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Integrating Climate Change and Health to Build a Movement for Equitable Policy Change

As a member of the Community Led Resilience (CLR)  team, I have the pleasure of not only working on the Partnership for Resilient Communities, but also our work serving as the National Program Office (NPO) for The Kresge Foundation’s Climate Change, Health & Equity Initiative (CCHE). CCHE launched in early 2019 and the team has worked in close partnership with Kresge to manage the community-based cohort of grantees, offering network building, capacity support and technical assistance. In our NPO role, the CLR  team worked to develop the RFP, help with grantee selection, and conduct needs assessments for those who received planning grants. 

Through these processes, we learned the topics and skills that were most critical and important for grantees and used that to inform the offerings of our February peer-learning event in Atlanta. The convening offered a powerful program that showcased the expertise and knowledge of grantees from across the national CCHE Initiative, as well as other invited guests and partners from Kresge’s other programs of work, focusing on communications & narrative building, data & evaluation, working in partnership across sectors, and self-care for leaders working in frontline communities, among other topics. Two site visits were also organized to showcase work happening in two primarily Black neighborhoods which have major impacts from climate change and health, extending into the issues of economic development, housing, mental health and job training. With nearly 150 participants, the convening allowed grantees to build new relationships, learn from experts both among the grantees and nationally, and dig deep into the connections between climate change and health. 

Having the opportunity to work on CCHE as part of our broader CLR work gives us the opportunity to learn from multiple stakeholders, communities and projects and continue to shape all of the CLR programs using these shared learnings. As we approach the coming months we will work with CCHE grantees to support the development of their implementation plans, and provide additional capacity building support to organizations as they move forward on creating policy agendas at the intersection of climate change, health and equity. For a more detailed look at the CCHE Grantee Convening, please see this article from The Kresge Foundation.