About the Series

Extreme weather events can have devastating impacts on human communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Yet, these impacts will only worsen as extreme weather event frequency, severity, and duration are made worse by climate change and recovery times are shortened, limiting the ability of already resource-limited communities to prepare for the next event.

Therefore, it is critical that extreme weather event preparedness and response are integrated into our climate adaptation strategies. This four-part virtual series, hosted by the National Adaptation Forum, will feature presentations focused on innovative approaches for minimizing the impacts of extreme storms. 

The ultimate goal of this series is to better prepare communities for climate-amplified extreme weather by showcasing approaches, plans, and community-engagement strategies that are being used across the country.

Series Dates

This is a four-part virtual series. Attendees only need to register once in order to attend all four sessions. Session details are below.

All sessions will be held from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm PT / 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET.

  • Session One: April 5, 2023
  • Session Two: April 19, 2023
  • Session Three: May 3, 2023
  • Session Four: May 17, 2023

Session Descriptions

Session One: Stop Asking Us to be Resilient: Community Perspectives on the “Resilience” Myth

April 5, 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm PT / 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET


Among climate planners, “resilience” has become nearly synonymous with “adaptation.” Just as the meaning of “equity” has spurred debate and self-reflection across institutions, the goal of resilience also requires scrutiny for how it has been applied – and perhaps taken for granted –by adaptation practitioners.

Resilience may feel like a nebulous and disingenuous goal in communities that are forced to experience cyclical, cumulative, and escalating impacts from climate change, pandemics, and racial violence. In 2021, Ashley Shelton challenged the ways in which the ideals of resilience have become distorted. “Resilience is a short term condition,” she wrote. “The idea that resilience is a permanent state is a myth supported by white supremacy. Failing to address structural problems while labeling the people enduring such problems as resilient is gaslighting.” (Stop Asking Us to Be Resilient: On Hurricane Ida, COVID-19, and Trauma in Louisiana, Essence Magazine).

This session will feature a panel of frontline experts, including Ms. Shelton, who will each deconstruct what “resilience” truly means to their respective communities, representing perspectives that span across cultural backgrounds, generations, and geographic regions. Does “resilience” accurately reflect individual/community goals? What resources are needed to pivot the focus from “resilience” as a stopgap toward more permanent solutions? What should be prioritized during post-disaster recovery to make their communities whole, not just restored? What do their communities need to thrive in steady-state times, between the storms? The session will conclude with a discussion with participants: Are adaptation practitioners asking the right questions? Are we listening?


Ashley Shelton, Founder and President, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice

Asti Davis, Network Manager of National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN), Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

Dennis Chestnut, Member, Resilience Hub Community Committee (RHCC); Executive Director (retired), Groundwork Anacostia River DC

Viola “Vi” Waghiyi, Environmental Health and Justice Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), invited


Jennifer Li, Staff Attorney & Adjunct Professor of Law, Harrison Institute for Public Law – Georgetown University Law Center


Series Sponsor

This series would have not been possible without the generous support of the CO2 Foundation. We encourage you to learn more about their work.