WGF Staff Attend Climate Justice & Community Resilience Summit
Carolyn Pralle, July 20, 2023
From June 21st-23rd, 2023, WGF staff members attended the Climate Justice and Community Resilience Summit in Madison, including Fred Clark (Executive Director), Flossie Siebert (Development Director) and Carolyn Pralle (Communications Coordinator). The summit was hosted by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters and the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact.
The summit was a powerful opportunity where we deepened our relationships with other climate-focused organizations and leaders in Wisconsin. Two examples of represented coalitions include the Wisconsin Environmental Justice and Infrastructure Initiative (EJII) and the Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin (CECW). We connected with diverse leaders and dedicated professionals in agriculture, transportation, finance, water quality, and storytelling.
This free event built on the Climate Fast Forward conference and its accompanying Climate Fast Forward Action Plan from 2022, with emphasis on inclusivity (even including free lodging, childcare, and travel reimbursement for summit attendees). The summit began with an evening networking session at the Spark Building in Madison’s Capitol East District with summer solstice views of Lake Mendota. The next two days were devoted to presentations and working group sessions on climate action planning.
Some summit highlights included:
- Summit organizers Lizzie Condon and Deneine Powell shared climate justice resources and community resilience work in Wisconsin, noting connections in workforce development, finance, and climate action.
- Mandela Barnes, former Lt. Gov. and chair of the Gov.’s Climate Change Task Force, gave a keynote address on the power of collaborations like this summit, saying “those who are different have the opportunity to make the most difference.”
- Bob Micheel, Director of Monroe County Land Conservation Department, with whom WGF prepared the Monroe County Climate Readiness and Rural Economic Opportunity Assessment, delivered the closing keynote speech.
- Carolyn and Flossie participated in working groups sessions on ensuring equity and just transitions in climate solutions and developing climate action plans in communities across the state.
What happens next? The ideas and products developed during the working group sessions will be combined into a plan for taking more climate justice and community resilience actions across the state in the short-term and long-term. We will also be continuing to connect with those we met at the summit, and welcome others to reach out to us at Wisconsin’s Green Fire!