Peer Learning

Our Lives, Our People, Our Communities: Advancing Climate Resilience for Equity and Opportunity

Atlanta, GA | February 12-14 2020

Peer Learning Recap

The overarching purpose of this PRC peer learning event was to engage partners across the Partnership for Resilient Communities and the Upper Texas Gulf Coast Regional Resilience programs to bring together leaders of color that are working in partnership with ISC to advance equitable disaster recovery and climate resilience-building strategies in their local communities. The participants, came as teams from seventeen community organizations, across the U.S.(five from the Upper Texas Gulf Coast). The convening, intentionally designed to, offered a safe and supportive environment where space where leaders of color shared learnings and explored the dynamics working to dismantle racially discriminatory practices while at the same time advancing equitable climate and disaster recovery solutions. Additionally, we carefully selected local and national experts to provide coaching, advice, and examples designed to strengthen the participants’ work.

In the spirit of ISC’s value of “peer learning,” the convening program was largely informed by the direct, on-the-ground experiences of community leaders as well as the capacity and learning needs that have been expressed by these local leaders. This convening design approach provided an “authentic” capacity-building experience that is rooted in the overarching value of the PRC– those that are closest to the issues know what works best. This event supported networking and relationship building, offered opportunities to share and gain knowledge and expertise, learn from the equitable development and resilience building work happening in Atlanta, fostered innovation and energized participants, and it was a lot of fun! Our hope is that the offerings during this convening continue to bolster equitable community resilience building across the nation and grow the capacity of leaders of color to advance in the climate space.

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Guest Presenters

Guest Presenters:

Shamar Bibbins, The Kresge Foundation
Suzanne Burnes, Partnership for Southern Equity
Thomas Calloway, East Point, GA
Deana Holiday Ingraham, East Point, GA
Reynaldo Holmes, East Point, GA
Sterling Johnson, Partnership for Southern Equity
Cheneé Joseph, Historic District Development Corporation
Pierre Joseph, Independent Philanthropic Advisor
Chloe Mondesir, Partnership for Southern Equity
Bakeyah Nelson, Ph.D., Air Alliance Houston
Jennifer Patrick, The JPB Foundation
Karen Rene’, East Point, GA; NAACP Atlanta/Fulton County Branch
Nathaniel Smith, Partnership for Southern Equity
Scot Spencer, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Tené Traylor, The Kendeda Fund
Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler, Center for Community Progress
Jennifer Watson Roberts, ecoAmerica
Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, The Kresge Foundation












Since 1991, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has worked in the United States and around the world to help communities, cities, industry, and NGOs accomplish their environmental, economic, and social goals. ISC uses training, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, and demonstration projects to help unleash the power of local people and institutions to address immediate challenges and opportunities – all while building those on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy. At the heart of the organization’s approach is results focused, authentic, and pragmatic engagement with all stakeholders, which unearths locally-driven and equitable solutions to the biggest challenge we face – global climate change. Learn more at


2020 peer learning teams from the Partnership for Resilient Communities and the Upper Texas Gulf Coast Regional Resilience Initiative.



Here you’ll find convening the convening resource guide, program presentations, and videos.

A discussion that focused on national trends, current and future opportunities in the climate field of practice and, the policy and equitable development strategies and actions organizations can consider bringing greater resilience and economic opportunities to their local communities.

The relationship between planning and policy approaches, and access to thriving communities that offer a great quality of life, economic opportunities and other essential opportunity structures is a critical aspect of solid climate resilience work. Community organizations have a critical role in organizing residents and other stakeholders to advance, and often, demand a seat at planning tables and in informing policy and community investment decisions. This plenary shared best practices and examples of how to put together winning policy campaigns that gain the attention, respect and support of elected and public officials and other key decision-makers through smart organizing strategies.