The COVID-19 crisis has imposed immense hardship on billions of people. But that hardship is dwarfed by what lies ahead if we continue on our current path.

--Dr. David Korten, author "The Great Turning"

At IMPACT Silver Spring, we believe harnessing the best of our human spirit can help us get through these tough times and perhaps inspire us to do things differently on the other side of this pandemic. Rather than desiring to get back to "the way things were," we can work for change that makes our relationships, systems, and institutions more equitable, vitalizing, and loving.

We believe BLOCK-BUILD-BE is a framework that can show us a way forward.

BLOCK-BUILD-BE describes the essential qualities for true social and spiritual transformation. The framework is based on concepts developed by activist and author JoAnna Macy.

BLOCKing – stopping the harm from oppressive, unjust systems and institutions.


BUILDing – creating new structural alternatives that replace broken ones.


BEing – shifting our consciousness and deepening our capacity to care for ourselves and others.

IMPACT's 3-pronged COVID-19 emergency
response incorporates BLOCK-BUILD-BE:


One-on-one outreach to more than 500 network members since the beginning of  March—listening, connecting, documenting, and lifting up concerns to government and philanthropic leaders on the human suffering resulting from both COVID-19 and our unjust systems.


Emergency medical interventions are happening in the hardest hit neighborhoods because IMPACT pushed government to take the proactive step of sending in emergency medical teams to densely populated and high-risk areas for screening and testing.


Emergency cash relief funds are being established by private philanthropy and County government to give direct cash payments to people losing work in industries impacted by the pandemic.  IMPACT has received some initial grant funds to provide direct cash assistance to people in our network who have lost jobs and income.


More than $25,000 was raised to purchase grocery gift cards for struggling families in our network, enabling them to purchase food and other necessities. IMPACT’s frontline Network Builders have been working tirelessly to safely deliver gift cards directly to families.


Mutual aid in the form of neighbors helping neighbors is popping up throughout the IMPACT network.  One of IMPACT’s driving values and goals has always been building a community of people supporting each other, particularly outside of systems that are often unable to meet and respond to people’s needs and realities.


Here are examples of mutual aid efforts from IMPACT network members:


Marcela is tutoring students via Zoom in math, English, and Spanish.  Her twice weekly sessions are helping families in the Gaithersburg/Rockville area.


Daysi organized mothers at Diamond Acres apartments to take turns grocery shopping for each other to decrease risk of individual exposure to coronavirus while ensuring families have the food staples they need.


Edelmira installed a small mobile market in her van.  She delivers food directly to neighbors in the Connecticut Avenue Estates neighborhood in Wheaton who cannot do their own grocery shopping.


Yulisa at Cinnamon Run apartments in Silver Spring has organized a WhatsApp mutual aid group with neighbors to stay in touch and share important information. To date, 62 neighbors have joined the group.


IMPACT’s Weaver Learning Lab (WLL) is going virtual.  Our WLL is an exploratory experience for people seeking radical change rooted in equity, justice, and liberation.  At the core of the WLL is the idea:  Transform yourself to transform the world.


Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are shifting this typically 8-month, in-person training into a series of online webinars to start June 6, 2020.  Click here for more information.


The first webinars will focus on:


Understanding the origins and damaging effects of historical and structural racism and how they connect to present-day inequities.


Appreciating the value of inner work and committing to an intentional practice that allows for new insights and healing.


Exploring BLOCK-BUILD-BE as a framework for transformation.