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Catalyst Miami Releases “The CLEAR Toolkit” at American Public Health Association Conference

November 22, 2017
By Kailani Acosta


Zelalem Adefris presenting at the APHA Conference 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Climate change and public health are inherently interconnected. For Miami, climate change includes extreme heat, droughts, flooding, intense storms, sea level rise, and saltwater intrusion. Each of these events poses a risk to public health – including mosquito-borne diseases, water-borne diseases, food insecurity, and poor mental health. Across the country, climate change will affect environments and people differently. In order to create a healthy nation, we must address climate change, sustainability, and environmental injustice.

From November 4-8, 2017, Catalyst Miami attended the American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health”. This theme brought together seemingly disparate issues of health, climate change, and resilience to address how these challenges are in fact interconnected. As part of this conference, Catalyst Miami presented a poster on the impact of our Miami-based climate leadership and advocacy program: CLEAR (Community Leadership on the Environment, Advocacy, and Resilience) Miami.

Between September 2016 and August 2017 there have been three CLEAR Miami cohorts, consisting of a total 55 adult graduates and 17 youth graduates. The CLEAR Miami program greatly increased participants’ understanding of climate resilience, ways to get involved in their communities, and the intersectionality of climate, environmental, and social issues.

In their post-assessment, participants shared what they learned in a short answer format. The size of the words corresponds with how often they were used.

 

One-hundred percent of participants had a clear understanding of climate resilience after CLEAR Miami, which is a 70% change since starting the program. CLEAR prompted many of its participants to become more environmentally and socially active. Of 46 responses, about 17% of graduates who had never led an action before CLEAR became first time leaders on a climate, environmental or social justice action – all within the timespan of 12 weeks. Six months after graduation, 100% of the graduates have taken a civic action related to climate resilience.

In addition to presenting our findings, we also distributed The CLEAR Toolkit, a guide for creating community resilience leadership programs. The CLEAR Toolkit includes the structure, themes, activities, and evaluation methods utilized in the CLEAR Miami program. We hope that this guide will be helpful for communities, nonprofits, schools, and other institutions that would like to facilitate similar community leadership programs on climate resilience. The CLEAR program was created to be inclusive, accessible, free, and practical. Its toolkit is to be distributed free of charge by nonprofit or community-based organizations for public purposes. Though the climate is changing and communities are at risk, education is key to resilience.

The poorest and most vulnerable communities will be affected first and worst by climate change. Get informed and get active! If you would like more information about CLEAR Miami and the CLEAR Toolkit, please visit https://catalystmiami.org/, contact us at 305-576-5001, or email info@catalystmiami.org.

The CLEAR Toolkit can be found at http://bit.ly/thecleartoolkit.