Our Communities, Our Power: Advancing Resistance and Resilience in Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit

Created: 5/02/2019 - Updated: 2/27/2020


The Beloved Community is a vision for our future where all people share equally in the wealth and bounty of the earth, where we protect its abundance, diversity and beauty for future generations. In this vision of liberation, racism, exploitation, and domination are replaced by democracy, cooperation, interdependence, and love. To get there, we pursue transformative, systems-change solutions. What do we mean by this? The root causes of the problems our communities face—like climate change, racism, and economic inequality—are all deeply connected. Since the problems are connected, so are the solutions.

The purpose of this toolkit is to put us on the path toward achieving this vision. Through the context of building equity and resilience into climate adaptation planning, we introduce strategies to transform our communities and, by extension, society. Our ultimate goal is to create lasting and systemic change. At the same time, we recognize the urgency of the issues our communities face and the need to take action now. That is why we pursue change at every scale—from policy changes to community-based projects—to institute the transformative change we need to uphold our vision of the beloved community.

This toolkit is specifically designed for NAACP units and their Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) Committees. Through a series of individual modules—each devoted to a specific topic—this toolkit guides NAACP units through the process of establishing an ECJ Committee and developing a climate adaptation plan. Each community is different so some modules may apply more than others. We designed the toolkit so that modules can be used by themselves or together with the other modules so that every community can develop the adaptation plan that best meets their needs.

Module 1: A Community Coming Together

Module 2: Building Social Cohesion

Module 3: Developing a Community Climate Adaptation Plan

Module 4: Passing Policy for Climate Resilience

Module 5: Communicating Climate Resilience Narratives

Module 6: Educating and Organizing for Climate Resilience

Module 7: Democracy and Governance

Module 8: Economic Justice

Module 9: Energy Systems

Module 10: Emergency Management

Module 11: Food Systems

Module 12: Gender and LGBTQ Responsive Resilience Building

Module 13: Housing

Module 14: Land Use Planning and Management

Module 15: Restorative / Criminal Justice

Module 16: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Resilience

Module 17: Transportation Systems

Module 18: Waste Management

Module 19: Water Resource Management

APPENDICES: Resources, Fact Sheets, Samples, Glossary, and More



The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

Vision Statement

The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.



Scale of Project
Community / Local
Sector Addressed
Climate Justice
Conservation / Restoration
Type of Tool
Adaptation Planning / Decision Support
Adaptation Planning Frameworks / Toolkits
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Design or reform institutions
Community Planning (developing climate-smart communities)
Tool Cost