RCE Salisbury - 2020

Making the Global Local: Innovative Projects and Tangible Outcomes for Sustainable Cities and Communities in the United States
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Making the Global Local: Innovative Projects and Tangible Outcomes for Sustainable Cities and Communities in the United States
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Salisbury
Contributing organization(s) : 
Proposal Lead by: Brittany Foutz (RCE Salisbury) - Salisbury University, blfoutz@salisbury.edu
Pamela Martin (RCE Georgetown) - Coastal Carolina University Email:plmartin@coastal.edu
Meghna Tare (RCE North Texas) - University of Texas at Arlington Email: mtare@uta.edu
Kim Smith (RCE Greater Portland) - Portland Community College, kdsmith@pcc.edu

Proposal Partners:
RCE North Texas https://www.rcenetwork.org/portal/rce-profile-detail/rce-north-texas ; https://sustainability.uta.edu/rce/
RCE Salisbury https://www.rcenetwork.org/portal/rce-profile-detail/rce-salisbury
RCE Georgetown https://www.rcenetwork.org/portal/rce-profile-detail/rce-georgetown ; https://www.coastal.edu/georgetownrise/
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Brittany Foutz
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Salisbury
Pamela Martin
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Georgetown
Meghna Tare
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE North Texas
Kim Smith
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Portland
Format of project: 
Google Document
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Monday, February 10, 2020
Geographical & Education Information
United States

Target Audience:

February, 2020
To provide concrete guidance for other stakeholders for their future actions on the practical implementation of ESD. We addressed the question: How can Education for Sustainable Development be included in policy making, transforming learning environments, building capacity of educators, empowering youth or accelerating action on a local level?
Activities and/or practices employed: 
This workshop proposal concerned contributions of Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCEs) in the United States. RCEs in the United States are working on innovative ways to make the Global Goals real within our communities. This workshop will share the role that RCEs in the United States play in addressing sustainability goals in their regions by accelerating action on a local level through concrete examples of advocacy, capacity-building, information-sharing, research, and program development. In addition, as stewards in US ESD efforts, we will discuss the roles of and actions taken by stakeholders in various formal, non-formal, and informal education sectors.
This interactive workshop will provide an overview of how RCEs function within the United States’ ESD ecosystem. Varied by regional needs, RCEs address a range of diverse topics present in the United States’ ESD ecosystem: social and economic vulnerabilities, food insecurity, health risks, educational inequalities, water, energy, climate change, disaster preparedness and risk reduction, loss of biodiversity, and social justice issues.
Throughout this workshop, representatives from US RCEs will share their practiced-based methods for integrating the multi-stakeholder RCE model into the US ESD ecosystem. Furthermore, the interactive session will explore the possible futures of ESD in the US, which will include discussions on how US formal, informal, and non-formal education sectors will continue to engage with the international community. Hence, this proposal will focus on the past, present, and future of RCEs in the US ESD ecosystem. In surveyor terms, the past constitutes our RCE starting points or anchor posts. Therefore, in order to determine the trajectory anywhere on the horizon, we must know where we came from. In combination with the past, the present creates a line of sight for the future.
As the present state changes, it creates a corresponding change in the angle from the starting point and, thus, has the ability to create several points on the horizon. If the past and present are somewhat understood and appreciated, then the various futures of RCEs in the US can be anticipated. In the workshop, participants will be participating in a democratic visioning exercise and trajectory analysis, which will allow the participants to identify targets that need to be met as well as the constraints and roadblocks that need to be addressed.

This proposal will focus on the past, present, and future of RCEs in the United States. In surveyor terms, the past constitutes our RCE starting points or anchor posts. Essentially, in order to determine the trajectory anywhere on the horizon, we must know where we came from. The present together with the past creates a line of sight. As the present state changes, it creates a corresponding change in the angle from the starting point and, thus, has the ability to create several points on the horizon. If the past and present are somewhat understood and appreciated then the future of RCE Americas might more readily seen. The majority of the workshop, though, will focus on the future of RCE Americas. The presenters will be discussing and collaborating with participants to envision the future of RCEs in the United States and how RCEs can work together to achieve this future. In the workshop, participants will be participating in a visioning exercise and trajectory analysis identifying successes, what are the needs that need to be met, and constraints and roadblocks that need to be addressed. Participants will also be able to build an outcomes database for ESD transformation at global levels.

Size of academic audience: 
Case examples from U.S. RCEs and their international award winning initiatives include:
RCE Georgetown: RCE Georgetown, located along the South Carolina coast of the United States, is a community with diverse African American (Gullah) populations, low income vulnerable communities and has been greatly impacted by hurricanes and flooding over the past five consecutive years.
The Georgetown Climate Adaptation Project (GCAP): Engagement through climate adaptation work and training (grant funded) with downscaled climate data and innovative role play simulations was used to reach local communities and create consensus in the next steps of building a county-wide Resilience Task Force.
Outstanding Flagship Project RISE Youth Corps: RCE Georgetown, in an effort to engage youth with policymakers, created the RISE (Resilience, Innovation, and Sustainability through Education) Youth Corps in which university students intern in local public and private organizations/businesses to help them align the UN SDGs with their work.
SDG 7; Clean and Affordable Energy Initiative: RISE students also formed a Solar Ambassador team that bids, leases, and installs solar panels on nonprofit organizations in our community to include working with local municipal governments to write ordinances that incentive renewable energy.
Outstanding Flagship Project CISL- Coastal Institute for Sustainability Leadership: In the summer, Coastal Carolina University students study the UN SDGs and apply them to the county through active engagement with stakeholders, community dialogs, and joint projects with community and business organizations.
RCE Grand Rapids: Virtual Youth Conference; Wege Prize
RCE Greater Burlington: “Cultivating Pathways to Sustainability”
RCE Greater Portland (aka Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN)) www.gpsen.org
Sustainability Symposium; GPSEN Fellows program; Train-the-trainer workshops - Empowering Students for Environmental Justice

RCE North Texas https://sustainability.uta.edu/rce/
RCE North Texas comprises the sixteen counties of North Texas. Of the ten ecoregions within the state of Texas, the sixteen-county RCE North Texas is located predominantly in two of them-Collin and Dallas. As the second most populous state in the nation, the region of North Texas has a larger population than most of the other fifty states. The sixteen counties of North Texas encompass a diverse and vibrant demographic and economic region. It is a region that has grown dramatically over the past forty years, and is set to get much more crowded, with growth projections indicating a more than doubling in population size from the current 7.2 million residents by the year 2050. In this rapid growth scenario, all sectors of the region have grave concerns and raise the question: How will North Texas grow in a sustainable manner as it confronts exploding population projections and associated environmental, economic and social challenges. RCE North Texas is focused on the following SDGs, which are deemed as priorities for the region: Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3); Quality Education (SDG 4); and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11). Some of the activities of RCE North Texas have been focussed on sustainable communities are:
-In August 2019, Future Cities; Livable Futures: Towards a Sustainable Model for Urban-Watershed Systems conference provided a great platform to introduce cross-disciplinary dialogues around sustainable urban-watershed management and explore best practices to explain and better understand the different factors that interact to form an urban-watershed system of the Trinity River in DFW area. This interdisciplinary research partnership was funded by the National Science Foundation. It was attended by 200 participants. The project was Acknowledged Flagship Project by the Global RCE Service Center for its role in contributing to SDG 15: Life on Land
-Trinity Coalition in Fort Worth Texas is working with the University of Texas at Arlington and RCE North Texas to create a water quality report card for Trinity River within the DFW region to better understand the current state of the water quality within DFW using existing data available with Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ), North Central Texas Council of Governments and Texas River Authority.
-RCE North Texas partners-Tarrant Area Food Bank, Blue Zones Fort Worth and Texas Health Resources organized speaker series on Building Food Desert. Forty Dallas neighborhoods considered food deserts. In Tarrant County, 11 ZIP codes were identified as food deserts by Tarrant County Public Health in a 2013 analysis. RCE North Texas Partner, Girls Scout of Northeast partnered with Souper Bowl of Caring to host an eye-opening event where girls learned about the everyday struggles that come as a result of global resource inequity. When guests arrive at the Tackle Hunger Banquet, they draw tickets at random that assign each to a high, middle or low-income tier, which will determine the place they sit, the meal they eat and the service they receive. Ticket availability per income level reflected global poverty levels, and lead into a discussion about local hunger, global hunger, and what we can do to fight these injustices.
RCE North Texas Dallas County Community College District hosts sustainability symposium focused on Smart Cities and Sustainable Development to explore the idea, ‘What makes a ‘smart city’ smart?’ The summit focuses on how new technologies and open access to data is transforming our communities, enhancing quality of life, and sustaining our resources for future generations.
RCE Greater Atlanta, RCE Borderlands Mexico-USA, and RCE Salisbury: The Atlanta region is home to a thriving Spanish-speaking population and also to RCE Greater Atlanta. RCE Greater Atlanta, in collaboration, with RCE Borderlands Mexico-USA developed an initiative, that was made publicly available to the RCE Americas locations, on barriers in collaboration in RCE Americas locations. The initiative focused on using social media campaigns to overcome this barrier. Technology and innovation are central to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When utilized effectively, technology can be mobilized to identify barriers to and provide solutions for sustainable development challenges from the local to global level. To reap the full benefits of technologies, it is also important to understand the social, cultural, political, regulatory, environmental, and economic factors influencing access to technologies. Connected to each other like never before, people want to and already contribute to the resilience of their communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring political change, in urban as well as rural contexts. Hence, RCE Greater Atlanta, RCE Borderlands, and now RCE Salisbury are collaborating on this initiative to recognize the role of technology in facilitating communication and implementing the SDGs and using technology to address language and distance barriers in collaboration in the RCE Americas locations. RCE Greater Atlanta has taken the lead and on this initiative and was awarded an international UN RCE award for its Environmental Justice Academy, which is specifically designed to provide comprehensive training to lower-income, vulnerable and marginalized members of communities who have or have the likelihood of being severely negatively disproportionately impacted by environmental challenges including air and water pollution, toxic waste and chemicals among others.

Lessons learned: 
Developing ESD as well as thematic competences that deal with the ability of learners to think, do, and act, all while focusing on the education of educators is critical. The RCE’s of the Americas are not only cross sectoral consortium focused on resilient and equitable sustainable development but also address specific challenges of their regions as evident by the examples below. Transformation at the grassroots level is the essence of RCEs in view of their being in touch with on-the-ground realities. The way engagement is conducted depends on the regional practices and stakeholders who are engaged. In Grand Rapids, Michigan USA, the principles of grassroots involvement are practiced through a unique initiative known as the “Seeds of Promise”. This model is built on the guiding principles of sustainability and governed by empowered residents. It helps transform the neighbourhood by: promoting collaboration and community stakeholder partnerships, applying best practices, fostering local resident leadership, and empowering the community to achieve its goals.
Examples of projects from different RCEs (particularly award-winning efforts)(alphabetized)
RCE Georgetown – (Georgetown Rise) RCE Georgetown RISE Youth Corps, which is a public-private partnership in which students intern in local businesses and agencies and conduct data analysis on their implementation of the UNSDGs in Georgetown County.; Georgetown Climate Adaptation Project - a NOAA funded grant to provide downscaled climate change data to the county and conduct role play simulations for stakeholders and residents to build consensus on sustainability and resilience planning.; Public Services Sustainability and Resilience Training - RCE Georgetown members conducted a series of training workshops on the UN SDGs and their applicability to the county Public Services division, as well as their American Public Works Accreditation certification.
RCE Greater Atlanta - Environmental Justice Academy; Transforming Education and Society through University-Community Partnerships - an RCE Greater Atlanta Track Hosted at the Atlanta Global Studies Symposium on UN Sustainable Development Goals in Education, Research, and Community Engagement
RCE Greater Burlington (aka Greater Burlington Sustainability Education Network (GBSEN))– Cultivating Pathways to Sustainability
RCE Greater Portland (aka Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN)) – train-the-trainer workshops - Empowering Students for Environmental Justice: A Train-the-Trainer Workshop

RCE Grand Rapids (aka Community Sustainability Partnership)– Youth Virtual Conference

RCE North Texas
RCE Salisbury - Conflict Prevention and Creative Problem-Solving
Area of Focus: transforming learning environments, building capacity of educators and accelerating action on a local level, working with marginalized stakeholders
Description: The existential challenges that face our planet and humankind necessitate the complete adoption of sustainable development practices and processes. However, in the process of adoption, conflicts generated by structural or systemic forces, differing worldviews or conflicting interests among stakeholders, or a general lack of resources wield the potential to impede and derail progress. At RCE Salisbury, we use methods for conflict prevention and creative problem-solving to address and circumvent these forms of impediments.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development