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September 6, 2021

Indianapolis Embodies Resilience


by Ari Beedie, Neighborhood Engagement Director

The dictionary defines resilient as, “being able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching or being compressed.”

I’ve seen this city bend more than it ever has in the past year. It’s been incredibly hard. From our local communities to our global communities, we’ve been pushed to limits previously unseen.

Somehow, we’ve been able to bend into a new form – to change shape. In our own lives, and as a city, we’ve continued to create, innovate and grow in many different ways. It’s not a rosy picture, but it’s raw and honest.

So far in 2021, there have been so many efforts to keep Indy residents engaged through the chaos of our still uncertain “normal.”

From the curatorial work of GANGGANG engaging many artists from across all spectrums of Indy Black culture, to the upcoming Indy Jazz Fest and even Kan Kan Cinema’s grand opening, we’re reminded that Indianapolis keeps on going.

We realize that we have the strength in community, and if we support our communities we can progress. It seems the way to survive and thrive in traumatic situations, is to bend and change shape – to adapt.

A nod to our Asset Based Community Development philosophy at INRC, neighbors have gifts and are assets in their communities. People, places and spaces are assets.

As an organization, we’ve been working remotely, but we’re still actively engaged with how neighbors are supporting each other, and where neighbors need help. We have also had to bend and change shape to make sure we’re supporting our communities.

From our Creative Placemaking program and other community workshops to our Public Allies program and other initiatives, we’re continuously creating ways to make sure we’re meeting community members where they need us. INRC’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2nd gives us a chance to dive into how Indianapolis communities are resilient and how we reach sustainability. The event takes place virtually, starting at 5:30p. 

Like I mentioned, it’s not a rosy picture. There are many neighborhoods that are suffering. It’s in those situations that I’ve seen many neighbor led initiatives working to save their communities. Like the many food pantry efforts like No Questions Asked Pantry, Community Alliance of the Far Eastside’s food initiatives or the local community gardens who are making produce and other resources available. Community members who recognized they were assets, and created ways to sustain their community.

How do we keep this going and spread efforts to other neighborhoods? How can we maintain these efforts in our communities while remembering what we’ve collectively endured to get to this point?

I believe the answers are in what comes next.

In my view, every day people are the ones who set the standard for how we sustain the magic that’s been created thus far. This includes artists, creators, neighbors and other community members that continue to plan and keep our Indy flowing.

I’m thankful to be a part of a city that’s constantly growing and changing shape. Especially because it comes from the work of many amazing, every day community members working to create more sustainable communities in Indianapolis.