Last week, the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Team hosted a training in Raleigh, North Carolina that brought together NAACP ECJ leaders from across the nation. The training, NAACP Climate Resilience Convening Reclaiming Our Cities and Our Democracy: Creating Community Rooted Models of Power and Resilience, focused on how NAACP units and allied organizations can prepare for the impacts of climate change while advancing African American communities’ well-being and boosting the local economy.
Participants learned a “whole community” approach to climate adaptation that included a multi-sector vision that was rooted in systems change. They also learned how to be self-reliant on a local level in a way that not only supports their needs but also uplifts civil and human rights.
Each NAACP member present created climate adaptation and resilience plans that included a range of projects such as:
- Clean air and water standards
- Zero waste strategies
- Community weatherization programs
- Worker-owned grocery cooperatives
- Community owned solar
- Transportation cooperatives
- Zero landscaping projects with native trees and plants
- Anti-gentrification initiatives
- Equity-based disaster resilience plans
- Utility bill reformation and energy conservation
- Community science projects
Participants discussed what resiliency means when fighting climate change:
“Resiliency came when the organizations like the NAACP taught residents how to fight back through community meetings, meetings with the city council, water and soil testing, record keeping of the environmental impact, etc.”
“We are practicing resilience when we strategize creative ways to stand our ground.”
“Resilience is ‘keep on keeping on’ despite obstacles but also how you respond to the opposition’s resistance. It’s about understanding where you’ve been, understanding what you need to do to move forward and what you need to do to FIGHT.”
To watch videos of climate justice advocates speaking on resilience and to follow our work, check us out on Twitter (@ECJP_NAACP). Also, download our FREE Just Energy Policies and Practices Action Toolkit to learn how YOU can fight for community solar and energy justice in your community.