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Professor of Psychology, City University of New York
Resilience is often described as a quality, but it is also a practice. There are strategies that we can learn to develop it, and there are contexts we can create to foster it. Belief in the potential for resilience in ourselves and our communities is critical for overcoming the adversity of both life-altering events and long-standing discrimination or oppression.
International Disability Rights Activist
While many believe my life is a tragedy, having had polio has made me a stronger, more resilient person. Having friends who have also experienced societal discrimination on the basis of disability empowers me to continue moving forward, knowing that one never knows what bumps in the road lay before you. My glass is always half full.
President and CEO, Global Fund for Women
In the work I do, I am inspired and sustained by the spirituality of not giving up. I believe that change is possible in most things. It is not how long we wait but how persistent we are in the pursuit of justice. Resilience and resistance are the two words that best describe my approach to life.
President and CEO, National Urban League
As economic first-responders, the National Urban League is in the habit of running toward cities in crisis, rather than running away. Whenever we have done so, be it Baltimore, Ferguson, Flint or Chicago - where we have very strong affiliate networks– I never fail to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of compassion and determination in communities actively coming together to face their challenges.
President and CEO, UnidosUS
My parents were the guide for me and my six brothers and sisters. From my father, I learned to stand up for myself and others and that “El Sol sale para todos,” “the sun shines for everyone.” It meant that I was not better than, but I was not less than, anyone. From my mother, I learned compassion, empathy, lending a helping hand to others, and giving back to my community.
Executive Director, Wendt Center for Loss and Healing
My work has allowed me the great privilege of walking beside people who are navigating the incredibly difficult road of redefining who they are and what their life will be in the face of a devastating loss or trauma. What I have learned from this work is that people absolutely find hope and joy and love and laughter in the aftermath of great tragedy.
CEO, Good Grief
Throughout life we are forced to turn right when we had planned to go left. I have the privilege of listening to thousands of devastating stories that didn’t go as planned. Through this witnessing, I have come to know that for every joy there is sorrow, for every love there is grief, and for all despair there exists hope.
Chief of Staff, U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal
Every day, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals come out, go to work, attend school, pray, walk down the street, laugh, love, and live—and we do it despite the odds that are often stacked against us. I am constantly inspired by the strength and resilience of LGBTQ people.
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