DGA Doctoral Student, Kathryn Duffy-Jaeger has just returned from another trip to Brussels where she has been involved in a Rutgers University-based initiative that works with communities post-crisis to build resilience, communication, trust and security.
The project in Brussels has worked with both the community of Molenbeek as well as the Jewish community. The Molenbeek community has felt the effects of tension and stigmatization since the Brussels terrorist attacks. This is partially due to the significant exposure the municipality has experienced in light of the links to terrorists, radicalization and foreign fighters- and to the radicalization problems the community has experienced. It has had an effect on residents, youth, businessowners, law enforcement officials and other organizations involved there. The Jewish community of Brussels has also felt the effects of terror and the initiative has also focused on communication with members and leaders to address issues important to this community as well.
During this most recent trip, Kathryn was invited as an observer to a community engagement event "WAM1080" (We Are Molenbeek) sponsored by NGOs working in the field in Molenbeek, and the U.S. Embassy among other partners. Over 100 Molenbeek residents were invited to the event as well as members of academia and civil society organizations. Participants discussed issues surrounding the radicalization problem in their community and worked in groups to share their ideas on possible solutions to the issue- from a community member perspective. The event was held in French and Flemish languages. Kathryn will return to the area again in preparation for an upcoming Rutgers community-based event intended to further communication and trust with discussion on issues important to community members. The event is designed to promote further community member engagement toward resilience-building, communication and security in vulnerable communities and in an environment that has become fragile in light of the attacks.