Building a Better Ark: The Potential of Engaging Cultural Thought Leaders and Addressing Power Differential in Authentic, Community-Driven Resilience Planning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Climate change engagement is often conducted on a jurisdictional scale, and stakeholder engagement typically brings representatives from all constituencies
around a common table. Yet, individual behavior is largely influenced by norms and leaders within their cultural groups, and the “Noah’s Ark” style of stakeholder engagement largely ignores historical differences of power among participants. Co-creating safe cultural spaces with leaders within cultural communities catalyzes authentic conversation tailored to the ways in which the community talks about its own issues and creates engagement strategies, which increase climate resilience, while elevating voices of trusted sources of information. Two projects in the San Francisco North Bay Region were built on prior
research on the role of cultural identity, belonging, and engagement in building resilient regions. “Elevating Latino Voices” focused on the 25% of Sonoma
County residents who self-identify as Latinx, a group over-impacted by natural disasters yet underrepresented in political and economic power. As a direct result of the investigation, targeted, culturally relevant communication strategies and programs were identified, including “Promotores Verde.” Drawing from a cultural
tradition of recruiting and training cohorts of young adults from within communities on specific health issues, who, in turn, become resources on the issues to
their communities, “Promotores Verde” is increasing authentic engagement of the Latinx community in climate change, building leadership capacity and
empowering a new generation of climate leaders. “Rising Waters” engaged principles of biophilia to bridge understanding between experts on homelessness
and water quality to build empathy and address issues at their nexus.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Climate Resilient Societies
EditorsRobert Brears
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Cham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-32811-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameSpringer Reference Earth & Environm. Science Reference Module Physical and Materials Science

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