Organizaitonal Landscape Analysis

This initiative is an effort to understand the work of organizations to improve our environment in the Rochester Region. The definition of an “environmental organization” is shifting and an intersectional approach that recognizes the role of the social and natural environment in the work of many organizations is needed. The end result will be a publicly available database of organizations, a better understanding of what is being done to build a more sustainable and just community, and a research process that models community participation and engagement. Ultimately we hope this project will lead to a more connected environmental movement locally, the application of resources in ways that lead to change for those that need it most, and a shared vision that has been developed and adopted by the community.

Questions

  • How can we create an equitable, inclusive, and collaborative local movement?
  • Who are the environmental organizations in the region and how do we identify them?
  • What are their priorities, core activities, strategies, and challenges?
  • How do local organizations define “environmental justice” and “sustainability” and “climate justice”?

Process

In doing this work we aim to adhere to principles and practices that lead to just and equitable solutions. This begins with approaching things from a perspective where community members are equal partners in the research. Additionally we will use a broad definition of an environmental organization and an intersectional lens that will ensure equity and inclusivity. 

To better understand who is doing what, where they are doing it, and how they are doing it, a paid research team will use a reflective process of inquiry to establish methods of research. Proposed methods include document review, surveys, and interviews. Relationship building will be central to our approach. 

Project Status

We have piloted the project with students at local colleges and are currently seeking community support. Students in a writing class at St John Fisher helped us to understand what our interview process and analysis could look like while students in a sustainable communities class worked on helping us to get a list of organizations started in a way that gives us a starting point for identifying organizations through the lens of just sustainabilities.

In our search for community support REP was recently awarded a $20,000 seed grant from the Emil Muller Foundation, an important milestone and signal of support for this project. We are in the process of applying for additional funding. At this point we are also working to get a better understanding of how the community sees this project impacting their work and our community. 

Contributing

Anyone who is interested in getting involved or sharing their thoughts about this project can reach out to contact@rochesterecologypartners.org

We need:

  • Ideas and feedback about how this project can best benefit the community
  • Letters of support for the project
  • Potential research team members
  • Financial support in the form of grants and donations
  • Organizations that would like to be included in this project