Floods disproportionately impact communities of color, Black and Indigenous communities, and other marginalized groups. Often left out of decisions that significantly affect them, communities of color are also more likely to be relocated than white or affluent communities, who are instead ‘protected’ in place. Furthermore, these frontline communities are on track to experience adverse climate change effects more severely and frequently than others. As floodplain managers, we are well-positioned to build resilience for all communities in an equitable way—especially for our most vulnerable. But advancing social equity in flood risk management requires first understanding the problem. This presentation will discuss how systemic racism touches every part of the flood risk management cycle, making frontline communities less prepared for, less able to respond to, and recover from floods. Beginning with a history of racism in flood management, this presentation will also explain how well intended flood and disaster policies and practices have unintended consequences that cause further harm to vulnerable groups. Finally, we will briefly discuss opportunities to advance equity through our work as floodplain managers.
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Duration: 1.5 hours