Looking for event ideas or curious about last year's programs? You can still view the page for Climate Prep Week 2021 at this link!
During September 24–30* each year, we mark Climate Preparedness Week, dedicated to learning, service, and actions that better prepare our communities for extreme weather events. By coming together to host events, we provide the resources and space to think about the ways that climate change disadvantages some communities more than others.
This year's theme for Climate Prep Week explores the many ways that extreme weather and climate change manifest outside of the most noticeable disasters and disruptions. From the toll that climate anxiety & grief can take on mental health to how the invisible threat of extreme heat is most powerfully felt in historically redlined and disenfranchised communities.
Climate Prep Week Testimonial: CJ Wong (Past Events)
Throughout the week of September 24th-30th, CREW will be hosting (or co-hosting) a variety of events that will spotlight the invisible effects of climate change.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. CREW's own Rev. Vernon Walker will be speaking at the Boston area celebration of the International Day of Peace, which is being hosted by Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries. This year's theme is End Racism, Build Peace. In addition to Rev. Walker speaking on intersections of peace, anti-racism, and preparing for climate change, this year's program will feature Reggie Harris & Greg Greenway of Deeper Than The Skin; Kevin C. Peterson from the New Democracy Coalition; Dawn Duncan from the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness; and local artist Issa Bibbins.
Join CREW and GreenRoots for a virtual event that will focus on the challenges that extreme heat poses to communities. We will include in the discussion about the C-HEAT Project that GreenRoots is leading. We will delve into the project and how the project has enlightened residents in the East Boston and Chelsea Communities about extreme heat.
Dr. Madeleine Scammell is an Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health and a JPB Environmental Health Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health. Her expertise is in the area of community-driven and community-based participatory research and includes the use of qualitative methods in the area of environmental health and epidemiologic studies. In 2017 Dr. Scammell was awarded an NIEHS/NIH Outstanding New Environmental Scientist award, establishing the Mesoamerican Nephropathy Occupational Study (MANOS), longitudinal study of agricultural workers in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Dr. Scammell co-leads the Chelsea & East Boston Heat Study, C-HEAT, examining exposure to heat and poor air quality, where we live, work and play. This is in partnership with GreenRoots, Chelsea, a grassroots environmental justice organization.
Dr. Scammell served of the Board of Health in the City of Chelsea for 10 years, and currently serves as Chair of the board of directors of the Science & Environmental Health Network. She teaches an upper level course, PH 801, Community-Engaged Research: Theory, application and methods, and previously taught Environmental Health Science, Law and Policy (EH 805) and Foundations of Environmental Health (EH 717). In 2014 Dr. Scammell co-edited with Charles Levenstein, The Toxic Schoolhouse, published by Baywood Press (now Routledge).
Bianca Bowman is excited to have joined GreenRoots after an AmeriCorps year on Cape Cod where she did varied environmental field work and forest fire management work. She is originally from the Washington, DC area and graduated from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She double majored in English and Environmental Science & Policy, and spent time in college advocating for educational and housing equity in Williamsburg and participating in community-based citizen science research. She believes strongly in fighting for climate and environmental equity by focusing on local issues. Bianca is very passionate about eating, and is thrilled to be so close to all of the good food in Chelsea and East Boston. She also loves taking trips to the mountains, camping, cooking, reading, and meeting new people.
Join CREW for a virtual panel discussion on how rising sea levels will affect Boston and how the city can be more prepared for a future of rising seas. The panel will include climate scientists from the Boston area and representatives of a Boston environmental justice organization will join us, and will be moderated by Barbara Moran, correspondent on WBUR's environmental team!
Barbara Moran is a correspondent on WBUR’s climate and environmental team. Moran grew up in Hudson, Mass., attended the University of Notre Dame, then got her master's in science journalism from BU. For 25 years, she has worked as a science journalist covering public health, environmental justice and the intersection of science and society. She has written for many publications, including The New York Times, New Scientist, Technology Review and the Boston Globe Magazine, and produced television documentaries for PBS and others. Her first book, "The Day We Lost the H-bomb," was an Amazon pick of the month, and described as “riveting” by the Washington Post. She was a Knight Fellow at MIT, and was twice awarded the National Association of Science Writers’ highest honor, the Science in Society Award.
Courtney Humphries is a writer and interdisciplinary researcher in Boston interested in urban history, environmental governance, and climate change adaptation. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies/Core Fellow at Boston College, and received her PhD in environmental sciences at UMass Boston in 2022. She has also had a 20-year career as a journalist and science writer for a wide variety of publications. She is a former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, where she previously earned a masters degree in science writing.
Baylor Fox-Kemper joined what is now the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences at Brown University in 2013. He works mostly within the Climate and Environment Group. He is also an elected fellow of the Institute at Brown for Environment & Society (IBES) and collaborates with the Fluids at Brown program and the Brown Theoretical Physics Center.
From 2007-2012, He was a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He taught in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and was an affiliate of the Department of Applied Mathematics. Before Boulder, He worked with Raffaele Ferrari at MIT and Geoff Vallis at Princeton and GFDL. His Ph.D. is from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography working with Paola Rizzoli (at MIT) and Joe Pedlosky (at WHOI). In his pre-oceanographic career, he trained in physics at Reed with Nick Wheeler and at Brandeis with X.-J. Wang.
Paul Kirshen has 30 years of experience in complex, interdisciplinary research related to water resources management, and climate variability and change. His ScB, MS, and PhD degrees are in civil engineering with an emphasis on systems applications. Professor Kirshen is interested in the integrated vulnerabilities of built, natural, social, and economic systems to climate change and SLR and the development of flexible, adaptive adaptation strategies to these stresses that are tied to the climate and SLR changes and other non-stationary conditions. He uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods but is particularly interested in analytical approaches to decision-making under deep uncertainty. He currently has research efforts in metro Boston, NH, coastal MA, and other areas. A major project is on environmental justice and climate change adaptation in East Boston.
Philip R. Giffee has been NOAH’s Executive Director since he and colleagues in East Boston founded the organization in 1987. NOAH was formed as an effort to produce affordable housing and publicly stand for civil rights for all people in the neighborhood amidst many demographic changes and challenges. Fairness, equity and access to housing and other essential resources, such as today’s climate as well as food insecurity, remain core principles of the organization.
Phil has directed NOAH’s growth from a small two-person start-up to a $5M operation. He is responsible for overseeing all departments, the organizational budget, as well as ensuring the achievement of strategic goals and program objectives. To date, NOAH has created investments of $530.3M in the regional economy. In early 2,000, Phil led the drive for NOAH, then an East Boston organization, to develop affordable/workforce/mixed income housing not only in East Boston, but throughout Greater Boston. He has also led NOAH’s Climate and environmental sustainability initiatives, which have received several national grants; and, since Super Storm ‘Sandy’, have made NOAH a leader in Climate activities and environmental justice in East Boston and the CDC/NeighborWorks America networks.
In the 1970’s, Phil co-founded Heading Home (formerly Shelter Inc.), now a leading homeless shelter and advocacy organization with sites in the Cambridge and Greater Boston areas. Phil has been active in civic, social justice and political affairs throughout his career. Phil is on the Boston Committee of MACDC and also served on the Board of the Massachusetts Association of CDCs.
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The Massachusetts Library Association will host a webinar with librarian and homesteader Elyssa Valenti Kroski, whose book 25 Ready-to-Use Sustainable Living Programs for Libraries is being released November 21st of this year! Kroski is one of many who opted for the freedom of building a self-sufficient and sustainable way of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn just what it takes to plan, organize, and run sustainability programs for patrons in libraries, both rural and urban. Programs range from gardening topics to teaching pioneer crafts, to homesteading events, and to hosting preservation programs.
Join the Leventhal Map and Education Center with a panel of invited guests for a roundtable discussion on narratives of environmental justice. The roundtable will discuss how investigating historical and present-day patterns of urban inequality, and documenting these patterns through narrative and visual works, bring an important perspective to bear on efforts for climate justice organizing. This event will be held in the Commonwealth Salon of the Boston Public Library's Central Branch, and is hosted by the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center.
Dr. Tracy Corley, Director of Research and Partnerships at Conservation Law Foundation, thrives on bringing people together to tackle the complex issues that drive climate action and environmental justice. With communities across New England, she co-facilitates action research that aims to transform policies and practices to advance environmental justice. She led the authorship of From Transactional to Transformative: The Case for Equity in Gateway City Transit-Oriented Development and, with GBH, co-produced a companion webinar series on equitable development. Dr. Corley lectures part-time at Northeastern University, is a Grist Fixer, and is a Biden-administration appointee to the Social and Community Science subcommittee of the EPA’s Board of Scientific Councilors (BOSC).
Professor Chad Montrie of the UMass Lowell History Department teaches courses on American Environmental History, Food in American History, Radicalism in American History, Malcolm X, Historical Methods, and other topics. He is also the author of five books, including Whiteness in Plain View: A History of Racial Exclusion in Minnesota (2022), The Myth of Silent Spring: Rethinking the Origins of American Environmentalism (2018), and To Save the Land and People: A History of Opposition to Surface Coal Mining in Appalachia (2003). Most recently, he was selected for a Fulbright Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary, 2022-23.
Dr. Karilyn Crockett is the author of People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making (2018) and co-founder of Multicultural Youth Tour of What's Now (MYTOWN), an award winning, Boston-based, educational non-profit organization. Karilyn holds a PhD from the American Studies program at Yale University, a Master of Science in Geography from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School. She holds a faculty appointment as professor of urban history, public policy and planning in MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning and is currently leading the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in a partnership with the Boston Federal Reserve Bank to revisit the 2015 Color of Wealth report on closing the racial wealth gap. Previously, she served as the first Chief Equity Officer, the Director of Economic Policy and Research, and Director of Small Business Development for the City of Boston.
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CREW will be joined by Jessica Fernandez Casañas, head of the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba! Ms. Fernandez will discuss the Republic of Cuba's plan for climate mitigation and resilience, and then have a Q&A about how people in the United States can look forward and create cooperative relationships with the people of Cuba as the impacts of climate change are felt all around the world. This event is being co-sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action. There will be a Spanish interpreter present at the event.
Ms. Fernandez worked as a teacher before joining the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment as a senior specialist in 2017. Ms. Fernández has participated in national and international events and meetings related to the issues of desertification and drought, disaster risk reduction, climate change, gender, and more. She has held responsibilities working on the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, and the coordination of the National Reports to said Convention. She collaborated in the evaluation and proposals of national policies, plans and strategies; as well as national and international projects- including coordinating technical assistance at the international level for collaboration between Cuba and the European Union, as part of the EU's Euroclima+ Plan.
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As part of Climate Prep Week 2022, the Rice University Fondren Library Green Team and the Leventhal Map & Education Center present a conversation about the challenges of communicating climate risks and impacts in two different geographic contexts. Rice professor and Houston-based author Lacy M. Johnson will discuss her new book, More City Than Water: A Houston Flood Atlas, and the process of working with graphic designers to produce maps that document Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston. Based in Boston, Zoe Davis works for the City of Boston as a Climate Resilience Project Manager on the Climate Ready Boston team, which informs local climate planning and helps residents visualize and prepare for the impacts of future climate risks. The conversation will help explore what’s at stake when communicating about climate change, whether as a historical record of a past disaster or as part of future-focused public policy.
Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist and author of the essay collection The Reckonings (Scribner, 2018) and the memoir The Other Side (Tin House, 2014) — both National Book Critics Circle Award finalists — and the memoir Trespasses (U Iowa Press, 2012). She is editor, with the graphic designer Cheryl Beckett, of More City Than Water: A Houston Flood Atlas (UT Press, 2022). She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and is the founding director of the Houston Flood Museum.
Zoe Davis serves as a Climate Resilience Project Manager on the Climate Ready Boston Team in the City of Boston’s Environment Department. As a project manager, she supports neighborhood climate resilience planning, the integration of climate change preparedness into municipal projects and planning, as well as the development of preparedness resources for residents and other stakeholders. Before joining the City, Zoe served as a land stewardship coordinator and TerraCorps Service Member with the Mystic River Watershed Association.
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From the eco-anxiety or climate grief that grows by watching the climate crisis continue year after year, to the daily stress and trauma experienced by people living through extreme weather events- one of the impacts of our changing climate that is often ignored because of its invisibility is the toll it takes on our mental health.
Join CREW in this hybrid event, held in person at the Somerville Community Baptist Church and online on Zoom. The event will begin as a series of short talks and Q&A’s with Dr. Jim Recht of Climate Code Blue and other mental health professionals, discussing the different ways these mental health effects can manifest, as well as strategies to cope with and move through stresses brought on by extreme weather and climate chaos. They will be followed by exercises led by Jenny Bonham-Carter and other guest speakers to practice grounding ourselves and connecting with each other, helping find the strength that will keep ourselves and our communities resilient in the face of disruption and extreme weather.
Dr. Jim Recht is a community psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His work as a climate justice activist began in 2012 at the start of the international campaign for fossil fuel divestment. He co-founded Harvard Faculty for Divestment and has served as a campus divestment consultant and advisor. As his understanding of white supremacy and white privilege has grown, so has his desire to learn from frontline communities, and to advocate for climate justice as a form of reparation.
Dr. Elizabeth Pinsky is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is the Associate Director of the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation Service, and at Shriner’s Hospital for Children Boston. Her clinical interests focus on the intersection of child mental and physical health, including trauma and fostering resilience in medically ill children. She believes that climate change poses the most urgent threat to children at that intersection of physical and mental health, and that clinicians caring for children must advocate for a rapid and just transition off fossil fuels. She serves as the Associate Director for Advocacy at the MGH Center for Environment and Health and is also a founding member of Climate Code Blue, a Boston-area climate action group for physicians and other health professionals.