As the Jones Center grows, we are advancing the ways science can be used to create more resilient communities. Science by itself cannot improve society; its products need to be used in making better decisions. In 2020, this took many forms to reach various, targeted audiences.
Huntington Park Pilot Program and the Community Resilience Program
In partnership with the Mexican Consulate and the City of Huntington Park and funding from Southern California Edison, the Jones Center developed and implemented the Community Resilience pilot program aimed at community organizations, including nonprofits and faith-based organizations. Most resilience efforts are targeted at individuals, but research has shown that one of the most important factors of a community’s resilience is its social capital— the degree to which its members are connected with each other. People and communities with more connections between people have more resources to rebuild their lives and more reasons to stay in the damaged community. The organizations themselves can be the nuclei of recovery, that will encourage people to stay in the community.
The Jones Center worked with a cohort of community and faith-based organizations in Huntington Park to help them be better prepared for future natural disasters so that they can be nuclei for recovery in the broader community. The kickoff meeting was held in November 2019 at the Huntington Park City Hall, and the first meeting of the nonprofit cohort was January 9, 2020 and was anticipated to finish on March 19, 2020, comprising of six, two-hour sessions and a seventh, final celebration session. However, due to the pandemic, the sixth session and seventh celebration session were postponed.
Using the feedback from the participants from the five completed sessions, the Jones Center, with funding from the Annenberg Foundation, finalized the Community Resilience Program. The finalized program materials include a Facilitator’s Guide detailing seven sessions, accompanying handouts, and six videos featuring Dr. Jones focused on varying earthquake topics.