Community Engagement Panel at FEMA Risk & Crisis Communications Summit

Whirlwind Week of National & Local Activities

Extremely Exhausted & Energized All at the Same Time

Monday, June 10, 2024

On Monday, June 10, 2024, I was fortunate to be a panelist on the Community Engagement Panel at the FEMA's 2024 Crisis & Risk Communications Summit. Next Leadership Development coordinated the attendance of Black Resilience Network members at the summit. I found out on the Friday before the summit that C-Span was going to broadcast the event.

Justin Knighten, Associate Administrator of FEMA's Office of External Affairs and me in the greenroom before taking the stage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Black Resilience Network hosted our 2024 Disaster & Climate Resilience Roundtable in Washington, DC.

From 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM, 20 Black Resilience Network members met at the Brookings Institution. We used this time to get to know each other and prepared for our afternoon session at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Headquarters.

Dr. David Fakunle, President of the National Association of Black Storytellers, provided guidance to Black Resilience Network members on best practices for telling authentic stories about the work the disaster and climate resilience work they are doing in Black communities.

Black Resilience Network members at Brookings Institution

At 2:00 PM, Black Resilience Network members, federal agencies, and national associations gathered at FEMA Headquarters for a tour of the National Response Coordination Center, briefings on resources, and then transitioned to the official Disaster & Climate Resilience Roundtable we co-hosted with the DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships - thank you Director Marcus Coleman, Deputy Director Nicole Wood, and team for your partnership.

Black Resilience Network members, FEMA, other federal agencies, and national organizations.

Justin Knighten, Associate Administrator of FEMA's Office of External Affairs; me; and Director Marcus Coleman in FEMA Headquarters.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

I returned to Boston from Washington, DC, to do a presentation at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiatives (DSNI) on resilience and community resilience hubs. Next Leadership Development is partnering with them on a planning process to establish one in the Roxbury/Dorchester area of Boston.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

I was the keynote speaker at the 2024 Back 2 Basics PHEP Training Conference in Norwood, MA in the morning.

We discussed what equity looks like in practice for public health and emergency preparedness (PHEP) practitioners and ways to engage with emergency managers and responders in their communities.

That afternoon, FEMA hosted a Pen & Pad Press Call. Director Marcus Coleman, Mark Smith from the American Red Cross, and I were able to advocate for improved collaboration with community based organizations for disaster response and recovery with several press outlets on the call.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Marcia Kim Jackson of the Forum for Racial Equity hosted an amazing Juneteenth celebration in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston (where I live). I was among many dedicated neighbors who were awarded as Living Legends.

I am grateful and excited about all of the spaces I was blessed to be a part of this week - especially the time I spent with the amazing members of the Black Resilience Network. I am also tired, so I am going to recharge all my batteries to gear up for the upcoming week.