The impacts of climate variability and change affect everyone, but they disproportionately affect vulnerable populations with the least resources to prepare and recover from the damage. Understanding where these concerns sit within a broad spectrum of stressors and challenges is important in order to identify opportunities to effectively communicate challenges and increase community resilience.
This week, NC Interfaith Power & Light facilitated an Inclusive Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building session at the 2016 Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference. Participants discussed their experiences with climate-related impacts that are anticipated to affect vulnerable or marginalized communities in the Carolinas. Proven examples of programs and adaptation models were shared to demonstrate successes in preparing communities to face these challenges.
Speakers included Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program; the Rev. Leo Woodberry, Director of the Kingdom Living Temple in Florence, South Carolina; and Dr. Ronny Bell, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and Director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Goals of the workshop were:
- To help participants consider how they can bring more inclusivity into their climate and weather work.
- To identify action steps that climate professionals and communities can use to incorporate considerations for relevant impacts to vulnerable populations into their work.
- To discuss climate-related impacts within the broader spectrum of challenges faced by vulnerable populations in the Carolinas.
- To explore common language among community members, extension professionals, and scientists that can further foster collaborative engagement among these groups.
The workshop was designed for conference attendees who live in or work with communities of vulnerable populations and to facilitate dialogue between community members and climate professionals seeking to provide information and support. Participants will continue collaborating as a network to develop action steps to incorporate the ongoing goals of the workshop and considerations for communities across the Carolinas.
For more information about the session and how to engage in the network contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.