Article Published: Pandemic Response and Mutual Aid as Climate Resilience

It’s finally published! Check out this article I co-wrote with Neenah Estrella-Luna and Katherine Shor and published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Climate Resilience and Climate Justice. This piece draws on the work that Neenah and I did for Barr Foundation on Lessons from the Pandemic and the Americorps-funded work that Kat and I did on COVID response and civic engagement.

The article and entire issue are open access and available online. Thanks to founding editor Bill Shutkin for inviting this piece. Bill was a co-founder of Alternatives for Community & Environment, a community-based environmental justice organization in Boston where I got my start in this work.

Abstract: Community responses to the impacts of COVID-19 in working-class communities of color in the Boston area are examples of resilience in action. Building climate resilience is not just about hardening physical infrastructure but also about strengthening social and civic infrastructure to reach and protect the most vulnerable. This article explores the lessons learned from the pandemic for more equitable approaches to climate resilience. We find that community-based organizations and networks are building social capital through mutual aid networks rooted in solidarity, care, and reciprocity and forging new collaborations with government, funders, and service providers. These social capacities have saved lives and can also help transform the systems that produce vulnerabilities and inequities in the first place. Our overarching conclusion is that resilience is rooted in our abilities to work together, mobilize resources, and take care of one another.

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Distinguished Senior Lecturer and Director of Master of Public Policy and Community Practice, Tufts University Department of Urban & Environmental Policy and Planning

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