CEC Gathers with Frontline and Essential Workers, Indigenous Communities to Address Local Climate Resilience

August 25, 2020 SANTA BARBARA, CA – The Community Environmental Council (CEC), in collaboration with Central Coast Climate Justice Network, Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Environmental Office, will co-host Climate Resilience Roundtable: Historias de resiliencia desde las primeras líneas del cambio climático / Stories of Resilience from the Frontlines of Climate Change on Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The free virtual roundtable will be conducted in Spanish with English and other language interpretation and will have two segments: a webinar from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m, followed by a guided discussion with break out rooms from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Both will be facilitated by Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino of Food and Water Watch.

Those interested in attending must register for the roundtable in advance. The event is particularly intended for:Active listeners in positions of power, influence, and decision making wanting to deepen understanding of climate impacts on vulnerable populations and be open to their resilience solutions.Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and frontline community members seeking greater empowerment and agency to share their stories and solutions as experts at responding to crisis.Anyone interested in learning about how climate and health disasters are impacting frontline and essential workers, indigenous culture and marginalized people.The first portion of the event features a series of frontline, essential workers and indigenous community members sharing lived experiences in their native language that illustrate links between climate change, health, racial justice, and indigenous knowledge. Their stories will deepen understanding of the compounding impacts of climate change and other vulnerabilities on these populations; lift up what resilience looks like for different groups; and inform what is needed for a more cohesive and equitable community-led response to ongoing climate and health threats.

Immediately after the webinar, local community leaders, roundtable participants, and advocates in our region invested in just climate resilience efforts are invited to attend the virtual roundtable discussion from 1:00 p.m. — 2:30 p.m. To ensure quality discussions and the ability to facilitate meaningful dialogue, the second portion of the event is limited to a smaller group of people.

“We wanted to center this event on the stories of community members who live with social, economic, and environmental impacts everyday,” said Genevieve Flores-Haro, Associate Director of MICOP. Noting that these community members practice resilience every day in response to climate change impacts and historical social justice issues, she stated, “Their solutions are not always acknowledged or recognized in climate and resilience planning, but our community members are the experts that planners and decision makers should be listening to and learning from.”

The event planners hope that these experiences and stories of resilience will be considered in climate adaptation and resilience planning for a more cohesive community-wide approach.

“Climate change and global health crises increase the vulnerability for communities of color, indigeneous culture and frontline and marginalized families and workers,” pointed out Jennifer Hernández, CEC Energy and Climate Program Assistant and coordinator of this roundtable event. “When compounded by systemic social and economic inequities and racial injustice, these populations are disproportionately affected when disasters hit.” She noted that wildfires, floods, drought, extreme heat, and pandemics can impact these communities through job loss, greater health risks, impacts to housing and basic needs, and challenges to cultural access. She also shared that recovery from these impacts is often slower or overlooked for these communities.

This roundtable is the second of a two part virtual climate resilience roundtable event on vulnerable populations — and is part of a larger series organized by CEC that focuses on framing a community vision for climate resilience and adaptation for Santa Barbara County with an eye toward building community consensus on regional solutions. The Santa Barbara Foundation, a series sponsor, provided a grant from the Community Disaster Relief Fund.

“We recognize that building community resilience in advance of disasters will help us be better prepared and recover faster as we face compounded threats of climate change and global health crises,” noted Rubayi Estes, Vice President, Programs at the Santa Barbara Foundation. “Now is the time to come together and rigorously prepare for now and the future.” Many leaders are attending all six parts of the series, helping to inform overarching strategies for developing climate resilience. Recordings and information shared at previous events are available on the CEC Climate Resilience Roundtable website.

The Climate Resilience Roundtable steering committee includes a range of nonprofits, community leaders, and government representatives: Mimi Audelo (City of Carpinteria Program Manager), Rachel Couch (California Coastal Conservancy), Aeron Arlin Genet (Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District), Genevieve Flores-Haro (MICOP), Jennifer Hernandez (Community Environmental Council), Iris Kelly (Community Environmental Council), Sharyn Main (Community Environmental Council), Lucia Marquez (CAUSE), Monique Myers (California Sea Grant), Abe Powell (Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade), Teresa Romero (Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians), Michelle Sevilla (Office of Assemblymember Monique Limon), Christopher Ragland (Healing Justice/BLM), Ashley Watkins (Santa Barbara County Sustainability Division), Sigrid Wright (Community Environmental Council), and Lucas Zucker (Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy).

Funding support for the roundtable series comes from the Santa Barbara Foundation, James S. Bower Foundation, Santa Barbara County Sustainability Division, California Coastal Conservancy, and Sea Forward Fund. In-kind support is provided by Legacy Works (the event facilitators) and Direct Relief (where the first two roundtables were held).

To learn more about CEC’s Climate Resilience Roundtable work, visit cecsb.org/crr or CEC Climate Resilience Program Director Sharyn Main at smain@cecmail.org or (805) 698-8740.

About the Community Environmental Council (CEC)Since 1970, CEC has incubated and innovated real life environmental solutions that directly affect the California Central Coast. Our current work advances rapid and equitable solutions to the climate crisis – including ambitious zero carbon goals, drawdown of excess carbon, and protection against the impacts of climate change. Our programs lead to clean vehicles, solar energy, resilient food systems and reduction of single-use plastic. Learn more at CECSB.org/impact and find CEC on the web at www.CECSB.org and on Facebook.com/CECSBInstagram.com/CEC_SB, and Twitter.com/CECSB.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.