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Black Resilience Network Overview

A National Network of Black-Led Organizations & Communities Committed to Leading in Disaster & Climate Resilience

The mission of the Black Resilience Network is to catalyze leadership development, collaboration, and investments so Black towns, communities, and organizations can successfully play their vital roles in the disaster and climate resilience ecosystem. Our priority areas are:

  • History, Culture & Art

  • Disaster Mitigation & Preparedness

  • Disaster Response & Recovery

  • Workforce & Business Development

We embed racial justice and climate action into each priority area.

Our Members

The Black Resilience Network has over 100 members across 20 states in the U.S. Our members are Black-led organizations and towns that are committed to playing a leadership role in disaster and climate resilience.

Black Resilience Network Virtual Operations Center

The Black Resilience Network Emergency Operations Center provides centralized virtual coordination of information and resources to create a common operating picture, identify unmet needs, and coordinate among members and partners to address needs and requests. Members can request the Emergency Operations Center activation for an emergency or disaster in their area as well as incidents they may be supporting.

Black Resilience Network Operations Center to coordinate information and resource sharing for disaster response and recovery efforts

Black Resilience Network Virtual Operations center

Black Resilience Network Virtual Operations Center Activation levels

Community Resilience Hubs

The BRN Community Resilience Hub Initiative expands the original Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) Resilience Hub model. Resilience hubs are an opportunity to expand community leadership through capacity building, incorporate daily realities and resources into climate adaptation - response and recovery, and increase collaboration for climate action and emergency planning. 

Black Resilience Network Members Committed to Planning & Implementing a Community Resilience Hub

Map of the United States with State boundaries and the following cities and towns labeled with Black Resilience Network members:

Our Approach to Resilience Hubs

The Black Resilience Network is shifting the focus of resilience hubs from a physical site to an ongoing process for climate and disaster resilience that centers social resilience. This approach is aligned with the original white paper written by Ki Baja (known as Baja) which preceded the USDN’s Guide to Developing Resilience Hubs. 

The BRN Community Resilience Hub Initiative will follow the same planning process:

  1. Assessing Vulnerability & Selecting a Service Area

  2. Identification of Project Team and Project Goals

  3. Identifying and Evaluating Sites

  4. Identifying Resilience Solutions

  5. Site Development and Solutions Installation

  6. Site Activation and Operations

The USDN guide has five essential elements that the planning process is meant to guide:

  • Resilient Programming and Services => Resilient Community Benefits: Offering additional services and programs that build relationships, promote community preparedness, and improve residents’ health and well-being. The Black Resilience Network approach expands beyond programs and services to establish a continuous planning process that facilitates community benefits. Collaborators will explore how they will integrate social resilience - social capital; public health; history, culture, and art; capacity building; and social justice - into all other essential elements.

  • Resilient Structure: Strengthening the resilience of the facility to ensure that it meets operational goals in all conditions. The BRN Community Resilience Hubs Initiative will help collaborators identify how their own or a partner’s location can be strengthened to adapt to the increasing threats from climate change.

  • Resilient Communications: Ensuring the ability to communicate within and outside the service area during disruptions and throughout recovery.  The BRN Community Resilience Hubs Initiative will facilitate collaborators’ community communications, identify their roles, and how they will connect to the larger Black Resilience Network’s communications for external support from other Black-led organizations around the country.

  • Resilient Power: Ensuring reliable backup power to the facility during a hazard while also improving the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of operations in all three operating modes. Through our partner, Sesame Solar, the initiative will determine a single location or multiple locations that could benefit from nanogrid technology - a self-contained solar and clean hydrogen powered unit that can support power, water generation and distillation, emergency response, food sustainability (urban farming), and more.

  • Resilient Operations: Ensuring personnel and processes are in place to operate the facility in all conditions. The BRN Community Resilience Hubs will support the community capacity building necessary for collaborators to play a leadership role in climate and disaster resilience for identified locations and all the other essential elements of a USDN resilience hub. 

The BRN Community Resilience Hub Initiative will better integrate Black communities into their local, state, and regional climate action and emergency management ecosystems. The initiative will also deepen the connections between Black-led community-based organizations nationwide, strengthening their impact through their collective insights, experiences, and power.

Convenings, Education, and Advocacy

The Black Resilience Network hosts convenings, facilitates education, and coordinates advocacy.

Mississippi Collective Care & Action Convening in Jackson, MS

Climate Resilience Roundtable at the White House in Partnership with the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Initiatives

Black Resilience Network members at the White House (left) & FEMA Headquarters (on right)

Black Resilience Network members at the White House (left) & FEMA Headquarters (on righ

And Many Other Convenings & Events...

Black Resilience Network FEMA Overview Session flyer to support people in applying to jobs at FEMA
On left, Flyer the Black Resilience Network created to support Lincoln Heights residents; on the right, a picture at the top of part of the event with residents talking and below a picture of Black Resilience Network members with a FEMA representative and a resident who grew up in Lincoln Heights
Reframing Preparedness event to shift the thinking from only individual preparedness to collective care and action