Adrienne Arsht- Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) will reach one billion people with resilience solutions by 2030. Our mission is to build human capacity for resilience in the face of climate change. We work with people, communities, and institutions to help them prepare for, navigate, and recover from disasters and disruptions, building a path to a better future for all.
Center work in 2020
Before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center traveled south in early 2020 to see the migrant crisis at the Venezuela-Colombia border firsthand. In partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the center set out to add capacity and tools to humanitarian service points that provide migrants services and information as they undergo their perilous journeys.
As the pandemic quickly necessitated that everyone shelter at home and keep physical distance from others, the center pivoted its work to focus on helping those facing food insecurity due to COVID-19’s severe economic impact. Between April and July, it provided interim emergency food relief to 4,500 people in Chennai, India, and repurposed its mobile Community Resilience Pod to support food relief for thousands more in Miami-Dade County. Working with a new partner, Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Arsht-Rock began to build a scientific foundation for prioritizing public health, equity, and pandemic risk reduction in its work.
As the magnitude of the pandemic became clear, the center recognized the need for hope and launched a series called “Stories of Resilience” to share inspiring and impactful examples of people helping others.
As summer neared its end, the world saw an array of natural threats and disasters impede its ability to respond to the pandemic, with extreme heat inhibiting COVID-19 testing, the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, and wildfires forcing people out of their homes. In fact, August 2020 was the hottest it has ever been in the Northern Hemisphere.
Arsht-Rock and more than thirty global partners agree that extreme heat is one of the greatest threats to a livable future for the most vulnerable people on the planet. In turn, the center and its partners formed the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA) with a vision of a world without heat-related deaths and loss of livelihoods. Recognizing that heat represents one of the greatest climate threats to human health but rarely commands the same attention as more visible and dramatic disasters, one of the EHRA’s first initiatives was to spearhead the naming and ranking of heat waves.
The Community Resilience Pod has reached more than 10,000 families with solutions to food insecurity, helping residents most in need across Miami-Dade County.
Arsht-Rock also partnered with LEADERS magazine to dedicate an entire issue to resilience. This special edition Resilience Issue, with a thought-provoking cover by renowned New Yorker cartoonist Peter Kuper, featured founding donor of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center and Atlantic Council Executive Vice Chair Adrienne Arsht, Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz Wynton Marsalis, and the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
Preview of center intentions for 2021
With President Joe Biden naming climate change as one of his administration’s top four priorities, the center expects greater domestic attention—and opportunities for action—on climate and associated issues in 2021. The Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance’s work will be critical as the center brings extreme heat to the forefront of the climate landscape, including at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26).
In a world turned more virtual since the beginning of the pandemic, Arsht-Rock will begin to reach individuals through gaming by integrating evidence-based interventions into existing and soon-to-be-released games. The Community Resilience Pod has become a trusted and invaluable asset for the citizens of Miami-Dade County. Reaching more than 10,000 families with food, fruit trees, and vegetable seedlings, Arsht-Rock and partners provided solutions to food insecurity to those most in need across the county.