Community-Centered Resilience – Lessons from Louisiana

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The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing on community-centered resilience featuring an example from Louisiana which holds lessons for all regions of the country. Across the United States, communities are facing increased uncertainty from changes such as shifting agricultural growing seasons and intensifying coastal erosion. These changes hit close to home, and communities should be at the center of finding solutions to increase their resilience.

Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) took on this challenge. The initiative addresses community resilience holistically by integrating risk planning with planning for stormwater management, housing, transportation, economic development, education, recreation, and culture.

Using a ground-breaking approach to community adaptation planning, LA SAFE, which is a collaboration between the Louisiana Office of Community Development and the Foundation for Louisiana, held 71 community meetings and engaged with over 3,000 people in coastal Louisiana. Together, the communities developed adaptation plans and voted on pilot projects, which jumpstarted the initiative’s implementation stage funded by federal Community Development Block Grants.

Briefing panelists will discuss the process and outcomes of the LA SAFE initiative to date to provide attendees with an understanding of how this model can be applied in districts across the country.

Speakers for this forum are:
**Liz Williams Russell, Coastal Community Resilience Director, Foundation for Louisiana
**Mathew Sanders, Resilience Policy & Program Administrator, Louisiana Office of Community Development, Disaster Recovery Unit
**Elder Donald Bogen, Jr., Organizer, Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing
**Camille Manning-Broome, President & CEO, Center for Planning Excellence

The LA SAFE model has already generated interested from the Chesapeake Bay and the New York metro area as well as the upper-Midwest and California. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is a strong proponent of demonstrating LA SAFE as a model for resilience work across Louisiana communities and the country: “Through LA SAFE, we are proactively working with our communities to plan for a more resilient future in the face of rising seas and continued flood risk. LA SAFE has taken a vital step by investing in community-driven plans that allow for holistic adaptation across various sectors, as well as offer a replicable model for Louisiana and climate-vulnerable communities everywhere.”

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Anna McGinn at or (202) 662-1885.


Longworth House Office Building Room 1334
15 Independence Ave
Washington DC 20515

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