Be Empowered. Be Engaged. Be Sustainable.
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability offers a unique workshop series and community action grant program designed to reconnect diverse communities to sustainability while organizing positive action to address climate change.
Twice a year, BPS invites diverse community organizations to apply to host the ReTHINK workshop series and then conduct a community action project. One host organization is selected per application period. BPS will grant the organization between $1,000 and $1,500 to conduct a community action project linked to at least one of the action area topics presented in the workshop.
The ReTHINK series includes three workshops. The workshops create a space for interactive learning, dialogue, and story telling. Workshops explore different systems that contribute to sustainability, while integrating culturally relevant examples and history.
The first workshop provides a foundation for understanding sustainability and an overview of climate change.
The second and third workshops have the following action-oriented themes:
- Food choices (and access to healthy food options)
- Healthy homes (and conserving resources)
- Your stuff (and evaluating consumption choices)
- Getting around (and transportation alternatives)
Read more about the workshop series.
The Host Organization liaison will meet with BPS staff and together we will create a plan for event logistics, outreach materials and community participation. BPS will provide presenters, materials, refreshments, and daycare as needed for participants.
If you are interested in becoming a ReTHINK Host Organization, read more about the application process and grant criteria.
Sustainability is increasingly becoming a movement associated with purchasing hybrids, solar panels, organic food, recycled products, and even carbon offsets. The promotion of these actions and products has created a perception that it costs a lot of money in order to be green.
While there is a value in technological innovation and advancement, sustainability is also about a continuum of activities that involve individuals being creative and making the most of what they have. Often times there are cheaper alternatives with multiple co-benefits such as improving health, connecting with community, and self-sufficiency. Weatherizing your home can reduce your energy bills, riding a bike as a commuting option allows for exercise, growing your own food and sharing with neighbors can be a great community building experience, and deciding to buy and use durable goods means that you can share them with generations to come.
Many of these practices have existed within communities of color, but have been devalued or forgotten because they are believed to be practices that come from a circumstance of living with limited resources and not from a lifestyle choice. Many of the activities actually originate from deep-seated values core to communities of color.
By participating in sustainability education within a space that acknowledges racial history, explores the cultural tensions of differing values, and provides resources and information to empower individuals and communities to overcome barriers and find solutions, communities of color can reconnect with the sustainability movement as an opportunity to further their ability to improve their health and quality of life.
For questions about the program contact Desiree Williams-Rajee, 503-823-7632, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.