Sustainability is more than quantitative goals and carbon footprint reductions. A deeper, more holistic understanding of sustainability embraces resilience. Resilience, as defined by Second Nature, is “the ability of a system or community to survive disruption and to anticipate, adapt, and flourish in the face of change.” A carbon neutral institution will still experience the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events, alongside its community. Resilience seeks collaborations to strengthen a community despite the changes and challenges it experiences.
Our Climate Commitment, in partnership with Second Nature, goes beyond addressing our carbon footprint to include a commitment to develop increased resilience. We’ve partnered with the My Meadville process to develop a resilience assessment and community action plan to improve the resilience of our home.
The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access & Social Justice (IDEAS) Center offers support and empowerment to underserved student populations as well as a gathering space to build community. IDEAS also works to expand the awareness, dialogue, and engagement of the entire community in explorations of social equity and justice. The IDEAS Center Cultural Gardens offer space for students to grow the foods important to their cultures and traditions. The Mutual Aid Closet provides a space to donate, swap, or obtain winter clothing.IDEAS Center
The network connects students, faculty, and academic resources with community partners to collaboratively address pressing needs and advance the vitality of the community while offering beneficial curricular experiences. For instance, past students have completed an economic vitality assessment for the nearby town of Cambridge Springs and researched the feasibility of developing an efficiency program to benefit both local renters and landlords.
Community Health Collaborations
Allegheny students collaborate with the Meadville Medical Center to advance the health of the Meadville community through an innovative health coaching program in which students serve as preventative-care liaisons to help patients adhere to doctors’ orders. Student researchers also help develop the periodic Community Health Needs Assessment through a survey to identify key issues to guide the Meadville Medical Center as it develops policies and programs to meet the health needs of the community.
Allegheny College recognizes the importance of supporting the whole health of individuals and the community. Various offices, committees, and events support the development of all aspects of wellness – physical, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational, and environmental. Recognizing the intertwined nature of personal wellness can help us understand the interconnected factors of community and global wellness and resilience.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The U.N.’s 17 sustainable development goals, adopted in 2015, call for immediate and ongoing global partnership and action to develop peace and prosperity for both humankind and the planet. The goals recognize the interconnection of challenges such as poverty, health, education, economic growth, climate change, and inequality. A team of Allegheny students in a 2018 junior seminar used the goals as a lens and framework through which to assess the resilience of the Meadville community.
Allegheny has long partnered with the City of Meadville and various nonprofits, businesses, and organizations to advance research, develop programs, and create public artwork. Allegheny students helped the city complete a greenhouse gas inventory; analyzed the solar potential of a local brewery and public housing, and created public artwork such as Signs & Flowers and Read Between the Signs in collaboration with PennDOT. Students also assisted with various murals throughout downtown Meadville and created the Community Garden at the MARC.
What Can You Do?
- Cast You Ballot
- Participate in Community Movements
- Explore Climate Justice
- Explore and Enjoy Meadville
- Get Outside
- Self-Care vs. Community Care