Rapid Response Ecosystem Lab

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About the rapid response ecosystem lab

The Rapid Response Ecosystem Lab is a learning and practice space for leaders who lead, implement, or prepare to undertake rapid response in their organizations and want to grow their skills in building immediate infrastructure for crisis response in communities. We define rapid response as a set of immediate community-building, infrastructure, and mobilization strategies to address urgent needs facing survivors, victims, family members, and the broader community, including but not limited to health and legal concerns, mental health, and trauma care. 

The 2024 lab will take place virtually on June 26-28; find more details below.

It’s no longer a question of if, but rather when, an emergency might occur in the United States,

whether that is targeted violence, a pandemic, climate disasters, or human-made systems breaking down, from unsafe drinking water to power grid failures.

While nonprofit organizations strive to address unanticipated community needs, they are not always prepared or resourced to meet the demands. And, the current environment of cyclical and compounding crises means that many organizations are continually operating in emergency mode.

For nonprofits that may be responding to an immediate crisis, building rapid response infrastructure takes time - a scarce resource during emergencies. That is why the Building Movement Project is convening a lab for movement leaders to take the time to identify their rapid response needs and to explore ways to strengthen their existing infrastructure.

What is the Rapid Response Ecosystem Lab?

The Rapid Response Ecosystem Lab is a learning and practice space for leaders who lead, implement, or prepare to undertake rapid response in their organizations and want to grow their skills in building immediate infrastructure for crisis response in communities. We define rapid response as a set of immediate community-building, infrastructure, and mobilization strategies to address urgent needs facing survivors, victims, family members, and the broader community, including but not limited to health and legal concerns, mental health, and trauma care.

Why is BMP convening this lab?

The Rapid Response Ecosystem Lab is an extension of BMP’s report, Balancing Act: Asian American Organizations Respond to Community Crises and Build Collective Power, which provides recommendations, ideas, and resources for organizations responding to community crises while building long-term movement infrastructure. BMP staff have also been providing capacity building and coaching for organizations in rapid response mode over the past year. We will bring these learnings to the lab that can support your own organization’s work. 

Who is the Lab for?

This lab is specifically designed for movement leaders who are seeking to learn about, discuss, plan, and implement strategies that will lead to more meaningful, sustainable, and strategic rapid response efforts in their organizations and communities. 

We encourage pairs of participants from the same organization (such as a director and a program coordinator) to join, given that infrastructure development often requires people at various levels of leadership to be involved from the start..

The Rapid Response Ecosystem Lab might be for you if:
  • You are responsible for engaging in rapid response at your organization (ie. you produce strategic crisis communications; you engage in frontline work to address community crises; you make decisions about your organization’s stance during a movement moment) 
  • You are ready to develop a rapid response infrastructure plan for your organization 
  • You have an interest in influencing your organization or network’s rapid response strategies
  • You are able to attend all the sessions (more below)
How will the lab work?

The 3-day lab is designed as a virtual cohort learning opportunity. Sessions will include a combination of presentations, dialogues, peer learning opportunities, practice sessions, and personal reflection time to address questions and challenges. 

Sessions include
  • Introduction to Rapid Response Infrastructure: An overview of key components and strategies for building a robust rapid response system, based on the Rapid Response in Real Time toolkit.
  • Role Roulette: Creating a Crisis Response Team: Learn how to effectively identify, assign, and train for critical roles within an organization during a crisis.
  • Strategic Crisis Communication Strategies: Build strategic communications that center your values, internally within the organization and externally with the public during crisis.
  • Supporting and Caring for Frontline Responders: Cultivate the sustainability and well-being of frontline staff, including strategies for resilience, mental health support, and ensuring safety.
  • Reflective Practice and Learning from Past Crises: An interactive session where participants share experiences, lessons learned, and best practices from past crisis responses to collectively build knowledge.
  • Scenario-Based Training for Crisis Preparedness: Together, we will engage in realistic scenarios to practice and refine our response strategies and enhance our preparedness for crisis when it emerges.
Session Dates and Times
  • Day 1 - Wednesday, June 26:  12pm - 5pm EST (9am - 2pm PST)
  • Day 2 - Thursday, June 27:  12pm - 5pm EST (9am - 2pm PST)
  • Day 3 - Friday, June 28: 12pm - 5pm EST (9am - 2pm PST)
Session Format
  • 30 minutes: Grounding and Relationship Building 
  • 90 minutes: Content block 1 
  • 60 minute break: Lunch 
  • 90 minutes: Content block 2 
  • 30 minutes: Closing 
Application process and timeline
  • Application opens: April 8 - apply here
  • Application closes:  May 7
  • Notification decisions: May 31
  • Program takes place: June 26-28
How can I participate?

We have 25-30 slots available and plan to reach out to participants on May 31st.  Please save all the session dates if are interested in joining the lab.

Access notes
  • Zoom: We will be meeting virtually via Zoom. To support you in navigating materials, we encourage you to join the training via a computer or laptop if you have access to one. During the training, we will be using the screen share function to share slides and music.
  • Captions: We will be offering Zoom closed captioning during the training.
  • Materials: After the training, we will offer you a recording of the training with a transcript, a padlet of resources, and slides.
  • Breaks: In our 2 hour training each week, we will be taking one 10 minute break.
  • Breakout rooms: This training has multiple breakout room interactions. Participants can opt in or out of having conversations with other participants.
  • Chat and Audio: This training includes use of the chat function in Zoom. Participants will be asked to enter responses in the chat throughout the training. Participants will also be invited to share some of their responses audibly. You can always accept or decline this invitation.
  • Tech and access support: A tech and access support person will be present throughout the training to attend to any emergent participant needs regarding Zoom, the slide deck, and access.
Questions?

Please reach out to Adaku Utah, Senior Manager of Movement Building Programs at autah@buildingmovement.org if you have any questions. 

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