Wednesday, June 1, 2022

City seeks applicants for Community Climate Ambassadors Program

 

Community members interested in environmental justice and community engagement should apply by June 22

To advance equitable solutions to climate change and support the implementation of the Austin Climate Equity Plan, the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 Community Climate Ambassadors Program. The program offers a paid opportunity for individuals who can meaningfully engage with communities that have been systematically left out of, misrepresented in, or ignored during climate change conversations.

During the six-month program, Ambassadors will learn about environmental justice and racial equity and support the implementation of the Climate Equity Plan through community-based projects. These Community Action Projects will be shaped by the interests of Ambassadors and focus on topics such as sustainable buildings, energy use, housing, anti-displacement, transportation, climate resilience, access to nature, and more. 

“People and organizations across Austin are energized and engaged on the issue of climate change,” said Zach Baumer, Climate Program Manager with the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability. “Through this program, we want to amplify those voices and offer support and guidance for community-identified solutions.”

Austin’s Community Climate Ambassadors Program first began in 2019 with 12 individuals whose primary role was to engage people in their network in conversations about climate change issues and share their findings with the City. Ambassadors produced over 50 interview reports, which were analyzed by City staff to incorporate major themes into the Climate Equity Plan. 

“The most rewarding thing as a Community Climate Ambassador was being able to contribute to the Climate Equity Plan and be a voice for my community,” said Sheridan Ray, 2020-21 Community Climate Ambassador. “I’m very grateful that I was able to be involved in the discussions and listen to professionals and everyday people give their input, as well as provide my own.” 

Selected Ambassadors for the 2022-23 program must attend monthly meetings, participate in racial equity training, and commit to being an Ambassador for six months starting August 2022 through the end of January 2023. In support of the Climate Equity Plan’s overarching goal of prioritizing local community initiatives, applications are highly encouraged from organizations directly working with communities most impacted by the effects of climate change, including low-income communities and communities of color. 

Applications are being accepted now through June 22, 2022. Those selected for the program will be notified by the end of July. The six-month program will run from August 2022 through January 2023. Learn more at austintexas.gov/climateambassadors.

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About the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability

Austin’s Office of Sustainability works to ensure a thriving, equitable, and ecologically resilient community by providing leadership, influencing positive action through engagement, and creating measurable benefits for Austin. The Office works to achieve net-zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, a healthy and just local food system, resource-efficient strategies for municipal operations, tangible projects that demonstrate sustainability, and a resilient and adaptive city. Find out more at www.austintexas.gov/sustainability.

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