On April 17-19 the Climate Innovation team hosted the Annual Convening for The Kresge Foundation’s Climate Change, Health and Equity (CCHE) Initiative - and boy, did we have a time! This year’s Spring convening, Centering Racial Justice and Health Equity: The Power of Communities to Drive Climate Policy, was the first time the CCHE cohort has been together in-person since February 2020. There was a certain element of excitement and joy in the air as over 100 CCHE grantees and partners were in space together again after three years.
The convening opened with an evening reception and performance by local group Bomba Liberte to share with us the Puerto Rican dance culture and ground us in place and community for our time together. The theme of storytelling and narrative power was included throughout the convening. From the opening keynote from Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali of Revitalization Strategies, who reminded us that “facts move minds, but stories move hearts,” to the closing with Makani Themba of Higher Ground Change Strategies, who shared the importance of narrative - “Narrative power isn’t completely about stories– it’s about the power to reproduce, to replicate, and be understood” - this thread was carefully woven throughout all of the workshops and sessions.
On day two there were three hands-on concurrent workshops led by Greenlink Analytics, Race Forward, WAWA and Metropolitan Group, which focused on using data in your narrative, storytelling that moves policy, and media relations. Attendees then split into four groups for afternoon site visits to hear the local stories and realities of work happening on the ground. Site visits included stops at the Boarder, Barrio Logan, City Heights, and Foodshed Small Farm Distro. We ended the day with a beautiful dinner at Bali Hai restaurant and a dance party with DJ Asha!
On the final day there were several breakout sessions focused on policy strategy, data & metrics, developing partnerships, and ecosystem mapping - all featuring CCHE grantees and partners to share their stories of what’s working, what’s challenging, and what this great network can learn from each other. Finally, there was a mapping story to strategy session where we heard the from six grantees about their work, and they had an opportunity to hear from their peers about how that informs their strategy moving forward. We closed with a powerful session building off of the narrative work that Makani shared, and discussion the ability to leverage federal opportunities in this space.
The 2023 CCHE Grantee Convening was an amazing space to share progress, learn from peers around the country, and grow the capacity of the local leaders doing this difficult and transformative work. The Climate Innovation team is honored to be supporting another network of folks who are trailblazing in the climate space.
See more photos and check out this short video recap of the convening here!
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