Flashback 20 years. I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Folklore. I didn’t study myths, tall tales, or legends. What I studied was the knowledge, culture, and expression of people, in their everyday surroundings, and how they pass this “lore” or wisdom on to the next generation.

Today, this is still what I do. Stories are everywhere.

As an environmental social worker and scholar, I use many research methods to seek people’s stories and experiences of environmental injustice, how climate change affects them, their ideas for change, and their hopes for the future. Most often, I do this by connecting with communities and with other colleagues—in and out of social work—to pursue this work together.

The challenge to Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment is grand, indeed. It is forward thinking, ambitious, hopeful. To do this work, and have real impact, we must collaborate. We must connect.

As we launch this website, we hope it will help you find others who are also passionate about responding creatively and societally to the challenge of environmental change. Check out the resources, share your interests on the directory, and seek out collaborators.

Are you ready? Let’s connect.

Lisa Reyes Mason, PhD, MSW, is a network co-lead for the AASWSW Grand Challenge to Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment. An Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, she studies vulnerability, adaptation, and environmental change through community partnered and multidisciplinary research.

Categories: Collective Action