Accelerating Climate Resiliency Speaker Series

Climate Resiliency

Speaker Series

MAPC is working in partnership with the Barr Foundation to accelerate climate resilience in the region by helping municipalities advance strategies that protect people, places, and communities from the impacts of climate change.

This work includes:
  • The Accelerating Climate Resiliency grant program, which funds actionable resilience interventions in the MAPC region.
  • A Resiliency Community of Practice for grant program awardees to share skills and knowledge, discuss successes and challenges, and build a support network of climate resiliency champions.
  • This speaker series, open to the public! Every other month, we'll bring experts and practitioners from across the country who can speak to the ways that they are perceiving and advancing resilience.

Questions? Reach out to Van Du at

Upcoming Events

Graphic for the ACR Equitable Engagement with Community Liaisons webinar showing headshots for three speakers: Shawn Luz from City of Framingham, Emily Sullivan from City of Summerville and Richard Harding from Cambridge Public Health Department.

Equitable Engagement with Community Liaisons

March 6th, 2024 12-1pm 

In collaboration with MAPC’s Public Health Department, the Equitable Engagement with Community Liaisons webinar will explore how cities are using community-led planning to broaden and deepen engagement with residents. You will hear about projects in three Massachusetts cities leading with equitable community engagement: 

  • Shawn Luz, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Framingham 
  • Emily Sullivan, Climate Change Program Manager, City of Somerville 
  • Richard Harding, Manager, BIPOC Men’s Health and Community Engagement Cambridge Public Health Department 

Past Events

Cleantech in Your Community

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

At this webinar, in collaboration with MAPC’s Economic Development Department, our speakers discussed opportunities and barriers to public-private partnerships, how the City of Boston is working to implement clean energy technologies, what technologies emerging form Greentown Labs are reaching commercialization, and how diversity, equity, and inclusion are being promoted in workforce development. Guest speakers:

  • Oliver Sellers-Garcia, Green New Deal Director for the City of Boston
  • Maya Nitzberg, Vice President of Community for Greentown Labs
  • Steven Lee, Green New Deal Finance Advisor, City of Boston

Building Community Resilience: Starting with Mental Health

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

At this webinar, attendees learned about navigating the impacts of climate change on mental health and wellbeing. We heard from three leaders, discussing pathways to center people in climate planning, healing pathways to build resilience, and offering resources and a hopeful lens for the future:

  • Dr. Shalini Shah, DO, Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Meghan Wise, Climate Hub Coordinator, UBC Climate Hub
  • Nancy Rihan-Porter, Director of Equity, Resilience and Preparedness, Cambridge Public Health Department

Wampanoag Ecological Perspective, Historical Resilience, and Climate Adaptation

Thursday, October 12, 2023

This session was presented in collaboration with the Rooted in Nature: Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Resiliency speaker series.

This presentation delves into the intricate connection between traditional ecological knowledge and the Wampanoag perspective. It traces the evolution and expression of their worldview up until the time of initial contact. The discussion covers how the Wampanoag people managed to preserve certain traditions despite colonization's challenges. Moreover, it emphasizes the critical contemporary implications of these dynamics, particularly underscoring the pivotal role of the Wampanoag perspective in strengthening climate resiliency efforts in the present day.

Exploring Ways to Strengthen Community Resilience with Microgrids

Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Accelerating Climate Resilience 2023 Speaker Series continues this fall on September 7 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Join us to learn more about microgrids, including what they are, how community-driven microgrids provide resilient energy, how they serve as a community aid disaster response, and about their connection to climate resilience planning. Guest speakers:

  • Sari Kayyali, Microgrid Manager, GreenRoots Inc.
  • Arturo Massol-Deyá, Executive Director, Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas

Building Resilience Hubs

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

At this webinar, attendees learned about resilience hubs, including different types of resilience hubs, their co-benefits, and their connection to climate resilience planning. During this virtual panel discussion, we heard from three practitioners who are currently working on building resilience hubs in communities around the country: 

  • Penelope Funaiole, Prevention and Outreach Manager, City of Medford
  • Aubrey Germ, Climate and Resilience Planner, City of Baltimore
  • Abbe Ramanan, Project Director, Clean Energy States Alliance and Clean Energy Group 

The discussion touched upon the potential usage of clean energy in resilience hubs and the benefits and opportunities of effectively establishing and promoting resilience hubs in communities. 

Resilient Youth: The Next Generation of Climate Activists

Thursday, March 24

How can municipal leaders empower youth movements and collaborate with local youths on climate work? Our panel of youth organizers speak on that question and more.


Climate Resilience Coalitions: The Role of Subnational Actors in Preparing for Climate Change

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


  • Allison Brooks: Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Collaborative
  • Lara Whitely Binder: Climate Preparedness Program Manager, King County, Washington
  • Melanie Gárate: Climate Resiliency Manager, Mystic River Watershed Association

Moderated by Sasha Shyduroff, MAPC Senior Clean Energy and Climate Planner and manager of the Metro Mayors Coalition Climate Taskforce

In this webinar, we hear from a panel of experts from across the United States about the opportunities and challenges of climate resilience coalitions.

Extreme Heat and the Legacy of Racist Housing Policy: Strategies for Climate Justice in Every Neighborhood

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Featured Speakers:

  • Representative Andy Vargas: Commonwealth of Massachusetts 3rd Essex District
  • Vice Mayor Lori Droste: City of Berkeley, California
  • Tennis Lilly: Climate Resiliency Program Manager at Groundworks Lawrence
  • Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, PhD: David and Jane Cohn Scientist at the Science Museum of Virginia and Affiliate Faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University

Redlining (the government-imposed practice of denying mortgages in predominantly-Black neighborhoods), disinvestment, and exclusionary zoning (restrictions on the types of homes that can be built in a neighborhood) shape the patterns of extreme heat in our neighborhoods. Our climate and heat response strategies should reflect this reality.

In this webinar, panelists from across the country explain the correlation between extreme heat and redlining and discuss strategies to mitigate extreme heat—for example, prioritizing street tree planting in neighborhoods that have experienced disinvestment and reforming exclusionary zoning to allow more people to live in greener neighborhoods.

Building Resilience with Art

Monday, July 19, 2021

Featured Speaker: Sarah Rowbottam and Erin Genia

As cities and towns experience more frequent and intense weather events due to climate change, the arts offer opportunities to support climate resilience efforts. Collaborations with artists and creatives can enhance resilience, transform infrastructure, and increase community awareness of preparedness practices and climate risks.

Please join us for a conversation with Sarah Rowbottam, Creative Producer at Arts House in Melbourne, Australia; and Erin Genia, former Boston Artist-in-Residence. They'll discuss the role of the artist in addressing climate change and building resilience, their experiences building resilience through art, and their advice for working with artists.

You'll also learn more about "Cool it with Art," MAPC's upcoming how-to guide for tackling rising temperatures with art in Massachusetts.

Climate Resiliency and Racial Justice

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Featured Speaker: Jacqueline Patterson

Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, and activist working on women‘s rights, HIV & AIDS, racial justice, and climate justice. Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the International Committee of the US Social Forum, the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics, as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy, and the US Climate Action Network.

Environmental injustice​s and climate change have a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low-income communities in the United States and around the world. In this webinar, Patterson joined us for a conversation about work to address climate change as a civil and human rights issue.

Sea Level Rise and Underwater Municipal Budgets

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Featured Speaker: Dr. Linda Shi

Dr. Linda Shi is an assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. Her research and professional practice focus on urban environmental governance, and advancing planning policies to manage the urban climate transition in ways that improve social equity.

In this webinar, Dr. Shi discusses her research on the vulnerability of municipal budgets in Greater Boston to climate change; and how to approach development in ways that promote equity, resilience, and fiscal responsibility.

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