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Urban Equity Climate Compact

In urban areas across the U.S., systemic racism and ongoing disinvestment compound the negative climate impacts that communities of color face. Because of this, organizations and governments must center equity in their approach to reduce the effects of a changing environment on these communities and make way for resiliency and true sustainability.

The Institute for Sustainable Communities’ Urban Equity Climate Compact began as a pilot program in 2021 to unite community organizations and local governments in Cincinnati, Baton Rouge, and Tampa Bay to address this issue and develop equitable, community-driven climate solutions.

During the pilot program, these groups learned resilience best practices, such as scenario planning and data mapping. In addition, the compact provided opportunities for participants to network and develop teams that addressed how systemic racism impacts climate policies and local decision-making approaches. From their work, participants created strategic plans that tackled climate resilience issues in their communities.

The Urban Equity Climate Compact is accepting applications for the 2024 cohort.

The mission of the Urban Equity Climate Compact is to center equity in climate change solutions that meet the needs of communities, especially those wrestling with underlying economic, social and health factors. 


Join The Urban Equity Climate Compact

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), in funding partnership with the Kresge Foundation, is seeking teams for the 2023-2024 cohort of climate collaborators. The cohort will work with ISC to center racial equity in regional climate initiatives to ensure that communities of color have a say in the policy decisions that affect their homes and environment. 

Integrating Racial Equity into Local Governance

The governance and decision-making processes of regional climate collaborations are generally comprised of largely local government members. These members often miss the opportunity to advance strategies that hold people at the center, especially those experiencing the most harmful impacts. 

Program Focuses

  • Center racial equity to ensure advancement of an equitable decision-making process
  • Scale equitable climate adaptation solutions
  • Build the capacity of regional climate collaboratives to work with communities of color
  • Support inclusive governance and collaborative processes and practices

How UECC Advances Equitable Climate Collaborations

  • Training and events on racial equity and systems thinking
  • Dedicated facilitation and a point of contact throughout the duration of the program
  • Resource team to provide training, workshop, and technical assistance on subjects such as community engagement, data presentation, racial equity, and sustainability-related subject materials
  • $4,000 of funding for use on community engagement
  • Peer-to-peer networking and learning opportunities with current and previous cohorts

Each UECC team will have a lead organization currently supporting a climate collaboration. This lead organization will work with ISC to assemble a team of stakeholders to participate in the program. These teams should be balanced in collaborative stakeholder representation but should include community members that the collaborative wants to work with closely. 

Advancing Racial Equity Through Climate Collaborations

The Urban Equity Climate Compact understands that people of color are already on the ground leading resiliency initiatives in their communities. But, these leaders do not always receive the resources, support, or recognition they need to drive transformative change. 

As the Urban Equity Climate Compact moves beyond its pilot phase, it aims to provide community leaders of color with resources, technical support, and guidance in their climate endeavors. In addition, the compact will foster networking opportunities to help community organizations and governments grow the footprint of their work. 

Core Competencies

The Urban Equity Climate Compact has developed the following eight core competencies that guide its work. Select the core competencies below to learn more about how communities and governments can use these understandings in their climate equity efforts.