Past Event

Underserved and Indigenous Rural Peoples Confront Changing Coastline

February 26, 2021
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Sustain What? Tidal Communities Speak: Underserved and Indigenous Rural Peoples Confront Changing Coastlines

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Indigenous and Black communities and other communities of color are on the front lines of climate change. Sea level rise, accelerating erosion, saline intrusion, the loss of fisheries and coastal livelihoods and recurring flooding present not only economic impacts but existential threats. What are the roles of design and science in reducing harm and helping build pathways toward economic and ecological resilience or reinvention?

In this special live Sustain What webcast, challenges and choices driven by several dimensions of disruptive change will be described by representatives of three vulnerable communities: the the Gullah Geechee of Sapelo island in Georgia, the Shinnecock Nation on Long Island, and residents of Shishmaref in coastal Arctic Alaska.

The guests are Maurice Bailey and Josiah “Jazz” Watts from Sapelo Island, Shavonne Smith from the Shinnecock Nation, and Aunnauruq Twyla Thurmond and Annauk Denise Olin of Shishmaref.

They will then engage in a discussion with researchers and practitioners with relevant expertise to define pathways to change and justice and related research frontiers: Whitney Barr from the University of Georgia, Robin Bronen of the Alaska Center for Justice and Dorothy Peteet of Columbia University.

Reflections will be offered by Radley Horton, Malgosia Madajewicz and Kate Orff of Columbia University and Dean Hardy of the University of South Carolina.

The event is designed to provoke deep listening, learning and dialogue among researchers, practitioners and communities at risk. The goal is a fresh public event outlining solutions at this June’s Columbia University Managed Retreat Conference, at which the theme will be “Resilience, Relocation and Climate Justice.”

Contact Information

Andy Revkin