Climate Ready Philly is a community education project that teaches Philadelphians about climate change. We provide basic, evidence-based information about global climate change and how Philadelphia will be impacted by rising temperatures, more precipitation, and stronger storms. Our curriculum and activities focus on how climate change impacts Philadelphia homes, infrastructures, and health. Our workshops include informational presentations, group discussion, and hands-on activities.
Since 2014, we have facilitated fifteen community climate change workshops in nine Philadelphia planning districts. Nearly 350 citizens have attended these workshops. Our facilitators have expertise on air quality, energy efficiency, disaster response and emergency preparedness, and respiratory health. Climate Ready Philly workshops are also anchored by two-way learning – we have learned a lot from residents over the last six years! Most people who come to our workshops feel that they are already experiencing climate change impacts. Hotter summers, changing ecosystems, and unpredictable weather are the most common changes reported by workshop participants. You can learn more about the project results by reading about our website below.
We would like to thank the Franklin Institute and the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership for funding and supporting this project.
The Climate Ready Philly website is designed to provide information used at our workshops, including handouts and powerpoint presentations. These can be found in the Workshop Materials section. We also present findings from data collected at our workshops, including surveys and follow-up interviews. You can find reports in our Data section as well as findings by themes. We also publish Stories from in-depth interviews that we have conducted with workshop participants following our events. If you are interested in general information about climate change or Philadelphia-based resources, please visit our Climate Change Resources section.
Ali Kenner is an assistant professor at Drexel University. Kenner is an interdisciplinary social scientist who specializes in collaborative, community-based research. Her research program focuses on environmental health issues, including climate change; she has been studying asthma care in the United States for more than a decade and has published a book on the subject, Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change (University of Minnesota Press 2018). Kenner is responsible for collecting data and facilitating group discussion at our workshops. She is a project founder and has been involved since 2014.
Deepa Mankikar is a Public Health Project Manager at the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium. Mankikar manages multiple community-based programs that teach parents, children, and health professionals how to address environmental hazards and improve health and well-being. Mankikar also provides direct education through community workshops on climate change, indoor air quality, and other healthy housing topics. Mankikar has presented information on mold, housing, and health at our workshops and introduced the game Mold Mystery, which is a favorite among workshop participants. Mankikar has been involved in Climate Ready Philly since 2017.
Julia Menzo is the Director of Community Outreach at Liberty Lutheran. Menzo administers the Lutheran Disaster Response program across Eastern Pennsylvania and most recently has led efforts to resettle evacuees from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia following Hurricane Maria. Menzo has given presentations on emergency preparedness at our workshops and has been involved in Climate Ready Philly since 2017.
Alex Skula is a Public Health Preparedness Analyst in the Division of Disease Control at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Skula manages data collection and analysis for the Public Health Preparedness program at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, including response activities, outreach tracking, vulnerability analysis, and other research projects. Skula has led activities on emergency preparedness at our workshop and has been involved in the project since 2016.
Russ Zerbo is a Community Advocate at Clean Air Council. As a community organizer, Zerbo facilitates meetings and leads workshops about environmental hazards throughout Pennsylvania. He also hosts climate change advocacy and education events in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Zerbo given presentations on the local effects of climate change and green infrastructure in Philadelphia. He has been involved in Climate Ready Philly since 2017.
Thomas Flaherty is the Director of Development and Marketing at Energy Coordinating Agency. Flaherty manages business development and marketing activities, and has invested significant attention to partnerships connecting health and housing quality issues in educational and direct programming. Flaherty has brought his expertise on weatherization, energy efficiency, and financial assistance programs to our workshops. Flaherty has been involved in Climate Ready Philly since 2016.
The Climate Ready Philly project has been supported by a number of Drexel University students, including Anna Katenta (2014), Hined Rafeh (2015), Kerri Yandrich (2016), Chloe Hriso (2017), Maggie McNulty (2018), Eliza Nobles (2018-2019), Drex Drexler (2019), and Ian Zimmermann (2019). In 2015, we partnered with GreenTreks to produce a workshop on energy communication. We are very grateful for the many organizations who have hosted our workshops, including St. John’s Lutheran Church, the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center, the Dornsife Center for Community Partnerships, New Kensington Community Development Corporation, the Eastwick Library, the South Philadelphia Free Library, McPherson Square Library, and the Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library. Finally, we would like to thank Saleem Chapman and Rachael Greenberg who began this project with Ali Kenner in 2014.