Serve Well Blog

Entries tagged 'Service Ethics'


Joy Dance

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Service Ethics

If I cannot prolong your dance, I will

Proclaim it. I will proclaim your dance to God and to the world.


Jeremy Funk wrote those words after learning of Krista Hunt Ausland’s death. In his poem “Joy Dance”, the Mennonite Central Committee volunteer celebrated and grieved for the woman who invited him to dance for the first time in his life at a quinceñera.

"Joy Dance” is our shorthand term for recognizing hope in the midst of struggle and suffering, expecting that new life, joy and resilience grow from life’s most difficult challenges. While we can’t know when difficult challenges will arise, we can equip one another to engage them. As new Krista Colleagues and service volunteers settle into service placements across the country and globe, we are equipping them for the journey, walking alongside them on their first few steps, and nurturing a community for extended reflection. Inspired by Krista herself, in the midst of tough questions, the Krista community stays focused on hope and resilience. “I almost hear you singing hallelujah,” says Jeremy in the last line of his poem. Read Jeremy's Joy Dance poem here.


Krista Foundation Expands Toolkit

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Service Ethics, Arts & Culture

"I will take care of myself and also challenge myself as much as I feel comfortable...I am a creative and artistic being...I give myself permission to have fun." As the group of thirty-some trainees declared these and other group norms, we all used our hands and arms to embody the messages, ending with a fun, little boogie.

This group, including four Krista Colleagues (Claire Smith '12, Kara King ‘06, Karolina Wright-Williams, ‘01, and Angie Merrill, '05), gathered together in Fremont for three full days of questions, creativity, reflection, and skills-building with First Aid Arts. The training centered on the Healing Arts Toolkit (HAT)- a box with an abundance of art supplies and facilitator resources - and encouraged participants to reflect deeply upon trauma-informed care, engage in arts-based therapeutic activities, design culturally appropriate adaptations, and practice self-care in a variety of settings.

First Aid Arts Healing Arts Toolkit

 Krista Colleagues (from left): Angie Merrill '05, Karolina Wright-Williams '01, Claire Smith '12, and Kara King '06

Some of the thoughts shared by the Colleagues that attended:

Why did you want to participate in this training? What goals or hopes did you bring with you?
I wanted to participate in the First Aid Arts HAT Training because the more I work with clients who have experienced trauma, the more I recognize how much we carry that trauma in our bodies and how it is not always accessible verbally. I believe art, in all forms, is a powerful modality for healing and I want to learn more as a therapist in how to use these tools with my clients.
~ Karolina Wright-Williams

I came into this training for myself and for the Krista Foundation. I, personally, wanted to build some arts-based healing skills to (hopefully) use in a future, as-yet-unknown job, and I also wanted to bring the skills into the KFGC. Many Colleagues could use these resources in their service and work, so I wanted to make the toolkit and knowledge available. Also, I think that, in their lives of service leadership, Colleagues need to tend our resilience and heal from traumas (both direct and vicarious) that we have experienced. As the Service Ethics coordinator on the Colleague Council, I approached the training as a tool to share so that we can all serve well. ~Claire Smith

Claire Smith First Aid Arts Toolkit
Claire Smith '12


What did you appreciate about it? Highlights? Challenges?

I appreciated the focus on the training objectives - Emotion regulation, Self-awareness, and Interpersonal skills - and the time taken to reflect on how they are being achieved in each activity.
~ Angie Merrill

Part of the training was learning to find and use the "lowest level of creative risk" to begin our activities, thus giving more people the ability to engage. In my work with young adults who have suffered complex trauma, this facilitation technique is going to be so helpful. It gives access to people who may otherwise disengage (for many motives) a door into the activity. Because we not only learned about the activities, but participated in them, I was able to have this experience myself - and that lowest level of risk allowed me to take deeper risks as we moved further into the training.
~Kara King

2015 First Aid Arts drawings        First Aid Arts Workshop

What "take aways" did you gather? Skills? Moments? Ideas? Insights?
Something we did in the workshop was to shout out, "Arugula!" when a mistake was made, and this was an experiential reminder to celebrate failure as a community and to normalize mistakes. Part of my work is loving our kids and caring for them during the day, so I hope to translate this idea and to create a word for our family to use, both as a way to teach our kids this concept and to remind us as parents to model that.
~Karolina Wright-Williams

I was reminded, again, of the importance of choice for survivors of trauma. Choice is embedded in the Toolkit activities, and I am reminded to be intentional in offering choice as we move through these activities which can bring up so much for survivors.
~Kara King

What does Resilience mean to you? Why does it matter?
I see resilience as both the capacity to endure/survive and the ability to return to a place of stability. I think of a line from Jane Hirschfield's poem, "...the sinuous tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side, it turns in another." Resiliency is not an easy road and often involves pain and working through the hard stuff.
~Karolina Wright-Williams

I think of resilience as the miraculous ability that humans have to recuperate and regain balance in the midst of crisis. I believe we all have it throughout our lives, and it can be tended with self-care and community support. It matters for individuals and communities because it keeps us from breaking under the weight of the world, and it matters for organizations because it is a reminder to honor the strength and spirit of those being served, and to conduct service in a way the supports the rebuilding of self instead of re-traumatizing.
~Claire Smith

The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship now has a First Aid Arts toolkit, which we will be incorporating into events for Colleagues and checking out to Colleagues with prior therapy training.


Keep an eye out for more resilience, trauma-informed care, arts-based healing, and trainings coordinated by KFGC's Service Ethics team