Infusing Equity into DC Climate Planning

Year Complete: 2018
Grant Amount: $60,000
Local Government: Washington, D.C.
Local Foundation: The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Project Purpose

To infuse equity into its climate planning through the creation of a community Equity Advisory Group and team of equity and resiliency consultants.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

This work demonstrated the lack of representation of people of color in green jobs. Government-community relations during the project period benefited from having project staff members who reside in affected communities and who truly share the experiences and impacts that residents face. In the absence of hiring residents from affected neighborhoods, Government can invest in providing resources to communities of color to enable effective engagement with government on issues of sustainability and environmental protection.

More capacity is needed within underserved communities to enable communities to have more ownership over these processes. Community members expressed an interest in working with consultants that come from their neighborhoods and who share their lived experiences. It is recommended that future projects look to hire locally to ensure that facilitators of community engagement processes have the necessary knowledge of community priorities and leadership.

Additional Information and Resources

The District’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is applying lessons from this project to institutionalize considerations of equity in other programs and initiatives. DOEE is developing a tool to ensure that an equity lens is applied to the implementation of its updated sustainability plan and is working on providing additional equity trainings for staff to increase the number of staff familiar with equity concepts and tools, building from the training developed for this project. The recommendations created by the project’s Equity Advisory Group can be accessed here.