Our Communities, OUR POWER: Advancing Resistance and Resilience in Climate Change Adaptation

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Year: 2019

The toolkit and initiative equip communities with the information needed to implement projects related to building resilience to the impacts of climate change with modules including

  • Establishing Local Food Systems
  • Becoming Certified in Equitable Emergency Management systems
  • Improving Stormwater Infrastructure
  • Restorative Justice
  • Healing Justice
  • and more!

The Beloved Community is a vision for our future where all people share equally in the wealth and bounty of the earth, where we protect its abundance, diversity and beauty for future generations. In this vision of liberation, racism, exploitation, and domination are replaced by democracy, cooperation, interdependence, and love. To get there, we pursue transformative, systems-change solutions. What do we mean by this? The root causes of the problems our communities face—like climate change, racism, and economic inequality—are all deeply connected. Since the problems are connected, so are the solutions.

“The Our Community, Our Power Toolkit and Initiative aim to support communities in honing a collective vision for a cooperative, independent, society that embodies deep democracy in a way that uplifts earth rights and human rights,” said Jacqui Patterson, Senior Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. “Rooted in the principles and practices of a solidarity economy, the tools and models in the toolkit uplift methods for community-driven processes that ensure that adaptation to climate change happens on the people’s terms. We are thrilled to work with the NAACP Compton Branch as the first project site to implement the practices within the toolkit and spearhead this national initiative, as it builds on their existing leadership and centers the branch as a hub for vision, imagination, innovation, and community organizing.”

The purpose of this toolkit is to put us on the path toward achieving this vision. Through the context of building equity and resilience into climate adaptation planning, we introduce strategies to transform our communities and, by extension, society. Our ultimate goal is to create lasting and systemic change. At the same time, we recognize the urgency of the issues our communities face and the need to take action now. That is why we pursue change at every scale—from policy changes to community-based projects—to institute the transformative change we need to uphold our vision of the beloved community.

Download the Toolkit