A LETTER FROM THE TEAM
To our extended CivicSpark community,
We want to share our warmest greeting in these trying times. We hope you and your friends and families are staying safe as best as you can. While it may seem far off today, we hope that when this crisis passes we will emerge stronger, more connected and even more committed to building the sustainable and equitable communities we all know we need.
Over the last few weeks CivicSpark has worked hard to adjust to the current reality and the constraints it has placed on all of us. We are taking measures to respond and we want to share some of our changes with you. Firstly, all Fellows have shifted to “teleservice” so they can continue to support communities’ capacity building initiatives and needs. We are exploring creative ways to sustain volunteer engagement activities especially in ways that support COVID-19 relief efforts across the state. We are also retooling our training and support activities to be online while also developing new content designed to support personal engagement and well-being as well as professional growth. Additionally, we are in conversation with the larger community of AmeriCorps programs and our state commission California Volunteers to identify ways that service members can support the larger relief efforts. Of course in all activities, the health and safety of all of our staff, Fellows and partners is paramount.
We recognize these are extraordinarily challenging circumstances. We all have been amazed at the resilience of our Fellows and Partners and are humbled to be part of such an extraordinary community. We are inspired by the collective commitment to sustaining the important work they had started while also adapting to this crisis. We are thankful every day for their service. As we look ahead to the coming weeks and months, we know it will be a trying time, but now more than ever we need to find creative solutions and to come together for our families, friends, and communities. If all of us can step up to this challenge as well as the CivicSpark community has, we are incredibly hopeful about the possibilities for our shared future.
The CivicSpark Team: Kif, Mackenzie, Ariadna, Sarah, Savannah, Ashoka, Tim, Cailey, Paco, Abby, and Katie.
CivicSpark comes together in nature for Mid Year Gathering 2020
On the week of March 9th, CvicSpark held Mid Year Gathering, one of the program’s most important events of the service year. Featuring a week long program that included CivicSpark’s first ever statewide service day, various track specific workshops as well as leadership presentations and activities, it was a space for Fellows from across the State to come together and connect with the rest of the cohort, to network with their peers and to share project experiences, achievements and best practices.
Most notably, Fellows and Staff were extremely fortunate to hear from Vien Troung, one of the country’s foremost policy experts and strategists on building an equitable green economy. In an an outstanding and insightful presentation, she told the story of her life, from her upbringing as a first generation immigrant child in Oakland, to the events that led her to be the policy expert and advisor to many administrations that she is now. Through her story, attendees were inspired to be climate leaders and to continue the fight for a more equitable and resilient future.
CivicSpark Fellows and Staff provide over 600 hours of service at first ever Statewide Service Day for AmeriCorps Week.
AmeriCorps Week is a celebration of all things AmeriCorps, from the programs and organizations that make the national service initiative possible in communities across the country, to the members who have pledged to “Get Things Done” since the program’s inception in 1994.
This year, MYG was planned during National AmeriCorps week in an effort to join the entirety of CivicSpark’s Statewide cohort for the single largest service day mobilization in the program’s 6 year history.
Fellows and staff came together to provide over 600 hours of service to four different environmental and community organizations of San Mateo County in need of support. Please enjoy the pictures and don’t forget to check out the organizations we partnered to serve with.
Activities Moving to a Virtual Format as Precautionary Measure Due to COVID-19
Launch of Peer Support Network and CivicSpark Virtual Skill-shares in support of mental health, and building community in times of social distancing.
Despite the extraordinary challenges of these times, CivicSpark Fellows successfully launched the statewide Peer Support Network as an invaluable resource to support mental health and strengthen the cohort, by creating a system of shared experiences, empathy, connectivity and to striving together for collective and overall wellbeing.
As an additional resource to combat social isolation, CivicSpark staff set up Skillshare Wednesdays, an opportunity for the CivicSpark community to connect over virtual meetings to share each other’s home-bound-appropriate skills, and provide a space for learning. A very interesting variety of skills-share workshops have already been scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, including such wide ranging topics as sourdough baking, up-cycling household items, slow coffee brewing, flower dissection, and knot tying.
CivicSpark Partner Application Priority Deadline Extended to April 10
Amid ongoing concerns about COVID-19, our top priority is the health and safety of our communities. In support of taking the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of the COVID-19, we have extended our Partner Application priority deadline to April 10, 2020.
Apply today to receive project support to address emerging environmental and community resilience challenges.
Second priority deadline closes April 10.
Visit our website to apply and download a flyer to learn about CivicSpark’s 5 year track record of helping California communities tackle their biggest challenges while fostering the next generation of leaders and what it takes to become a CivicSpark partner!
Become a CivicSpark Fellow!
We are looking for candidates who want to gain real-world experience, launch a social purpose career, and make a lasting impact!
First round deadline April 30.
Apply now to be part of the movement!
Question of the Month: “What are your strategies to stay resilient facing the challenges brought on by the recent global developments?”
Allie Hoff | North Bay
“In the face of all the changes and challenges the world is facing presently, there are a few strategies that I have found helpful in cultivating resilience for myself and others. Global crisis can remind us of how interdependent we are on each other as human beings. This could feel alarming in a time when our normal ways of interacting and socializing are interrupted, but it can also emphasize the importance and value of our relationships, beyond just being physically in the same space. I also find it helpful to not only express gratitude for the social support I receive from others, but to find purpose by thinking about what skills and resources I can provide support to myself and others. I like to grow food in my garden and cook for everyone! ”
Casandra Cortez | Greater LA
“Given the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve adapted small changes to maintain my overall health and productivity, such as practicing social distancing to keep myself and my community safe; staying informed; calling my friends and family everyday to check-in, as well as talk about my feelings; actively remembering this experience given the enormity of this global crisis; and overall, being thankful for my health and my friends and family’s health. To keep myself positive, I’ve already started planning things I want to do afterwards – I decided to train and run a half-marathon!”
Emma Diamond | Sac Sierra
“Staying connected with friends and family has become a much bigger priority in the last few weeks to check-in and foster support. Finishing up projects around the house, like cleaning or sewing up a seat cushion, has also made me feel significantly more productive than usual. Let’s be clear, I have spent every single day in my sweatpants since working from home but, being able to spend more time on creative hobbies has helped me normalize our current circumstances. Keeping our communities safe by staying informed and following public health recommendations are the best way we can stay resilient.”
Climate Change and the Economy in the Context of COVID-19April 16, 2020| 1:00 PM
Join the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRC) for their first ever virtual workshop (“virtualshop”) on April 16th from 1:00-3:15PM. Discussing how COVID-19 is impacting our world, particularly the potential interplay between the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the need for public and private sector climate action, resilience building, and adaptation funding. Also discussing the state’s priorities for climate moving forward and hearing from community leaders about how they continued to fight for climate and reach underserved communities during a pandemic.
Sign up and find out more about the Virtualshop here!
MOVED TO VIRTUAL FORMAT DUE TO COVID-19
11th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum: Promising Solutions for a Clean Future
Given the gravity of the COVID-19 situation, the 11th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum has been moved to a virtual format. LGC is currently working to develop the structure of this virtual format and will be sure to keep people informed as planning efforts get underway.For any questions or concerns, reach out to Ryan Dana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEEC Forum provides learning, sharing, and networking opportunities to help local governments save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities, and catalyze climate action.
This year’s theme, Promising Solutions for a Clean Energy Future, aims to highlight concrete strategies, case studies, tools, and resources to support local government agencies in responding to rapidly evolving trends while continuing to meet their communities’ energy needs. Session tracks have been organized to help share these stories and highlight promising solutions for equity and community engagement, energy resilience, integrated planning to action, and decarbonization pathways.
Explore a New Funding Partner- Finding Platform From the CEC:
May 5, 2020 | 11 AM – 12 PM
Join LGSEC for a live demonstration of Empower Innovation to discover how your community can connect with cleantech companies, browse millions of dollars in public and private funding opportunities, and explore hundreds of curated resources.
Empower Innovation is a professional networking platform to help local governments and businesses identify funding and partnering opportunities to advance a clean energy future for all.
Find out more and sign up here!