Livestream Conversation: “Rural Resilience: Hurricanes, Wildfire, and COVID-19”

We invite you to join the Rural Assembly and Southerly for a livestream conversation Tuesday, June 23 at 3 PM EST/ 12 PM PST about how frontline communities are preparing for and adapting to climate change effects like hurricanes and wildfires in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lyndsey Gilpin, Founder of Southerly, will moderate a panel of local experts from across the country. Find out more and sign up below.

Tuesday, June 23 at 3 PM EST

“Rural Resilience: Hurricanes, Wildfire, and COVID-19”

As the summer and fall approach, frontline communities across the United States are bracing and preparing for the hurricane, tornado, and fire seasons ahead. Models are predicting one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons on record and severe fire activity across the West. On top of this, the new reality of the Covid-19 pandemic brings with it a new set of challenges and barriers in responding to natural disasters. The pandemic is straining resources and the ability of communities to respond to looming natural disasters. Local, state, and federal entities are having to re-create response and recovery strategies. Across the West, communities are facing reduced wildfire suppression capacity as many firefighters have been infected by the coronavirus or in quarantine from exposure. Throughout the Southeast, folks still struggling to recover from recent hurricanes are now trying to allocate resources for potential storms this hurricane season.   

Emergency responders and practitioners across rural America are working around the clock to build out new protocols and prepare their communities for the coming months.
And many of these places — particularly tight-knit rural communities — are incredibly resilient because they have weathered disasters before. But there are still many concerns about how to safely handle shelters and evacuation camps, how to effectively disseminate new information, and what federal and state funds are available. 

Join us for a panel conversation about how frontline communities are preparing for and adapting to climate change effects like hurricanes and wildfires. 

Panelists include:

  • Moderator, Lyndsey Gilpin, Southerly Magazine
  • Dr. John Cooper, Assistant Vice President for Public Partnership & Outreach and the Director of Texas Target Communities
  • Shirell Parfait-Dardar, traditional chief of the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw
  • Steve Wilensky, President of Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions and former supervisor of Calaveras County, California.


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Drawing Resilience: Julie Rae Powers

Julie Rae Powers’ photographic and written work has focused on family history, coal, Appalachia, the queer “female” gaze, the butch body, and queer chosen families. They are the author and editor of the forthcoming Reclamation: Queering Appalachia’s Visual History and the memoir To Thine Own Self Be True, both out in 2024.