NAACP - Our Communities, Our Power: Advancing Resistance and Resilience in Climate Change Adaptation - Action Toolkit

From the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), this comprehensive Toolkit provides a series of modules to help NAACP chapters and other advocates mediate climate adaptation planning processes and ensure that adaptation plans and policies meet local needs, while focusing on frontline communities, environmental and climate justice, and equity. The Toolkit provides guidance to help community groups and advocates develop an Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) Committee to inform adaptation planning and policy through 19 different Modules. The introduction defines equity, climate resilience and adaptation, environmental and climate justice, and frontline communities. It also provides a summary of how climate change will disproportionately affect frontline communities.

Initial modules address the procedural aspects of forming an ECJ committee; advancing equity in planning processes; and advocating, communicating and educating at the state and local levels. Subsequent modules focus on opportunities to advance equitable resilience solutions across various sectors (housing, transportation, water, waste management etc.). Each module includes core principles for enhancing equity and resilience in that topic area; useful checklists for taking actions; short case study examples of cities and states that have adopted equitable approaches; links to other resources, data and tools to help community groups get started and advance their work; and fact sheets with examples from community-driven initiatives.

The Toolkit includes the following Modules:

  • Module 1 - A Community Coming Together -  describes strategies for identifying and recruiting ECJ committee members, hosting committee meetings, engaging other local stakeholders, and developing a community-driving vision.
  • Module 2 - Building Social Cohesion - provides strategies to build social cohesion at the community level, including a discussion of sanctuary policies and cultural preservation.  
  • Module 3 - Developing a Community Climate Adaptation Plan - describes the roles of community-driven planning in advancing equity and provides processes and tools for assessing climate vulnerabilities in communities, establishing community goals and priorities, and developing community-driven adaptation solutions.
  • Module 4 - Passing Climate Resilience Policies - provides guidance on legislative processes, how to influence state and local policymaking, and how to evaluate policies in terms of how they address climate mitigation, adaptation, deep democracy, and equity.
  • Module 5 - Communicating For Impact - provides strategies and guidance on how to develop stories to communicate about climate change adaptation, engage with the media, effectively use social media, and write and place newspaper articles.
  • Module 6 - Educating and Organizing for Climate Resilience - describes the different types of education, organizing and awareness campaigns that community groups can engage in around climate change. It also provides guidance on how groups can prioritize activities, develop a communications plan, and host effective community meetings (both in-person and virtual).
  • Module 7 - Democracy and Governance - describes strategies for building more democratic models for ensuring community-driven resilience, including discussion of models of participatory democracy and budgeting where citizens have a role in decisionmaking.
  • Module 8 - Economic Justice - examines policies and models for ensuring economic justice, including worker and consumer-owned cooperatives, local hiring rules, public and community banking, and living wage rules.
  • Module 9 - Energy Systems - describes strategies for transforming energy systems to reduce pollution, and to enhance resilience and community control, including through community choice aggregation, community solar, distributed energy generation, energy cooperatives, energy efficiency programs, and microgrids.
  • Module 10 - Emergency Management - discusses strategies communities can take to organize and prepare for disasters - including mutual aid agreements, community emergency response teams (CERT), community preparedness plans, community-benefit agreements, local communication systems, and post-event monitoring and reporting.
  • Module 11 - Food Systems - describes opportunities to implement more resilient food systems and to increase access to healthy foods through urban agriculture, food cooperatives, community-owned grocery stores, and farmers markets.
  • Module 12 - Gender and LGBTQ Responsive Climate Resilience - describes ways that climate change will uniquely affect women and the LGBTQ community, and provides strategies for empowering and engaging these groups in adaptation efforts.
  • Module 13 - Housing - describes the nexus between resilience and affordable housing, and provides strategies for advancing equity in housing policy - including community land trusts, housing co-ops, tenant protection policies, and legal assistance for renters.
  • Module 14 - Land Use Planning and Management - describes ways that land-use planning and management affect community resilience, and provides models for more equitable practices - including by promoting community land trusts, green infrastructure, and greater access to green space and waterfronts.
  • Module 15 - Restorative/Criminal Justice - defines restorative justice, describes the intersections between criminal justice and climate justice, and describes ways in which better approaches can contribute to community resilience.
  • Module 16 - Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Resilience - describes how sea-level rise will present unique challenges for coastal communities and approaches for ensuring equitable adaptation in coastal areas.
  • Module 17 - Transportation Systems - describes how to ensure transportation justice and enhanced resilience of transportation systems - including through policies to increase access and affordability of transit, to mandate investments in low-income and other disinvested communities, and to encourage use of “complete streets” to improve walkability and bikeability.
  • Module 18 - Waste Management - describes how waste management infrastructure may be vulnerable to climate impacts, and offers opportunities to enhance more resilient waste management practices - including through policies to promote recycling and composting, ban waste incineration, and ensure that waste management facilities (such as landfills and recycling centers) are designed to withstand climate impacts.
  • Module 19 - Water Resource Management - defines water equity, describes disparities in drinking water infrastructure, and provides examples of more resilient water management practices - including investments in green infrastructure, rules governing groundwater management, creation of publicly owned utilities, using income to set water service assessments, and preventing disconnections through water shut-off policies.


Publication Date: April 29, 2019

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Resource Types:

  • Education/training materials
  • Planning guides
  • Policy analysis/recommendations


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