Washington Neighborhood Engagement Project: Putting Racial Equity and Authentic Community Engagement at the Center of Climate Adaptation Decision Making

Year Complete: 2019
Grant Category: Equity Pilot Initiative
Grant Amount: $50,000
Local Government: City of Dubuque, IA
Local Foundation: Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

Project Purpose

To carry out authentic community engagement with a group of partners by making significant efforts and investments to support resilient neighborhood development in Dubuque’s Washington Neighborhood.

Key Lessons Learned

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

A key lesson learned on building capacity was that it is important to be present in the target neighborhood consistently. The project team started by getting the neighborhood established, out of their houses and connected with each other first to grow their movement. One neighborhood project, a curbside planting at the Fountain of Youth, was a good example of a project that brought neighbors together and gave them a sense of community.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

The project team found that it was critical to engage both local organizations and neighbors in a collaborative way. Community leaders and organizations had previously been involved in work but never worked together. It takes commitment and partnership across local sectors to make equity sustainable.

Additional Information and Resources

This project engaged and will continue to engage partners throughout the Washington Neighborhood to build non-profit capacity and social resiliency. Find more information about City of Dubuque’s neighborhood revitalization programs here.