The Resilient Communities Initiative (RCI), a coalition of ten Bay Area social equity organizations that are creating models of community-led resilience planning, is expanding the conversation on what equity looks like. The coalition is advising regional planning processes, academic collaborations, and city planning to ensure the voices of those who will be most impacted by climate change are shaping our policies to prepare for it. In 2015 the RCI plans to expand our grassroots membership network and work with local government staff on implementing best practices in community engagement. Tools we are developing for local government use include clear partnering agreements for when government agencies work with local groups, and equity checklists for use at the beginning of planning processes.
After a sending a powerful sign-on letter to the organizers of the National Adaptation Forum, we have been working to ensure equity leaders and grassroots organizers of color are recognized as important leaders and speakers at this conference. The RCI has also been compiling a report on grassroots perspectives on the state of resilience planning around the Bay Area, which will be released in the coming month. Rooted in Resilience (formerly Bay Localize) Co-Founder and Senior Strategist Kirsten Andrews-Schwind continues to host and facilitate the RCI.