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Session Abstracts/Materials

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Videos from the U.S. EPA's 2013 Community Involvement Training Conference are now online! Click here to watch them now! Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Provided below are session abstracts of conference sessions for the 2013 U.S. EPA Community Involvement Training Conference. If available, session materials are provided as downloadable PDF files. Additionally, some of the 90-minute sessions were streamed using Adobe Connect. If an archive of the session was made, a link will be provided on this page in the future to view the streamed presentation. We are currently working on editing and uploading these streamed sessions.

Plenary Sessions

Tuesday, July 30 | 8:00 - 9:45

This opening plenary session began with a kick-off speech by Administrator Gina McCarthy, followed by a keynote presentation from Jeanne DuBois, the Executive Director of Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation.

View Streamed Kick-Off Speech by Administrator Gina McCarthy Exit EPA Disclaimer
View Streamed Opening Plenary Speech by Jeanne DuBois Exit EPA Disclaimer
Download Jeanne DuBois' Presentation (PDF) (35 pp, 7.75MB)

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Thursday, August 1 | 8:00 - 9:00

The highlight of the session was a keynote presentation by Dr. Julian Agyeman, Chair of the Tufts Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. His discussion was titled "Just Sustainabilities: Re-Imagining Equality, Living Within Limits."

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Information, Training, and Open-Time Sessions

Presented below are abstracts for all information, training and open-time sessions, organized by session date and time.

Tuesday, July 30

Wednesday, July 31 Thursday, August 1

Tuesday, July 30 | 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (90-Minute Information Sessions)

Eliciting Occupant Preferences (for Vapor Intrusion Risk-Management-Decisions) is Community Involvement
Presenters: Henry Schuver, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response; Alana Lee, Region 9, U.S. EPA; Jim Dilorenzo, Region 1, U.S. EPA; and Lenny Siegel, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

The occupants of buildings potentially exposed to toxic subsurface vapors are at risk from actual exposure, yet they have not routinely been involved in the inevitable risk-managing decisions to either: continue investigation efforts (attempting to definitively 'confirm' or deny vapor intrusion [VI] potential) or; take more preventive actions to ensure protection from (all soil gas) VI hazards. While some well-resourced communities figure it out on their own and decide to engage themselves in the risk management decisions being made, traditionally the transition from VI investigation/assessment/research to risk management decision making has been considered to be primarily a late-stage and regulator-only decision for which less well-resourced building occupants/communities may have little awareness or input (i.e., it has not been considered a community involvement issue). This information session, based on two role-playing scenarios, explains why and how the building occupants/stakeholders/communities should and could be empowered by ensuring that they are fully aware of, and are able to compare, the benefits and trade-offs for each of the two alternative courses of action. These case studies also show how occupants/stakeholders can have recurrent opportunities to provide direct input/preferences on any risk-managing decision between further investigations and taking more preventive and protective (physical and/or institutional vapor control/mitigating) actions. In summary, routine and early occupant involvement in risk-managing decisions to either continue investigating or take risk-minimizing actions, should be considered an important part of meaningful community involvement, and could help maximize the benefits to all parties involved with VI concerns.

Download Presentation (PDF) (3 pp, 327KB)
Download First Knock Senarios (PDF) (1 pp, 98.6KB)
Download EPA VI Residential Air Update (PDF) (2 pp, 1.52MB)

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Meeting People Where They Are - The Importance of Targeted Communication
Presenters: Rachel Potter and Lynsy Smithson-Stanley, Climate Nexus
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

The U.S. population is large, complex, and made up of diverse communities that can be identified in many different ways - location, employment, and faith to name a few. To effectively engage with an audience or community on environmental and climate change issues is challenging, and success requires that you recognize who they are, and use communications to meet them where they are.

Climate Nexus is a non profit communications group that focuses on climate change and clean energy issues in the US. We use our communications expertise and access to the best and latest research on climate science to identify and connect with audiences across the country in targeted ways that resonate with their value systems. We don't do grassroots activism, but we do work to facilitate organic, on the ground climate action by demonstrating that climate change is affecting all our lives right here, right now.

This session will show you why communications is an important part of inspiring action, and how tailoring the way you communciate to different audiences can really maximize your chance of success. With a mix of presentation, video and group activity, we promise a fun, interactive conversation that will leave you with an improved knowledge of:

  1. Why it is important to meet people where they are;
  2. Why diverse communities have different communications needs and how to meet those needs;
  3. How to design your own targeted communications program.

Download Presentation (PDF) (7 pp, 572KB)

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Social Media: Is it Right for Your Community?
Presenters: Jeanethe Falvey, Region 1, U.S. EPA; Jessica Orquina, Office of Web Communications, U.S. EPA; and Kay Morrison, Region 10. U.S. EPA
Topic: Communication and Collaboration through Technology; Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All Levels

Perception is reality. In the ever-challenging cross roads of communicating to your audience about a particular issue or topic, you may be up against background perceptions about your agency or organization. Faced with more work and less time to do the job, channels of communicating are more likely to break down. It can be difficult to keep up with the demand and in defeated weariness valiant intentions of actually reaching and effectively engaging with your audience falls far short of both their and your expectations: compounding negative perceptions.

Social media is not the answer, but it could be one answer. This session will briefly dive into some options that are available at your fingertips. We will give a brief overview of social media tools that EPA is actively using; discuss key pros, cons, and case studies; and even leave you with a game of life you'll (hopefully) never forget.

Download Presentation (PDF) (6 pp, 740KB)

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Technical Assistance Can Enhance Community Involvement, Communication and Inclusion
Presenters: Peter deFur and Laura Williams, ESC, LLC; Alberto Rodríguez, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/TAG
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology; Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels

Technical assistance for communities is available through more than one EPA program. The Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program and the Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC) program are the two most common and widely used means of assistance. Some states (i.e. Washington) have comparable programs. Other options may be available through foundation grants or other programs. Wisely selecting and applying the expertise of technical advisors can enhance community involvement in many ways. Technical knowledge and understanding empowers the community and can lead to improved outcomes for the community. This session will explore critical characteristics of technical assistance that are most useful, including scientific knowledge, timeliness, public understandability, flexibility, accessibility and openness. Specifically, the scientific information needs to be accurate and current; technical assistance needs to be available early in the project; the technical information must be explained in understandable terms and in a "user-friendly" format; and the technical team needs to be open to other perspectives and new information, especially from community members. These characteristics of technical assistance then create a collaborative partnership among all those who are working with the community, fostering participation and enhancing cooperation. These issues will be examined by the presenters and the participants in this session.

Download Presentation (PDF) (2 pp, 207KB)

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Using Crowdsourcing to Advance Environmental Justice
Presenters: Charles Lee, Office of Environmental Justice, and Richard Wayland, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. EPA; and Darin Dinsmore, Crowdbrite
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology; Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels

"Crowdsourcing" refers to a process that harnesses the collective intelligence of large numbers of people to solve problems collaboratively, by distributing tasks, assessing quality and processing work in parallel through on-line and mobile platforms in combination with meetings and workshops. These processes have the potential to tackle complex environmental challenges by engaging stakeholders, including those from historically underrepresented groups, in ways that promotes transparency, civic engagement, social equity, and collaborative team building. For these reasons, crowdsourcing is potentially an important tool to advance environmental justice. This session will highlight how crowdsourcing can accomplish this goal in two areas: (1) community planning and revitalization, and (2) citizens' science and environmental monitoring. The session will feature an on-site demonstration of Crowdbrite's platform, and case studies of two projects in San Francisco and Mexico City in disadvantaged communities where this platform has been used. In addition, the session includes a discussion of EPA's efforts to promote the development of the next generation of mobile, low-cost environmental monitoring and the potential for crowdsourcing to add value to citizens' science and environmental monitoring efforts, including perspectives on clearly defining the role of such efforts and ways the derived information can be used.

Download Presentation (PDF) (13 pp, 3.17MB)

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Working Effectively with Locally Elected Officials
Presenters: Mark Rupp, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, U.S. EPA; Doug Gutro, Region 1, U.S. EPA; The Honorable Bill Finch, Mayor, Bridgeport, CT; The Honorable Lisa Wong, Mayor, Fitchburg, MA; and Jay Ash, City Manager, Chelsea, MA
Topic Area: Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: Intermediate

A clear understanding of what local governments do and how they work is an important first step in making valuable links between the community and its local government. A stronger understanding between local government and community groups will help develop partnerships to build healthy and environmentally safe communities. This workshop will explore ways to build a process that works toward building a common goal: to strengthen the social, environmental and economic well-being of a community.

This 90-minute presentation will provide practical guidance and training on the public engagement process with locally elected officials. Participants will learn the importance of including elected officials in the loop, using their networks as a facilitative outreach for engaging communities throughout the process, and maintaining a continued informational loop. The participants will hear from locally elected officials and engage them in dialogue on how best to work with a fact pattern to simulate different perspectives and learning styles. Local officials will provide stories and tools to assist the participants in analyzing and formulating the best strategies to use in each situation. Participants in the program will help design outreach strategies for working with locally elected officials. This workshop also will utilize case studies that will illustrate the learning points and help participants to more thoroughly grasp concepts.

View Streamed Presentation "Working Effectively with Locally Elected Officials" Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Tuesday, July 30 | 12:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (90-Minute Information Sessions)

Coastal Cultural Collaboration in the Gullah/Geechee Nation
Presenters: Chief Queen Quet Marquetta Goodwine, Carlie Towne, and Glenda Simmons-Jenkins; Gullah/Geechee Nation
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels

The Gullah/Geechee Nation exists from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida. This unique African based cultural group is inextricably tied to the land and the Intercoastal Waterway. Thus, since chattel enslavement to the present time, this group has developed methods of cultural sustainability and worked on living in balance and harmony with the environment. That lifestyle has come to be encroached upon due to various types of environmental damage ranging from overbuilding to overharvesting of the waterways due to climate change. The mechanisms of adaptability that the Gullah/Geechee Nation has developed are not called upon by those creating the environmental protection legislation and most of the Gullah/Geechee population has not been brought into the circles of environmental justice (EJ). Thus, where there are brownfields, Superfund sites, and other toxic areas in the more urbanized areas of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, the native people of this culture are often left to suffer without realizing what is infecting their communities. Meanwhile on the Sea Islands, the Gullah/Geechee traditionalists that live from the land and the waterways can see the steady erosion happening before them, but have no means to come to the table with the people within the governmental agencies that have mandates to restore and protect these lands. This session will help all those that would like to connect with more diverse groups to be able to learn methods that will bridge the communications gap between indigenous and minority groups and others in the EJ community.

Download Membership Form (PDF) (1 pg, 129KB)
Download Sustainability Report (PDF) (28 pp, 1.5MB)
Download Gullah/Geechee Nation Brochure (PDF) (2 pp, 273KB)
View Recorded Presentation "Coastal Cultural Collaboration in the Gullah/Geechee Nation" Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Getting Community Engagement Tools in the Hands of Practitioners
Presenters: Ellen Manges, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA; and Nicole Nakata, Association of Schools of Public Health
Topic Area: Other; Creating an EPA Community of Practice for EPA Staff Working with Communities
Level: All levels

The EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) is focused on aiding OSWER and regional offices to meaningfully engage local communities and stakeholders in their projects. This session will introduce and demonstrate two new, web-based activities developed by OSWER that will be useful to anyone conducting community engagement activities: the Community Engagement Network (CEN) and the Community Engagement (CE) Tools Framework. The CEN is meant to be an online collaborative space that provides EPA staff with tools and guides, technical assistance resources, CE training opportunities, subject matter contacts and promising practices. Through the CEN, OSWER will promote the CE Tools Framework which will reference and demonstrate the many existing or new community engagement tools and processes that have been updated or developed through the CEI. The CE Tools Framework will enable EPA staff to easily access and use the tools for project specific work. The CE Tools Framework covers three major areas of community engagement: planning, delivering information, and providing technical assistance.

Download Presentation (PDF) (2 pp, 325KB)

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Koppers: What Would You Do? - Chaos to Communication
Presenters: Latonya Spencer and Scott Miller, Region 4, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology
Level: All levels

This session, using a little humor along the way, presents a case study of EPA's community involvement efforts at the Koppers Superfund Site. The presenters will show YouTube videos produced by the community to describe various aspects of Superfund and their message(s) and communication to us; discuss how we responded to the variety of efforts they used to communicate (good and bad) with us; describe what we did to recover trust and communication with the community, local officials, Potentially Responsible Party (PRP); and present lessons learned.

Download Presentation (PDF) (3 pp, 391KB)
View Streamed Presentation "Koppers: What Would You Do? – Chaos to Communication" Exit EPA Disclaimer

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LEAPs of Faith: Lessons from the Leaders in Environmental Action Pilot Initiative
Presenters: Sheryl Good, Region 4, U.S. EPA; Karen Sprayberry, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control; Lasima Turmon, Community Development and Improvement Corporation; and Reverend Brendolyn Jenkins, The Imani Group, Inc.
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

Has your community continually experienced challenges and setbacks with 1) building capacity within the organization to address the myriad of issues that many communities with environmental justice concerns have, 2) identifying and prioritizing activities and concerns, and 3) securing resources to ensure that the work of the organization continues and thrives?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, this workshop is for you.

Four unique and distinct grassroots organizations in South Carolina participated in a three-year initiative piloted by the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the U.S. EPA to build capacity and advance environmental justice, community development, and sustainability within their communities and collectively throughout the state. Over the three-year period, each organization received technical assistance and guidance to overcome their unique organizational and community challenges.

Representatives from two of the pilot organizations, SCDHEC, and EPA will discuss the Leaders in Environmental Action Pilot (LEAP) and share information on the collaborative, problem-solving approach that was used to assist the organizations in addressing their concerns. Participants will learn from the LEAPs of Faith DVD chronicling the LEAP effort, as well as participate in a group exercise using worksheets from A Sustainability Workbook for Environmental Justice Communities: Lessons from the Leaders in Environmental Action Pilot Initiative, a workbook developed as a result of the LEAP project.

Download Presentation (PDF) (2 pp, 206KB)

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"Oh, Now I Get It!": Communities Learning By Doing
Presenter: Ethan Contini-Field, TERC
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

After getting a stack of water test results, a concerned mother asks, "Does arsenic in the pond behind my house mean...my kids will get cancer?" You take a deep breath and start explaining about the testing process, parts per billion, sampling, risk assessment...but you can see her eyes glazing over. Interpreting test results and risk assessment is hard enough for someone with a graduate degree — how do you explain them to someone with a high school diploma?

Building on two decades of research into how adults understand math and science, the "Statistics for Action" project at TERC has spent the past four years developing resources, activities, tools, and guides that environmental professionals can use to help communities:

  • Understand frequently-used terms, units, and concepts in environmental data
  • Analyze data to choose their priorities strategically
  • Assess health risks
  • Base their advocacy campaigns on real data

In this training, we'll demonstrate a few of the fun and engaging activities you can use with community groups so they can learn by doing, not just by listening. We'll review some of the other "Statistics for Action" activities and resources that groups can use on their own, before you meet with them — if they understand the units and basic test results before you get there, your time with them can be more productive. We also will show materials available for free on the web at sfa.terc.edu. Exit EPA Disclaimer

Download Presentation (PDF) (3 pp, 568KB)

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How Mobile Apps Can Encourage Community Involvement in Supporting Clean Waterways and Beaches
Presenter: Travis Loop, Office of Water, U.S. EPA; Julie Reichert-Nguyen, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Participant; Krystyn Tully, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper; and Jared Criscuolo, Below the Surface
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology
Level: All levels

Are the local lakes, rivers, streams, beaches, and swimming holes clean and healthy in your community? How can your community find and use available data and information to encourage the protection and restoration of these waters for future generations? In today's society, mobile applications on smart phones and tablets offer a great way to quickly share and communicate data and information that can address these sorts of environmental questions. This session will take an in-depth look at three water-related apps, described below, and how they can be used to encourage community involvement in protecting and restoring local waterways and beaches.

  • The How's my Waterway mobile website app helps you find information on the condition of your local waterways, what is being done to protect and restore those waterways, and what you can do to help.
  • The SwimGuide app (http://www.theswimguide.org Exit EPA Disclaimer) helps you find your closest beaches, know at a glance which ones are safe for swimming, and share your love of beaches with friends, family, and your community.
  • The Riverview app (http://belowthesurface.org Exit EPA Disclaimer) lets you share pictures of your favorite river, lakes, and surf breaks as you join a community to "explore with a purpose."

We encourage people to bring their smart phones or tablets and to download or bookmark the apps before the session.

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Tuesday, July 30 | 2:30 - 5:30 (Three-Hour Field Trips)

Mystic River Watershed
The Mystic River Watershed is one of the most densely populated urban river watersheds in the country, and drains an area of approximately 76 square miles which includes 21 municipalities north of Boston. It is home to three Superfund sites and several environmental justice communities. The Mystic River Watershed is challenged by several water quality problems, including elevated bacteria levels, excessive nutrients, contaminated sediments, and industrial pollution. EPA began issuing the Mystic River Watershed an annual report card grade for bacterial water quality in 2006, and in 2009 created the Mystic River Watershed Initiative Steering Committee. The Steering Committee, whose mission is to work together toward improved water quality and increased access to public open space, is comprised of federal, state, and local partners that meet regularly to work together on watershed projects. This tour will showcase several sites within the Mystic River Watershed that demonstrate the importance of enforcement efforts, monitoring and data collection, and municipal partnerships to the work of EPA and its partners. At the each stop, EPA staff and/or a local partner will be on hand to discuss the significance of the site as well as how EPA and the local community are working together to achieve success. Additional information can be found at: www.epa.gov/mysticriver

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Fairmont Line Project

The Fairmount Collaborative is led by three Boston Community Development Corporations (CDCs): Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, and Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation. The CDCs and their allies have joined forces to focus their efforts on developing strong, vibrant and diverse communities along the new extension of the Fairmount/Indigo Line. The four new stations at Four Corners/Geneva Avenue, Talbot Avenue, Newmarket, and Blue Hill Avenue/Cummins Highway, as well as (possible) future stops planned for Columbia Road and River Street, will provide equitable access to public transportation for more than 90,000 people that live within walking distance of the Fairmount Line. The communities along the Fairmount Line use public transit four times more than the regional average, and have been disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure crisis. In 2008-09, between 65-70% of all foreclosures in Boston took place in the service areas of the Fairmount Collaborative, increasing the need for continued access to affordable housing for low income families. EPA has provided funding to clean up more than 30 Brownfields sites within a half-mile of the new and renovated stations and will be providing technical assistance to a Green Jobs Incubator on a former Brownfield. The goals of the Fairmount Collaborative include:

  • Transit equity for their communities through the new additional stations, fair fares, improved service, and rapid transit service.
  • Joint planning for smart growth and transit-oriented development, targeted specifically at low income populations.
  • Preventing the displacement of current residents by maximizing housing affordability and increasing access to employment.
  • Strong civic engagement before, during, and after development projects in every neighborhood.
  • Increasing green, open space for residents to enjoy along the Fairmount Greenway, and providing new access to parks, playgrounds, and the Neponset River.

The Fairmount Collaborative will lead a bus tour of the transit corridor, providing information on the new transit stations, key parcels redeveloped or slated for redevelopment, implementation plans for the Fairmount Greenway, and information about the community involvement with the City of Boston, MBTA transit system, and federal partners.

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Tuesday, July 30 | 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Three-Hour Training)

EJSCREEN: Learning about EPA's New Nationally Consistent Environmental Justice Screening Tool - THIS SESSION OPEN TO EPA EMPLOYEES ONLY
Presenters: Jasmin Muriel, Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. EPA; April Nowak, Region 8, U.S. EPA; Heather Ross, Region 1, U.S. EPA; and Tai Lung and Yolanda Sanchez, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice
Level: All levels
CEUs: .3      CLPs: 3

EJ SCREEN is a new web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool, created to bring national consistency to the data and methods the Agency uses to identify communities with potential environmental justice concerns. The tool includes information on 12 environmental burdens and 6 demographic factors, at the Census block group geographic level or 0.5-, 1-, or 3-mile buffer ring around a geographic point. EJ SCREEN is a preliminary step to characterizing communities as having potential EJ concerns; it's not an "easy button." Therefore, the outputs from EJ SCREEN should be combined wiht local and experiential knowledge to aid Agency staff decisions on identifying communities with environmental justice concerns.

This session will: 1) give an overview of EJ SCREEN; 2) share examples on how to use the tool for a geographically-based project; 3) discuss what additional information, training, or support EPA staff may want to aid them in the Agency priority of using EJ SCREEN; and 4) offer an experiential case study exercise on using EJ SCREEN to help characterize a community.

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Innovative Ways of Involving Environmental Justice Communities in EPA Decision-Making
Presenters: John Ray and Roberta Ray, Montana Tech of the University of Montana
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice
Level: All levels
CEUs: .3      CLPs: 3

This presentation focuses on discussing innovative techniques to reach out to and involve environmental justice communities in EPA decision-making. While environmental justice communities are not all the same and we need to avoid stereotyping, the workshop will feature discussion as well as hands-on experiential exercises to enable the participant to develop and implement their own innovative and specific strategies and tactics for promoting environmental justice in their area. An example of such innovation has occurred in Butte, Montana. Central Butte is also the site of the Butte Priority Soils Superfund site and has an extraordinarily high number of low-income citizens. A central feature of this Superfund cleanup is the Residential Metals Abatement Program. This program has developed innovative methods for reaching out to and involving low-income citizens in the program, which is voluntary, and in the Superfund cleanup in general. The lessons learned in Butte will be shared with conference participants.

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Pictures Speak 1,000 Words: A Video Primer for Community Involvement Practitioners
Presenters: Dominic Frederico and Pam Avery, Turner Strategies
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology
Level: Intermediate
CEUs: .3      CLPs: 3

Note: CICs will receive first priority for this course. If you register for this course and are not a CIC, there is a chance that you will be removed.

We live in a visual age, and more and more people are turning to video, rather than text, for the information they need. Today's public involvement efforts must factor in the use of compelling visuals, including video, when informing and engaging stakeholders about important projects and developments. This three-hour hands-on session is for EPA staffers who regularly create video for projects in their regions. Participants should bring video equipment or video-adapted smart phones to use in class. Attendees will:

  • Review how to make the most of the equipment available, whether it's a camcorder or an IPhone.
  • Practice setting the stage for an effective video shoot (background visuals, sounds, potential distractions.)
  • Practice the 6 shots that tell the story (wide angle, medium shot, close up, etc.).
  • Learn the fundamentals of creating B-roll for the news media.
  • Review and critique sample videos.

Each attendee will receive a "Pictures Speak 1,000 Words Video Primer" Review guide. This course can accommodate up to 15 participants who will join the instructors on an on-site video "shoot."

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Transit Oriented Justice (TOJ): Not About Us Without Us
Presenters: Russ Adams, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability; Malik Holt Shabazz, Harrison Neighborhood Association; Carol Swenson, District Councils Collaborative of Saint Paul & Minneapolis; and Va-Megn Thoi, Asian Economic Development Association
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels
CEUs: .3      CLPs: 3

In the Twin Cities region, powerful equity coalitions have formed to unite communities of color, small businesses and low-income communities along transitway corridors. These efforts seek to capture the economic potential and social benefits represented in public transit investments. These coalitions work across issue sectors, geography, culture, race and ethnicity boundaries to allow communities to plan for and benefit from bus and rail projects. Who decides and who benefits from these public investments? How can community groups and government agencies successfully bridge their differences to fashion better project outcomes?

This session will feature Environmental Justice leaders who are working with communities to establish equitable hiring practices and innovative workforce development programs to help small businesses survive and thrive along rail corridors; connect neighborhoods to a broader transit grid; secure community benefits; improve local engagement efforts; and deploy equitable development strategies. Audience members will be encouraged to participate in the conversation and to jointly explore with the panel members the challenges of applying an Environmental Justice lens to our shared work. We will invite participants to share their successes and lessons learned in interactive breakout sessions, as well as full group discussions. This session will examine why simply investing in Environmental Justice community engagement leads to better project results.

Download Presentation 1 (PDF) (13 pp, 2.89MB)
Download Presentation 2 (PDF) (3 pp, 2.89MB)
Download Presentation 3 (PDF) (2 pp, 316KB)
Download Presentation 4 (PDF) (7 pp, 3.18MB)

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Wednesday, July 31 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (90-Minute Information Sessions)

Assessment and Communication in Complex Exposure Environments
Presenters: Alan Woolf, Boston Children's Hospital; Susan Korrick and Zhao Dong, Harvard School of Public Health; Jon Levy, Boston University School of Public Health; Matt Karwowski, Boston Children's Hospital; and Tarah Somers, Region 1, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice
Level: All levels

Complex exposure environments present interesting challenges to researchers in terms of study design, recruitment, and communication of findings and their implications in diverse communities. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston University School of Public Health, and Harvard Medical School will provide examples of the challenges of assessment and communication in three different but related exposure environments. In the first example, a single exposure (PCBs) will be discussed in the context of high public interest and community concern. In the second example, located in the same community (New Bedford, MA) as the first, multiple chemical exposures and other risk factors are evaluated simultaneously, with varying abilities for individuals or the community to influence or change exposures. In the final example, the route of exposure (fish consumption) may result in both an adverse exposure and a nutritional and health benefit.

Other topics to be discussed include issues related to recruitment, retention and long-term sustainability of a cohort living near a Superfund site, the design of a community-based participatory research study involving cumulative risk assessment, and the intersection of vulnerability with social, ecological, economic and political factors. Following the talks, a Q&A session will be held with the speakers. One focus of the discussion is the translation/generalizability of the presented exposure environment scenarios.

Download Presentation 1 (PDF) (2 pp, 803KB)
Download Presentation 2 (PDF) (3 pp, 164KB)
Download Presentation 3 (PDF) (3 pp, 320KB)
Download Presentation 4 (PDF) (3 pp, 182KB)
Download Presentation 5 (PDF) (2 pp, 125KB)
Download Presentation 6 (PDF) (1 pp, 81.2KB)

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Collaborating for Success in an Environmental Justice Community - 35th Avenue Site
Presenters: Stephanie Brown, Region 4, U.S. EPA; Don Lupo and Maxine Parker, City of Birmingham; and Carolyn Hunter, Tetra Tech, Inc.
Topic Area: Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels

EPA Region 4 has worked to build successful collaborations among residents, the city government, religious leaders, and local Neighborhood Associations. The merits of our success are demonstrated by the trust that has been built between the Agency and the community. The 35th Avenue Superfund site is complex because access agreements are needed from 1,900 residential properties to complete the soil sampling efforts in North Birmingham. The large number of properties requiring access is further complicated because EPA is obtaining access, scheduling sampling, and sampling properties simultaneously. Additionally, groups of residents are being represented by law firms and the number of residents who are represented as well as the law firms involved is dynamic. EPA immediately set out to garner support from Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Councilor Maxine Parker. EPA received full support from Mayor Bell and Councilor Parker, who publicly encouraged residents to return access agreements and cooperate with EPA in their sampling efforts. Collaborating with Mayor Bell, EPA has hosted several public meetings which were attended by over 200 people. The Mayor's Office also helped EPA with door-to-door outreach activities. Outreach efforts included participation from over 120 volunteers from the City of Birmingham and the organization Hands-On-Birmingham. Volunteers gathered information on over 700 properties where access is needed.

Download Presentation (PDF) (4 pp, 325KB)

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Innovative Partnerships and Community Engagement: Case Studies from the Department of Defense
Presenters: Paul Holland, Rebecca Rubin, and Richard Engel, Marstel-Day LLC
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: Intermediate

Are you looking for examples of innovative, collaborative federal programs and processes that can be used to promote sustainable land use, protect natural resources and preserve the ecological health of your community or region? Through its legislative authority and programs, the Department of Defense has developed comprehensive and inclusive processes to identify and engage all levels of the public and private sector in helping to create military-compatible land uses that protect natural resources and ecosystem health, and promote sustainable economic development. By applying these processes, the Department of Defense has minimzed risks to its mission, engaged diverse community stakeholders, and learned that community stakeholders often provide significant contributions to the conservation process, resulting in stronger outcomes. This session will focus on three areas of successful stakeholder outreach and engagement initiated by the Department of Defense: 1) the Conservation Conveyance (Title 10 USC 2694a), 2) the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (Title 10 USC 2684a), and 3) the Community Planning and Liaison Officer position. Panel speakers will address the variety of stakeholders engaged through these authorities and positions, the strong internal and external communication skills required to execute these activities, and the process for encouraging conflict management and resolution between the diverse interests involved in these environmental challenges.

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National Peer Matching Program for Native American Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages
Presenters: Charles Bearfighter Reddoor, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, U.S. EPA; and Stephen Pendleton, Maka Tribal Environmental Department
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

The session will identify the essential elements and the value of a peer matching program, describe the process communities go through, describe why they are successful, suggest how it fits into adult learning, and give examples of successful community peer matches.

In this case, peer match technical assistance capitalizes on the diverse strengths of members of nearby communities and helps them collectively develop options for action, identify resources, build relationships and establish a community knowledge base. Working together peers can build new knowledge and find solutions though their combined expertise more cost effectively than hiring a specific subject expert or consultant.

Adults learn best within the context of their own experiences and frame their own work to what others are doing. The process builds a collegial and motivated team atmosphere where peers learn from their own colleagues, each with specific contributions to the community involvement. The National Peer Match Program is a voluntary exchange of information between members of tribal communities where one tribe contributes its knowledge to assist the needs of one (or more) other tribes.

The interactive format of this presentation provides attendees an exceptional opportunity to exchange ideas, share experiences, collaborate on viable solutions and develop options for future peer match opportunities.

Download Presentation (PDF) (6 pp, 433KB)

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Outreach and Environmental Justice Tactics for Connecting with Hispanic Communities
Presenters: Jose Redmond Giron and Jonathan Essoka, Region 3, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology; Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels

Teaching Our Future: Participants will be inspired by this 2-year outreach project launched by EPA Region 3. Through non-traditional, non-regulatory approaches, this EPA team sought to teach elementary students in North Philadelphia the language of science. The school ranges from kindergarten to 4th grade and enrolls an average of about 290 children, 94% of whom are Hispanic. Through hands on mentoring and guidance, the R3 team helped to set up a school recycling program, construct an on-site urban garden, hold conferences in support of the science curriculum, present scientific disciplines to the children as career options, introduce them to EPA (who we are and what we do) and present the children with multi-ethnic role models. In the second part of this presentation, participants will engage in a dialogue with the presenters to explore innovative approaches to engaging redevelopment stakeholders in understanding and adopting successful outreach, specifically focused on Environmental Justice (EJ) issues. The current climate necessitates that the land redevelopment community, consisting of academic, developer, financial and local government representatives, actively involve residents whose neighborhoods are targeted for redevelopment, in the planning and decision-making process. Discussion will center on how outreach and EJ principles can be applied to Lehigh Valley, an ethnically diverse region with a large Hispanic population whose ability to successfully do outreach is saddled by reoccurring issues due to language barriers, lack of trust, and cultural differences. The presentation also will touch on methods to encourage community members to participate in planning processes by creating authentic bonds, valuing local knowledge, and shaping projects that clearly demonstrate value to residents.

Download Presentation 1 (PDF) (1 pp, 157KB)
Download Presentation 2 (PDF) (3 pp, 618KB)
Download Presentation 3 (PDF) (3 pp, 203KB)
Download Presentation 4 (PDF) (3 pp, 164KB)
View Streamed Presentation "Outreach and Environmental Justice Tactics for Connecting with Hispanic Communities" Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Revolutions Begin with a Spark: Rub Guerilla Marketing and Memes Together and Watch Your Outreach Catch Fire!
Presenter: JC Ward, Greenville County
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

Traditional outreach is failing to reach an increasingly distracted public. The days of educational booths and informational brochures are passing into history. Effective community engagement will soon require an innovative approach; a revolution. Public relations in the private sector use unexpected strategies such as guerrilla marketing, campaign memes and nanocasting and focus on expending time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget.

In this session, you will learn techniques needed to harness your outreach spark to spread your educational message. Guerrilla marketing takes advantage of novelty, getting the public's attention. The session features examples of such techniques and allows participants to generate guerrilla tactics for your communities. Our group will work together to create compelling slogans that call the public to environmentally-friendly action.

Our session also will explore the wonderful world of memes. A meme is a single word or picture that conveys an entire story and has become the fastest way to use social media to reach an audience. The session summarizes characteristics of exceptional memes and ways your communication can benefit from them. Session participants will be asked to contribute their opinions throughout the lecture. You will view samples of environmental campaigns and messaging and express your opinion of them through a mock focus group exercise. You will leave with the knowledge, ideas, and techniques to help you use nontraditional public relations strategies to start your own community engagement revolution.

Download Presentation 1 (PDF) (10 pp, 1.23MB)
Download Presentation 2 (PDF) (12 pp, 1.06MB)
Download Handouts (PDF) (116 pp, 7.9MB)

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Wednesday, July 31 | 9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. (90-Minute Information Sessions)

The Art of Community Engagement and Involvement
Presenters: Robin Joseph, Association of Schools of Public Health; and Kara Belle and Marcia Kargbo, Office of Children's Health Protection, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels

This session will aid participants in defining various types of community and community involvement. EPA's recently released Voluntary Guidelines for States: Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program will be used to exemplify how EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection (OCHP) developed a process for community engagement with numerous resource constraints. Attendees will learn how OCHP navigated the nuances and challenges of community involvement at the federal, state, and local levels. This interactive session will provide a forum for an open discussion around the challenges (e.g., resource limitations and community buy-in) and opportunities that exists throughout the community involvement process. Participants will learn how to: 1) establish and maintain open lines of communication; 2) build sustainable partnerships; 3) identify effective processes for community involvement; and 4) develop a lasting connection between their professional position and personal community roles which will enhance their community involvement experience.

Download Presentation 1 (PDF) (6 pp, 348KB)
Download Worksheets (PDF) (6 pp, 252KB)

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Is Meaningful Community Involvement Radical? A Case Study of The Duwamish River
Presenter: Alberto Rodríguez, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/TAG
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology; Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

Everybody is using Environmental Justice "lingo" these days (Equity, Inclusiveness, Cultural Competency, etc.). The efforts to deal with the issues that affect underserved communities are the center of attention on national news. We are talking, sometimes even boasting and congratulating ourselves, about how we are finally doing "what's supposed to be done" and "how it's supposed to be done"...but do we really even know what we are talking about? Do we fully understand these terms? Are our community involvement strategies, education efforts, outreach work plans, public processes and institutional controls effective, or do we need to change, re-think and completely re-create the ways we do things? Most importantly, do the decisions we make reflect the communities' needs, wants, and what they deserve and are entitled to? Do our decisions reflect community values and concerns? Are they respectful of affected communities' choices and cultures? We will try to answer these questions by taking a close look at the community involvement strategy used in Seattle, WA during the public comment period for the Duwamish River Superfund site. We also will briefly review some of the "common" terms mentioned above, learn about the history and complex issues for this site and its affected communities, as well as other stakeholders' interests, and discuss how EPA and the community conducted one of the most robust and holistic community involvement plans in the nation.

Download Presentation (PDF) (13 pp, 2.04MB)

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Planning for Participation: Trends and Opportunities with Community Involvement Plans
Presenters: Yolanda Sanchez, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA; and Latonya Spencer, Region 4, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: Introductory

Community Involvement Plans (CIPs) outline a site-specific strategy to enable meaningful community involvement throughout the Superfund cleanup process or for any geographically-based initiative. This seminar will present new concepts to develop CIPs and strategies for using a team approach. The presenter will use her award-winning Superfund CIP-of-the-Year as both a learning tool and a springboard to illustrate new guidance to develop CIPs. The presentation highlights the innovative techniques and various structures of CIPs and provides a broader view of effective community engagement that applies to all EPA programs, including the OneEPA concept. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how effective community engagement efforts are organized, how effective CIPs are supported by EPA guidance and regulations, and how planning for participation can support the expansion of EPA's traditional outreach efforts.

The two presenters include a seasoned Community Involvement Coordinator working at the regional level and an EPA Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) team leader.

Download Presentation (PDF) (7 pp, 620KB)
Link to the Community Involvement Plan Tool in the Superfund Community Involvement Tooklit (PDF)

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Promoting Community Involvement with Little to No Outreach Budget!
Presenter: Karen Edwards, Water Security Division, U.S. EPA; and Matthew Everett, CSC
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels

Budgets are tight and everyone needs low- or no-cost methods to engage communities and encourage involvement in voluntary programs. EPA's Water Security Division is blazing ahead on the multimedia front by using a variety of innnovative no-cost and low-cost strategies to reach stakeholders and engage partners. Whether you're promoting water resiliency, environmental protection, or any other community-based program; this workshop is for you!

Learn the difference between blogs, Tweets, Facebook status updates, and other communication platforms — and how to use them to promote your efforts. Find out who is using what types of technology and what it is that appeals to different demographics about each. See some of the many ways the Water Security Division is successfully reaching drinking water and wastewater utilities, and the communities they serve, to promote water preparedness and climate resilience; including: Tweets about the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool; a YouTube video about Community-Based Water Resiliency; and blogs promoting water preparedness and resiliency during Severe Storm and Hurricane Preparedness Weeks. We will also share information on an internal multimedia outreach guide that can be used as a model for others who want to use a range of multimedia tools.

Register for this exciting training session to hear and see how we capitalize on these innovative new tools to reach our audience and learn how you can promote your programs on a shoe-string budget, too!

View Streamed Presentation "Promoting Community Involvement with Little to No Outreach Budget" Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Raising Awareness and Action on Climate Change in Urban Communities
Presenter: Stacey Johnson-Pridgeon and Sandra Brownell, Region 1, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice
Level: Introductory, Intermediate

Although there has been discussion and activity around climate change issues at the national, state and municipal level, urban residents have not been directly engaged and informed on this issue. Urban residents across the country are exposed to significant environmental and public health hazards every day including lead poisoning, rat-infested vacant lots, contaminated urban rivers, and asthma exacerbated by poor indoor and ambient air quality. The risks of climate change threaten to add an additional burden to the cumulative, disproportionate, and inequitable health risks to urban residents and will further degrade the quality of the air, water, and land in urban populations - especially those close to the coastline. As a result, EPA Region 1's Urban Environmental Program developed a specific presentation and education program targeted to simplify the complex topic of climate change into an easily-understood message that leaves the audience informed and empowered to take action to reduce risks, reduce energy use, increase recycling, and save money. The Urban Environmental Program has worked collaboratively across many EPA programs to develop and deliver this message successfully to hundreds of urban residents in New England, and is further evolving to include additional information including emergency preparedness. Topics covered during the presentation include the basic science of climate change, health impacts, energy, recycling, community engagement techiques and tools for audience engagement and participation.

Download Presentation (PDF) (7 pp, 1.15MB)

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Using Intercollegiate Debates to Inform and Engage the Public
Presenters: Bryan Goodwin, Office of Water, U.S. EPA; and Tim O'Donnell, University of Mary Washington
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels

Organized debating events hosted by federal agencies can promote public awareness and engagement on controversial issues. The Agency provides the topic and forum and nationally ranked intercollegiate debate teams research and present the arguments, both pro and con. The strength of their arguments is rated by neutral judges. The format and the lack of bias of the debate teams are inherently trustworthy, entertaining the audience while also encouraging open-minded attention, and inspiring action that comes from understanding.

This information session will present our experience with introducing and using debates as a new and innovative method to inform and educate the public. This includes describing the process for setting up a debate and sharing best practices and protocols we developed to assist others in organizing debates of their own. We will share the experience of debates organized for the April 2008 EPA Earth Day Debates, the April 2009 National Beach Conference, and the August 2009 Community Involvement Training Conference. If possible, we may demonstrate an actual debate by college students (depends on their summer availability).

We also will share the tangible benefits that debates offer, including: (1) access to a talented pool of college students; (2) high profile deliberation on issues central to an organization's mission; and (3) education and inspiration of the public on the salient competing arguments arising from controversial issues.

Download Presentation (PDF) (5 pp, 271KB)

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Wednesday, July 31 | 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Open-Time Discussions)

Renew Boston: A Community-Based Energy Efficiency Collaboration and Greenovate Boston Initiative
Special Open-Time Session *Formal Presentation*
Presenters: Amy Vavak, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance; Bradford Swing, City of Boston - Office of the Mayor, Environmental and Energy Services; Charles Zhu, City of Boston Benita Hussain, City of Boston; and Gabriel Shapiro, Nest Step Living, Inc.
Room Assignment: Grand Ballroom C

In 2009, Mayor Thomas M. Menino created Renew Boston to ensure that all Bostonians maximize the benefits of energy efficiency and alternative energy. To carry out this vision, the City invited its utilities, businesses, and non-profit organizations to deliver programs to Boston households and businesses that would save energy and save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase demand for local green jobs. The strategy developed around residential energy efficiency focused on catalyzing partners' deep community connections to mobilize Boston households to have home energy assessments, install low-and no-cost energy efficiency measures, and complete weatherization, including insulation and air sealing. Partners placed an emphasis on serving Bostonians not traditionally reached by conventional marketing efforts, including moderate income households, landlords and tenants, and those from diverse backgrounds. As a result of these collaborative efforts, home energy assessments in Boston, as an annual percentage of customers in one to four-family homes, tripled from a level of 1.4% in 2010 to 4.1% in both 2011 and 2012. In addition, weatherization increased from 600 housing units during 2010 to 2,050 units from January 1, 2011-December 31, 2012. Renew Boston's programming serves as an important model for Mayor Menino's overall goals of reducing Boston’s emissions by 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The City's newest sustainability initiative, Greenovate Boston, will continue to build upon this idea of visionary community collaboration to encourage Bostonians to take climate actions beyond energy efficiency, including effective recycling, water savings and use of alternative transportation.

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New Approaches for Engaging with Communities through EPA's Toxics Release Inventory
Special Open-Time Session *Formal Presentation*
Presenters: Shelley Fudge, U.S. EPA - Office of Environmental Information/Office of Analysis & Access/Envtl Analysis Division; Rebecca Newberry, Clean Air Coalition of Western New York Kara Koehrn, U.S. EPA - Office of Environmental Information/Office of Analysis & Access/Envtl Analysis Division; Lee Pera, U.S. EPA - Office of Environmental Information/Office of Analysis & Access/Envtl Analysis Division; and Daniel Teitelbaum, U.S. EPA - Office of Environmental Information/Office of Analysis and Access/TRI Program Division
Room Assignment: Commonwealth C

Learn about how EPA's extensive data on toxic emissions from industrial facilities can help communities prioritize their efforts to reduce pollution. The Clean Air Coalition of Western NY joins EPA staff on a panel to discuss EPA's new TRI Community Engagement Pilots Project – and provide lessons learned on innovative approaches to using TRI that can empower residents’ ability to tackle local environmental challenges.

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Communication Planning & Public Involvement – Do We Have To?
Contact: Andrew Savagian, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Room Assignment: Grand Ballroom E

Many state and local agencies emphasis the need for community and public involvement, but few make it a part of their communication planning efforts. This open time session offers you the opportunity to share your ideas, offer input and make connections with your colleagues doing community involvement AND communication planning.

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Environmental Justice Outreach: How to Work Within EPA Regulations To Enhance External Entity and Community Partnerships
Contact: Hannah Avrin, U.S. EPA Region 10
Room Assignment: Commonwealth A

One of the barriers the EPA faces with regards to environmental justice integration is extending their knowledge, strategies, and outreach efforts beyond a limited scope. Although we have had some successes in the past, we must understand how to meaningfully involve external constituents and communities to make environmental justice a commonplace for everyone working towards it and everyone affected by it. How can we work with others to enhance environmental justice values in order to utilize partnerships to supplement multiple levels of resource constraints?

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Relaxation/Stress Reduction Workshop
Contact: Pamela Harting-Barrat, U.S. EPA Region 1
Room Assignment: Commonwealth B

With the stresses of finances, furloughs, more work/less pay, balancing home and work obligations, life is frenetic! Participants will gain insights into dealing with day to day stress, learn how to truly feel relaxed, guided imagery and how to live in the moment. It's fun and falling asleep is okay!

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Building Community Partnership Through green Infrastructure Design
Contact: Pallavi Kalia Mande, Charles River Watershed Association
Room Assignment: Faneuil

How urban and landscape design tools can be used effectively to build partnerships for incorporating green infrastructure in environmental justice communities. Presentation and discussion around case studies in the Charles and the Mystic River communities and how they might compare with other efforts nationwide.

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How Do You Involve New Stakeholders?
Special Open-Time Session
Contact: Marj Plumb, DrPH (Plumbline Coaching and Consulting, Inc.)
Room Assignment: Grand Ballroom B

Reach the Decision Makers is a Fellowship that trains scientists, community leaders and health care providers to effectively promote science-based standards and public health policy at US EPA. Reach is a year-long, webinar and experiential team-based fellowship that has trained over 75 graduates in 3 years. What do you do to involve new stakeholders to work with the US EPA?

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Framing Effective Debate Questions: An Interactive Exercise
Special Open-Time Session
Contact: Bryan "Ibrahim" Goodwin, Office of Water, U.S. EPA
Room Assignment: Grand Ballroom D

Come ready to learn about how debate can promote public awareness and engagement on controversial issues and how you may apply it to your work! This open time session will consist of a brief discussion with participants to help develop for and against positions for an outstanding issue or topic that they would like to discuss in their community. Expert debate coaches and collegiate debaters will be helping to lead this session.

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Wednesday, July 31 | 1:45 p.m. - 5:45 (Four-Hour Field Trips)

Condor Street Urban Wild Site/East Boston Sea Level Rise, Environmental Justice Tour (with a community service component)

While community struggles for environmental justice continue, an emerging priority in East Boston is addressing the challenges of climate change. This field trip will explore how the threat of rising sea levels can both exacerbate and advance community efforts for environmental justice. In a bus tour of the East Boston community, we will examine multiple dimensions of vulnerability to sea level rise and consider a variety of solutions. Tour sites will include a former industrial space transformed into a park, a proposed waterfront development, a public housing project, and a public beach adjacent to the airport. We will use a hands-on exercise to visualize projected sea level rise and discuss an array of adaptation strategies including building design, engineered barriers, landscape flood mitigation, urban design, land use planning, policy tools, and social institutions.

Additionally, there is a community service component to this field trip. The trip will culminate with a visit to the Condor Street Urban Wild, where participants will help pick up trash and other debris around the park.

The Condor Street Urban Wild was the first public park along the Chelsea Creek. The 4.5-acre site was owned by a series of industrial companies, but for decades, it lay abandoned, contaminated, and fenced off. The City of Boston purchased the site in 1980 and designated it an urban wild,aiming to transform it into a safe, attractive, accessible nature area. Due to lack of funding, however, it took over 20 years for the community to revitalize this property. In December 2000, the Urban Environmental Initiative proposed the Condor Street Urban Wild as a Supplemental Environmental Project for Waste Management of Massachusetts. The project aimed to provide much needed green and open space to the residents of the surrounding communities. The project recreated salt marsh and upland habitats, as well as created a path and boardwalk system for safe public access to the Chelsea Creek.

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The Food Project

Since 1991, the Food Project (TFP) has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, they work with over 150 high school students and thousands of volunteers to farm on 40 acres in eastern Massachusetts. Food from these farms is distributed through the community supported agriculture programs and farmers' markets, and donated to local hunger relief organizations. The Food Project is excited to welcome participants to their Boston location in the Dudley Street neighborhood to learn more about The Food Project's approaches to growing a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. Specifically, participants are invited to choose one experience from the following options:

  1. Dudley Greenhouse, a 10,000 square-foot operational greenhouse that functions as a community space and a year-round learning center for local residents and gardeners. While at the Greenhouse, participants will have an opportunity to work with staff on maintenance and harvesting activities, while also learning about the programming and production activities that go on throughout the year.
  2. Dudley Neighborhood Tour led by TFP interns in which participants will learn more about the community and neighborhood solutions through community organizing, community land trusts, environmental restoration and food production projects as tools for neighborhood change.
  3. Urban Farm Experience experience offering participants an opportunity to join the urban farmer and interns for a chance to get their hands dirty at the urban farms on Cottage and Langdon Streets.
  4. Food for Thought and Action Workshop workshop, led by TFP interns, focusing on food systems, food justice and healthy eating. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the impact of local and global food systems on the economy, environment and community.

Further information can be found at: http://thefoodproject.org/ Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Wednesday, July 31 | 1:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. (Four-hour Training)

Citizen Journalism and the EPA
Presenters: Pam Avery, Minna Lehtinen and Violet Tsagkas, Turner Strategies
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology
Level: All levels
CEUs: .38      CLPs: 3.8

Twitter, Digg, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Skype. Welcome to the new world of social media. It's a medium that takes many forms, including blogs, podcasts and instant messaging, to name a few. Today, anyone with a modern cell phone can become a "citizen journalist" and transmit information about your organization's project or issue faster than any news release can be written or released. This four-hour tutorial offers a map of the social media landscape and ways EPA staff can deploy social media techniques within the EPA's social media guidelines. Participants will learn:

  • What social media is and isn't.
  • Fundamentals of communicating via social media outlets - the do's and don'ts.
  • How organizations effectively deploy social media tools and techniques.
  • Ways to use social media within the context of the EPA's guidelines.
  • EPA's current guidelines for social media use.

During a group exercise, participants will develop messages on relevant case studies for use on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Participants will receive a customized EPA Guide to Social Media.

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Color-Coding: Going Beyond the Numbers
Presenters: Emily Zimmerman and Elise Jakabhazy, Region 1, U.S. EPA; Alexander Mandell, Region 3, U.S. EPA; and Yolanda Sanchez, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels
CEUs: .38      CLPs: 3.8

EPA often receives criticism that their communication of sampling results is too technical and does not meet the needs of the public. In this 4-hour training session, we will explore color-coding, a visualization tool to help Agency staff present sampling data more effectively. This technique uses a color coded scale, associated with the degree of protective action, to display sampling results and provide recommended protective actions that the affected public can take, based on the level of contamination.

First, this session will introduce the color-coding framework. This will include two case study presentations from two Regions who pilot tested color-coding at Superfund remedial and emergency response sites. Second, there will be a small-group activity to practice developing a color-coded scale and foster discussion on the challenges involved.

Download Presentation 1 (PDF) (6 pp, 1.8MB)
Download Presentation 2 (PDF) (9 pp, 3.04MB)
Download Presentation 3 (PDF) (4 pp, 1.41MB)

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Critical Community Engagement: Addressing Urgent Environmental Crisis Using a Case Study
Presenters: Kristina Peterson, University of New Orleans; Jordan Allen, Colorado State University; Shirley Laska, Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART); and Chief Albert Naquin, Isle de Jean Charles Tribe
Topic Area: Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: Intermediate
CEUs: .38      CLPs: 3.8

The logic and process of the Participatory Action Research (PAR) method will be discussed as a model that is essential in problem solving of critical environmental issues. The more urgent the issue the more important the building of trust, relationships and reflection between and among stakeholders. Because the process enhances cultural competency of both the agency and the community, the result is to have new skill sets in which to hear and understand the issues from each other's perspective, which mitigates stress and mistrust. This process gives the ability of comfortableness of confronting issues that emerge from the process. When the perspective and cultural framing of the various stakeholders are understood, the collaborative process is enhanced and tension between parties is diminished. The layers of issues that are interwoven in urgent environmental concerns often provoke many a response from the various players, yet without a way to engage, reflect and apply local, agency and academic knowledge, the engagement can be volatile at best. Our team will present a case study of the process used in an urgent and pressing environmental issue in a region that has been layered with various types of disasters and environmental degradation, and through that study help the participants reflect on their own experiences.

Download Presentation (PDF) (5 pp, 350KB)

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Master Class in Risk Communication and Cultural Diversity
Presenter: Vince Covello, Center for Risk Communication
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice
Level: Intermediate, Advanced
CEUs: .38      CLPs: 3.8

This training will focus on cross-cultural skills needed to be an effective risk and crisis communicator. Participants will learn the skills needed to:

  • Deal confidently with people and organizations from other cultures
  • Deliver convincing messages to diverse audiences
  • Engage in effective dialog and information exchanges with diverse audiences
  • Respond effectively to difficult questions and challenging situations derived from cultural differences

Upon completion of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Review existing risk and crisis communication plans, activities, and practices for cultural competency
  • Describe the skills, knowledge, behaviors and attitudes needed to be a culturally competent risk and crisis communicator
  • Describe the attitudes, values, and biases that can influence success in communicating risk across cultures in emergency and non-emergency situations
  • Recognize the difference between intent and impact in cross cultural conversations about risk
  • Analyze case studies for the attitudes, values, and biases that influence success in communicating across cultures

Topics to be covered include:

  • Words, images and situations that suggest cultural or ethnic stereotypes
  • Negative implications of symbolism and usage that could offend people or reinforce bias
  • Language with questionable racial or ethnic connotations
  • Different cultural meanings assigned to:
    • symbols
    • signs
    • words
    • different cultural standards conversation
    • different meanings of colors and images

The training will be highly interactive. It will include analysis of case studies and practice sessions. It also will include discussion of risk and crisis communication challenges raised by differences in ethnicity and race.

Download Presentation (PDF) (7 pp, 120KB)

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Thursday, August 1 | 9:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (Three-Hour Training)

Capacity Building Tools to Move From Division to Dialogue
Presenters: Cheryl Little, Sarah Malpass, Michael Lythcott, and Vernice Miller-Travis, Skeo Solutions
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology and Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: All levels
CEUs: .3      CLPs: 3

This session presents three capacity building tools that can help diverse stakeholders move from divisive conflict to collaboration: 1) study circle dialogues, 2) building cultural competence, and 3) collaborative problem-solving.

Study circle dialogues, developed by Everyday Democracy, is a process that empowers groups through education. The dialogues use homegrown facilitators and tailored discussion guides to lead small groups of local residents through visioning and strategic planning over a period of several weeks. Participants then form action teams to implement change.

The Building Cultural Competence tool examines the role of culture in our lives as individuals and as members of groups and organizations. Through small and large-group exercises, participants explore different cultural perspectives and common sources of conflict. The tool provides an opportunity for community residents and potential partners to build new cultural competencies, enhance their cultural fluency, and interact comfortably with each other.

The Collaborative Problem-Solving tool helps groups reach consensus on contentious issues. It teaches diverse groups the skills to approach problem-solving in a collaborative, consensus-oriented manner. Participants learn to identify positions and interests, understand types of conflict and personal conflict styles, and develop a common language for furthering their conversations around seemingly intractable conversations.

The training will focus on real-world projects through lightning talks that explain all three tools. Participants will then have an opportunity for in-depth tutorials on how to use two of the tools guided by a trainer and an experienced community member who can share their experiences for building capacity for collaboration.

Download Agenda (PDF) (2 pp, 45KB)
Download Presentation (PDF) (3 pp, 351KB)
Download Building Cultural Competence Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 1.58MB)
Download Collaborative Problem Solving Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 1.58MB)
Download Study Circles Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 369KB)

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The Moment of Oh! When People Are Ready to Act!
Presenters: John Blakinger and Greg Ranstrom, CivilSay
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels
CEUs: .3      CLPs: 3

When people in the community don't believe there is a problem, they will not voluntarily act. If they are compelled to act...well, then they will resist, confront and oppose. This resistance often results in political, legislative and/or legal action that costs time and money and creates hard feelings in the community. As a frontline public engagement practitioner, you can avoid these pitfalls by applying the individual engagement curve and seven core principles described in the book, "The Moment of Oh!"

At the conclusion of this interactive session you will be able to quickly identify where an individual stands on an issue and where he/she falls on the engagement curve. You can then help individuals - and the larger community - overcome their natural reaction to resist change by learning from other community members who recognize a need to act. This approach has been successfully employed in a highly contentious groundwater protection situation in rural Central Oregon that has experienced 30 years of studies, ordinances, recall elections, fired politicians and lawsuits. "The Moment of Oh!" is an extremely effective approach to achieving smarter communities that make better decisions.

Download Presentation (PDF) (1 pg, 120KB)

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Thursday, August 1 | 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Four-Hour Training)

Risk Communication: Messaging to Build Trust and Understanding
Presenters: Yolanda Sanchez, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA; Sophia Serda, Region 9, U.S. EPA; and Keith Fusinski, Region 5, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
Level: Intermediate
CEUs: .38      CLPs: 3.8

"(M)ost of the cases of successful communication with the public...did not rely on innovative methods to explain the data, but instead focused on improving the interaction with the public (National Academies of Science, 1989)." Successful risk communication improves the base of accurate information, begins to build a relationship of mutual understanding, and accurately identifies the underlying concerns, values, and beliefs of the affected residents.

Messaging is a process to: characterize the community and their underlying concerns; predict questions likely to be asked; and prepare clear, concise answers to those questions, tailored to the stakeholders underlying concerns. Coupled with knowledge in risk perception and skills in communication, message mapping can be a useful framework to develop a risk communication strategy for long-term environmental cleanup. First, we will present concepts of risk perception (i.e., outrage factors) and common biases in decision-making involving risk from a non-technical perspective, and explore aspects of appreciative listening. Students will be guided through a listening assessment and exercise. Then, we will discuss the technique of messaging and why it is useful for long-term environmental cleanup programs. Students will practice developing a message map on a controversial issue. We will end with a general discussion on how to use this framework to answer difficult community stakeholder questions regarding risk, including: Is it safe? What does a risk of 106 mean? What is "background"?

Download Module 1 (PDF) (7 pp, 308KB)
Download Module 2 (PDF) (7 pp, 192KB)

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The Strength of Community Framework: A Model for Engaging Immigrants in Creating Environmentally Healthy Communities
Presenter: Kien Lee, Community Science
Topic Area: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice
Level: Introductory
CEUs: .38      CLPs: 3.8

This session will teach participants about the Strength of Community Framework and its use for engaging immigrants in promoting environmentally healthy and sustainable communities. The Framework is grounded in theories of social capital, intergroup relations, immigrant integration, and systems change. It is an asset-based approach to community engagement that identifies and builds on the strengths of a community, such as its civic and social support institutions. Specifically, participants will learn about how immigrant communities are organized socially to support their members, and the civic institutions through which immigrants can be reached and engaged. Participants will become familiar with different methods for assessing the strength of immigrant communities as part of the process for designing and implementing strategies to create environmentally healthy and sustainable communities. These include measures of sense of community, organizational capacity, community capacity, and other unobtrusive methods. By effectively engaging immigrants in environment-related issues, immigrants will naturally have the opportunity to become familiar and involved with the civic structures and processes of their municipality, city, and county, as well as those of this country — thereby becoming increasingly integrated into their home and place of residence — a prerequisite for the continued improvement of the communities in the United States that are becoming increasingly diverse.

Download Presentation (PDF) (4 pp, 499KB)

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Thursday, August 1 | 9:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Seven-Hour Training)

Advanced Risk Communication and Media Skills
Presenter: Vince Covello, Center for Risk Communication
Topic Area: Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: Advanced
CEUs: .68      CLPs: 6.8

In this training, participants will learn advanced skills needed to:

  • Deal confidently and persuasively with journalists in all media settings (for example, sit down interviews, press conferences, and ambush interviews)
  • Handle the media professionally in an emergency or crisis
  • Deliver convincing messages to the media using risk communication principles
  • Master the use of risk communication templates
  • Respond effectively to difficult informational questions
  • Respond effectively to challenging or aggressive questions

The training will include discussion of (1) message development techniques; (2) preparing for media interviews; and (3) media traps and pitfalls. The training will focus on the development of message maps for use in media settings. Topics to be covered include:

  • An overview of message mapping, risk communication, and the media
  • Steps involved in developing a message map
  • Case studies of the use of message maps in media settings
  • How to use message maps for improving media interactions
  • Message mapping tools
  • Visual material for message maps
  • Credibility transference
  • Using message maps in practice
  • Working effectively with partners in developing and delivering message maps through media channels

Download Presentation (PDF) (18 pp, 399KB)
Download 77 Questions Commonly Asked by Journalists during a Crisis (PDF) (2 pp, 36.8KB)
Download Media Card (PDF) (2 pp, 149KB)
Download Message Map (PDF) (1 pp, 55.2KB)
Download Potential Opening Statement (PDF) (1 pp, 72.4KB)
Download PowerPoint Briefing (PDF) (1 pp, 52.9KB)
Download Risk Communication Checklist (PDF) (2 pp, 38.8KB)
Download Risk Communication: Principles, Tools, and Techniques Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 59.9KB)
Download Risk Crisis Communication Message Mapping Template (PDF) (2 pp, 37.3KB)

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Be Prepared: Know What to Say and How to Say It
Presenters: Pam Avery and Dominic Frederico, Turner Strategies
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology; Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies; and Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: All levels
CEUs: .68      CLPs: 6.8

What you say and how you say it is critical to getting the right information out to your many stakeholders. This intensive course is designed to give community involvement practitioners the confidence they need to explain their work and to talk about tough issues to a wide range of audiences, including community members and leaders, the general public and the news media.

Participants will learn how to prepare for public meetings and news media encounters and how to communicate effectively—even during a crisis. They'll also learn how the news media work and how to effectively incorporate social media approaches into their community participation efforts. This highly interactive course features customized scenarios relevant to each participant's programs or projects; one-on-one videotaped sessions with professional interviewers; a group training exercise; and video case studies that demonstrate how to win at interviews.

The course is limited 15 participants who must commit to attend the workshop. Participants will be contacted by email prior to the conference and asked about their spokesperson experience, current or relevant projects or issues, public meeting experience, and any encounters they've had with the news media.

Participants will receive a customized spokesperson/media training manual at the conclusion of the course, and a DVD of the on-camera sessions will be sent to participants after the conference.

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Collaborative Learning- An Expert Practice for Community Involvement in a Changing Climate
Presenter: Christine Feurt, University of New England
Topic Area: Communication and Collaboration through Technology
Level: All levels
CEUs: .68      CLPs: 6.8

Collaborative Learning is a versatile and practical approach to community involvement. It is used to engage the public and build effective stakeholder teams to identify shared goals and develop action oriented strategies for achieving those goals. Using the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative, winner of the 2012 US Water Prize, as an example, you will learn how to apply the four phases of Collaborative Learning to your work. You will learn how to conduct a stakeholder assessment and how to use situation mapping with participants to build shared understanding, identify sources of conflict, and reveal opportunities for making progress to improve a situation. You will learn and practice three skills critical for community involvement that is respectful of cultural diversity: active listening, skillful discussion, and appreciation of mental and cultural models. Moving community partnerships from awareness to collaborative action can be accomplished with the six-step "From Ideas to Action" process of Collaborative Learning. You will learn this process and receive the worksheets you need to implement this powerful process in your work. Evaluating community involvement and facilitating on-going partnerships benefits from audience polling technology and careful analysis of community input. The benefits of applying qualitative data analysis methods to evaluate, categorize and prioritize community input will be discussed. The training concludes by acknowledging the challenges faced by change agents and ways you can design your community involvement to take advantage of the five most powerful qualities of ideas that capture the hearts and minds of communities to foster change.

Download Presentation (PDF) (21 pp, 1.91MB)

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Strengthening Community Engagement Across EPA: Knowledge & Skill Building
Presenters: Sarena Seifer, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health; Sacoby Wilson, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health; Omega Wilson, West End Revitalization Association; Susan Gust, Community Activist and Small Business Owner, Minneapolis, MN; and Caryn Sengupta, Region 10, U.S. EPA
Topic Area: Facilitating Effective Collaboration
Level: Introductory, Intermediate
CEUs: .68      CLPs: 6.8

The goal of this interactive session is to enhance the ability of EPA staff to engage communities in their work, whether that work is research, technical projects, rulemaking, or permitting. The session is intended for EPA staff who are interested in deepening their understanding and practice of community engagement and fostering a community engagement learning community within the Agency. Facilitators from EPA and Community-Campus Partnerships for Health bring a wealth of experience and expertise in community engagement, community-based participatory research, community owned and managed research, environmental justice, and ecological health. In January 2013, two longer versions (1.5 days each) were successfully piloted with about 70 EPA staff from the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development. In this session, participants will be introduced to foundational principles of community engagement; the continuum of community engagement approaches; case studies of community engagement in EPA research, technical projects, rulemaking, and permitting; practical tools and strategies for community engagement; and a toolkit of community engagement resources. By creating a sense of community during the session, participants will leave with a network for continued peer learning.

Download Presentation 1 (PDF) (5 pp, 242KB)
Download Presentation 2 (PDF) (3 pp, 344KB)

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