes, and we are still recovering from a strong hurricane. Our community is a Cooperative house system. We have been learning from our complex personalities in a respectful manner. We have notice changes in ourselves. Persons that usually didn’t care about the others are more solidarity. Looking for medicines and food, listen and support with each other. Consciousness of consumerism and marketing medicine are themes we have been actively discussing. We are learning a lot from this pandemic.

Picture by Lídia Martínez

We have more consciousness of how we can change with our community. If we practice solidarity, the community will do it too. Being alert to others suffers is very important.

Communities are the first response to hunger, poverty. Being able to share our material resources is a priority. People change and learn if we begin with ourselves. Modeling is the best.

Story shared by Lydia Martínez Vázquez, Puerto Rico.

More info please contact at lydiamart2000@gmail.com or coopsf_2000@yahoo.es

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions
EFPA released a Coronavirus position statement by ECPA and the EFPA-SC-Community Psychology

EFPA released a Coronavirus position statement by ECPA and the EFPA-SC-Community Psychology

www.freepik.com – Image designed by rawpixel.com

EFPA EMC 18/2020: How to strengthen communities in times of crisis

EFPA has released some basic recommendations on the social effects on communities in relation to the Coronavirus spread based on a community psychology perspective. The document remarks that Community Psychology can offer specialist competencies and tools that are useful for real problems both locally and on a global scale.

The SC Community Psychology has together with our Associate member the European Community Psychology Association ECPA prepared this information and converted into an EFPA position statement. The document is available here and on EFPA Hub about COVID-Crisis

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in Coronavirus, Publications
Stories of Corona everyday life

Stories of Corona everyday life

After the lockdown in the course of the Corona Pandemic almost the whole public life in our small village has come to a standstill. The official community newsletter, which is delivered to every household on Thursday, became thinner and thinner as there was hardly anything to report except the regulation of the lockdown. That is why we started the series “Stories of Corona Everyday Life”.

For 8 weeks now we have been collecting stories about the changes in everyday life during the Corona crisis, the worries and fears, but also encouraging experiences.

A few extracts: A woman reports about her concerns when her husband was ill. When news came that he was negative, she looked after her orchard and saw a stump with new shoots: “That’s what spring looks like – old things fade away, new things grow.” My 85 year old neighbour tells how she lacks contact to other people, but many have offered help. The football player misses the sociability and weekly structure given by football. He’s constantly thinking about what he would normally doing right now. And a group of women has started sewing face masks almost in piecework.

We get very personal stories, which are also an expression of the overall social situation and uncertainty. However, every story contains not only uncertainty, loss or concern, it also contains new perspectives and positive experiences that encourage others. The citizens’ stories are now eagerly awaited. Last week, the community newsletter was delivered one day later on Friday. This has caused many to go to the mailbox again and again and to ask the neighbours if they already had the newsletter.

Story shared by Luise Behringer, Germany.

More info here or contact luise.behringer@ksh-m.de

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions
Social Hackathons vs Corona

Social Hackathons vs Corona

Around March 15, 2020 German Start-Up-Companies, the Open Knowledge Foundation, the Social Entrepreneurship Foundation, Impact Hub Berlin and a large group of ‘Techies’ collaborated with the German Government in a call on a nation-wide hackathon to cope with social consequences of corona. Within one week, more than 40.000 participants, more than 2.000 innovators and 3.000 mentors registered and joined in a 48-hour hackathon.

As a result, hundreds of project ideas how to cope with corona have been developed within one weekend, 200 projects have been selected for a short-list and 20 projects received funding awards.

As a consequence, regional coworking spaces and other urban and rural initiatives are planning social hackathons in their region.

Social Hackathons may be future tools for addressing challenges in communities and local regions. May attract specifically young people of the area who could collaborate with administration, politicians and business people. Easy to be supported and funded by local companies and administrations.

Story shared by Wolfgang Stark, Germany.

More info here.

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions
Girls spread hope to those in need

Girls spread hope to those in need

Girls Gang, a community action group for teenage girls in a disadvantaged community produced positive posters to be included in food packages being sent to families experiencing poverty and hardship during lockdown. The group wanted to do something to help the community but felt limited in ways they could enact their citizenship during lockdown. Messages in the posters included words of hope, tips for coping with lockdown and also telling residents that they were not alone.

Picture by West Cumbria Community Action Trust

Recipients of the care packages told the coordinators that the posters helped to lift spirits at times when anxieties were high. It also provided the girls with an opportunity to enact their civic citizenship under the civic restrictions imposed under lockdown.

Class based inequalities are being exacerbated during the lockdown but working class and poor communities are finding creative ways to support one another.

Story shared by Suzanne Wilson, United Kingdom.

More info here or at swilson21@uclan.uk

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions

Videorecording of EFPA webinars available on EFPA Psychologists Support Hub

At EFPA’s Psychologists Support Hub are available the video recording and PowerPoint presentations of following three EFPA webinars offered at the end of April 2020.  

  1. How to set-up a Psychological counseling helpline in the COVID-19 context?
  2. Online consultations, what to know and where to start?
  3. COVID-19 and implications for mental health

The hub can be reached via the following links: http://psychologists-support-hub.eu or http://covid19forpsychologists.eu

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in Coronavirus
Music and Culture is Building New Communities

Music and Culture is Building New Communities

It started as a ‘wow’-event for me when in Italy hundreds of people started to sing each day form their balconies during the first days of the lock-down. Then a semi-professional opera choir launched an online version of Verdi’s ‘Va Pensiero’. In the meantime, thousands of musicians and other artists started regular live community and online events all over the globe.

Picture by International Opera Choir

People meet neighbors they never met before, try to encourage and support each other by using one of the ‘general languages’ of our societies – which has always been ‘music’. Music and other cultural events create a special feeling how people can belong to and help each other in a common crisis. At the same time, especially music touches emotions and can ease stress and pain.

It has been amazing how fast people in diverse cultures turn to the common language of art and music to cope with a crisis that is beyond imagination. Perhaps such a crisis can remind us that even minor cultural events can be crucial for building a sense of community and belonging.

Story shared by Wolfgang Stark, Germany

More info here.

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions
Strengthening our sense of connection in the immediate locality

Strengthening our sense of connection in the immediate locality

The street I live on has 36 private houses set back from the road. We don’t see one another come and go, people have lived on this street for twenty or so years and only know their immediate neighbours. When the likelihood of a lock down threatened I made fliers and invited people to join a street support group. It gave everyone the chance to introduce themselves and suddenly the street became a hive of community chat and mutual support.

95% of the residents have joined a WhatsApp group and others use land line contact. We have collected shopping for one another, enjoyed sharing film footage of a fox in a garden one night, worked out whose cats are visiting each others’ gardens and made fabric face masks for neighbours. We are organised a sponsored walk through just giving to raise funds for a local company to provide child friendly visors for NHS staff. On this walk we will all walk the route of the street simultaneously maintaining our social distance.

It is a shame that it has taken something like this to be a valid excuse to cold-call neighbours. Many of our residents are elderly and socially isolated and making contact with people nearby has been a real bonus. It has also been a great reassurance to their family who would normally visit to know they have a whole street ready and willing to connect and support.

Story shared by Jill Simpson, United Kingdom.

More info contact jillsimpson81@hotmail.com

Posted by Cinzia Albanesi in New Bank for Community Ideas and Solutions