Rise Up: Connecting People, Place, and Power
“I really enjoyed the very personal introduction into Detroit. Everyone was so welcoming, and I loved meeting and learning about the people who lived there. From the first night I could tell it was going to be the most interesting conference I’d ever attended. I loved the integration of art and performance into the conference. It was an amazing experience.”
- NEWHAB Member
Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLvoLNMlx-k Produced by The Aadizookaan, this video is a highlight reel from the convening.
Rise Up: Connecting People, Place, and Power was the theme for the 2018 NEWHAB + EEFA Annual Convening that brought together over 170 NEWHAB members, Energy Efficiency for All partners, and other allies working on energy efficiency in existing affordable multifamily buildings.
Inspired by the work of Grace Lee Boggs and the concepts of Emergent Strategy, the Detroit convening built our collective awareness and capacity to see the interconnectedness of the issues impacting our work. Network members expanded their capacity to work effectively at the intersections – policy and program, advocacy and organizing, energy and water, housing and racial justice. We acknowledged past injustices and specifically its impact on the current daily lives of poor communities and Black people in Detroit. In order to create more possibilities and create a more just future, the network began thinking systemically not just sectorially and tactically.
NEWHAB members practiced stepping back, lifting our heads up and seeing the broader systems at work through place-based learning that centered local stories and expertise. Through the collaboration of over 30 planning committee members and members of our Detroit local host committee, we mindfully designed a gathering that fostered relationships across sectors while creating “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences for attendees to learn the history of Detroit by local experts like Jamon Jordan and leadership of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition. Additionally, a dozen NEWHAB members participated in facilitation training to grow their skills. These skills were applied to interactive sessions during the convening that intentionally fostered relationships and learning.
As follow-up to the 2017 New Orleans Convening, NEWHAB drafted an Equity Manifesto. This in-person gathering allowed for members to offer feedback, input, and revisions to this Manifesto. Building on the encouragement to action, following the convening members were charged to keep reflecting and acting on these questions:
- Do I understand the larger system I am working in and trying to influence or change? What else do I need to learn to have a deeper and more holistic understanding of the issues?
- How am I supporting frontline and community based advocates in their work to achieve outcomes envisioned by those impacted? Is the program or policy I am working on complementary and have I asked for input?
- How can I use racial equity as a lens in approaching my work - even if that work is highly technical?
“It was wonderful to experience the intentional centering of people of color as leaders throughout the gathering. While this was certainly tied to our place Detroit, it was a refreshing change from the majority of energy/environment focused meetings/conferences/events.”
- NEWHAB Member
- Building Owner and Resident Engagement: Why not go green?
- Fighting to Win - Stories from Environmental Justice Movements
- Housing: History is the Present
- Detroit Green-Tour
- From Growing our Economy to Growing our Souls: The Boggs Center
- People and Place
- Emergent Strategy
- Align And Organize
- Personal Accountability: What are you working for?
- More than a Seat at the Table: Equitable engagement with renters
- Multifamily Housing Financing: Challenges, opportunities, and equitable access
- Getting the Work Done: Exploring contracting and workforce
- Understanding and Improving Utility Program Effectiveness for Advocates
- Democratizing Utility Advocacy
- Water 101: An introduction to water systems and management
- Deconstructing Systemic Inequities: What we can do now
- World Café – Awareness to Action: Integrating energy and health for affordable housing
- Storytelling for Impact