The partnership is part of the Obama Administration’s effort to build climate resilience nationwide
Building on the President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Rockefeller Foundation, and Cities of Service, announced a new commitment to launch a Resilience AmeriCorps pilot program.
Resilience AmeriCorps will help communities plan and implement efforts necessary to become more resilient to shocks and stresses, including extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. Through the pilot program, AmeriCorps VISTA members will serve in up to 12 communities in 2015-2016 to support the development of resilience strategies that will both help communities better manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable. AmeriCorps VISTA members will build volunteer networks to carry out program initiatives, and create education and outreach materials to strengthen awareness and citizen engagement in low-income communities.
“National service is a powerful and proven solution to local issues communities face today, including making communities more resilient, especially those most vulnerable in the face of disasters,” said CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer. “This partnership will expand the role of our AmeriCorps VISTA members in strengthening communities and will build on AmeriCorps VISTA’s long history of partnering with federal agencies, philanthropy, and city leadership. I am confident that the work of our AmeriCorps members will have a significant impact on these communities and its residents.”
"As communities around the nation become more vulnerable to severe extreme weather and climate related events, NOAA and its partners are working to build resilient communities and economies," said Holly Bamford, Ph.D., assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service performing duties of the assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management. "These pilot projects are an exciting step in providing communities with the tools, information, and services they need to become more resilient."
The pilot program is one of a series of actions the White House announced in support of the Administration’s commitment to building resilience in vulnerable communities. Resilience AmeriCorps was developed in response to a recommendation made by the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
On Wednesday, July 15 at 2 p.m. EDT the White House will host a Google+ Hangout to discuss the important role of community service in helping vulnerable communities become more resilient. The event will feature speakers from the Administration, The Rockefeller Foundation, Cities of Service, and local communities engaged in building community resilience. Members of the public are encouraged to ask the participants questions during the livestreamed conversation using the Twitter handle #ActOnClimate.