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Climate resilience at UCOP

What is climate resilience and why does it matter at UCOP? This Earth Month, the Sustainability Employee Resource Group (SERG) is focusing on this increasingly critical topic. According to Second Nature, a leading climate nonprofit in the higher education sector, climate resilience can be defined as “the ability of a system or community to survive disruption and to anticipate, adapt, and flourish in the face of change.”

How UC and UCOP are engaged in climate resilience

In centering diverse perspectives, the UC system is utilizing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (J.E.D.I.) guidelines from the recently created climate resilience planning framework (and quick guide) to conduct community engagement efforts and better understand how to support our most vulnerable populations while maintaining necessary system functions.

In late 2021, UCOP hosted a community workshop focused on learning about climate impacts that are expected in the coming years, envisioning more resilient spaces and solutions and brainstorming the next steps that can be taken as a system and community. Ideas and project proposals came from many UCOP departments, including a proposed Peer Assistance Program that could connect staff in the event of various emergencies and disasters.

How you can be more climate-resilient

If you want to play a role in increasing our community’s climate resilience, there are many opportunities to do so.

Show your commitment to community engagement:

  • The excellent Old Oakland Farmers Market is only a few blocks from the Franklin/Broadway campus. On Fridays, you can find incredible local produce and a variety of organic and pesticide-free foods that support a healthy planet and the livelihood of local farmers.
  • Consider supporting a local organization that promotes food justice, like Planting Justice in the Bay Area and the Riverside Food Systems Alliance.

Learn how to increase your personal and community resiliency in the event of a crisis.

  • Take a few minutes to enroll in UCOPAlert, UCOP’s opt-in phone and email notification system that informs staff of emergencies impacting UCOP locations outside of office hours.
  • During an unexpected personal or regional emergency, Alameda County and Riverside County Transportation Commission offer Guaranteed Ride Home Programs for commuters who rideshare or use alternative modes of transportation (pre-registration is required).
  • If you regularly commute by car, prepare your car for emergencies, including an emergency kit.
  • Make sure to have a personal emergency kit at home for all members of your family (including pets).
  • Emergency kits are available at UCOP offices and are replaced every 5 years. If you aren’t sure where to find your emergency kit, ask your manager.
  • Learn about the resources available through your UC health plan in the event of a natural disaster or emergency.

Share your perspective

According to the UCOP Anti-Racism Task Force recommendations, making our systems resilient includes listening to and understanding the various needs and perspectives of all UCOP community members while preparing for eventual climate-related disasters. What does climate resilience mean to you, and how do (or might) you practice it in your daily life? Let the SERG know by joining us — email Donna Seaward to get started!

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