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Reflections on the Climate Compact’s Equity Training

In September, the Compact held an internal equity training delivered by the Partnership for Southern Equity to increase understanding of structural racism that has led to policies that exacerbate disproportionate climate change vulnerability for communities of color, as well as the existence of implicit bias, inequitable access to opportunity, and how these phenomena shape decision-making in local government. Compact participants from across the region share reflections and learnings from the training:  

 

The training helped me reflect on past projects and realize how I could have made them better. This is not about adding an extra layer to your workload, it’s about listening, perceiving and communicating your efforts differently, making you more productive within the communities we serve.” 

Alison Higgins, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Key West 

 

“We all strive to measure the work we do, whether it is at a private company, local government, or non-profit. Our efforts need to show they have added value for the time spent versus the return on our investment. However, after the equity training I realize the data sets/graphs need to be seen as humans, not numbers. I have asked my fellow City Commissioners that equity be included in the metrics assigned to our budget process. Also, that we as a city use equity in our community engagement on all issues we are facing right now.”

Sandra Welch, Commissioner, Coconut Creek, and Broward County Climate Change Task Force Member

 

“Being knowledgeable and sensitive to social equity issues is a critical component of our interaction with the residents of our multicultural community so that we better understand the everyday and long term challenges they endure and how climate change can amplify those challenges. The equity training was very informative and really expanded my knowledge and understanding of social equity issues, and I really appreciated the opportunity to learn from and discuss these issues with my peers here in South Florida. The discussions and resources have been really helpful as we develop our own goals and strategies in the Office of Resilience to better integrate equity considerations into our daily work and operations.

Nichole Hefty, Deputy Resilience Officer, Miami-Dade County

 

“Participating in this training widened my understanding of the bold and intricate history of inequity in South Florida. While I have always tried to approach my job with both ears wide open to stakeholder input, this course drove home the fact that continuous and transparent collaboration is critical to building trust. I hope to weave much of what I learned in the training into our work here in Palm Beach County because without trust, it’s near impossible to build community resilience.”

Katelyn Cucinotta, Environmental Analyst, Palm Beach County

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