Community Resilience Series

Community Energy Resilience (CER) Workshops

There is a wave of state and federal funding on its way to fund local clean energy resiliency projects.  CEL partnered with The Climate Center and SmartBlock to organize a series of workshops and a community of practice.  The series enabled and empowered nearly 60 local community leaders to take advantage of these upcoming opportunities. The workshops established four regional cohorts each of which met monthly in a plenary style workshop and training session and then again outside of the main meeting with their organizing cohort.  By the end of the series three of the four regional cohorts had identified projects that exemplify the ideals of community energy democracy, resilience and  equity.  Tanya Barham, CEL's CEO, donated 25% of her time for two years between 2020-2021 to collaborating with The Climate Center, Smart Blocks and communities to make the workshop a reality.


A virtual community of practice workshop series with technical assistance and organizing tools for members

Community members

  • sustainability staff at local governments,
  • elected officials,
  • activist and community-based organizations,
  • community members
  • energy non-profits


Faculty lead participants step-by-step through the award-winning Community Energy Resilience Toolkit that CEL staff developed while at PECI.  Workshop activities, tools and format help cohorts methodically identify and advance clean, local, and reliable energy projects and put in place the necessary steps to make projects a reality.


The aim of the CER series is to build the next generation of leaders.  Every participant will leave the workshop with the tools, skills and support network necessary to identify feasible and fundable projects that meet community and funders’ objectives, and develop a strong, self-sustaining community of practice with like-minded peers. The groundbreaking format sowed the seeds for a new generation of community leaders and collaborators to sustain the kind and pace of change necessary for energy sector transformation.


We held the series of eight workshops via Zoom on the second Wednesday of each month, 10-11:30 AM, May through December 2021. Monthly workshops covered tools, strategies, practices, case studies and exercises on the following topics:

  • May 12, 2021: Kickoff & Cohort Formation
  • June 9, 2021: Stakeholder identification
  • July 14, 2021: Stakeholder Alignment
  • August 11, 2021: Study Hall & Cohort Working Sessions
  • September 8, 2021: Community Asset Mapping Strategy
  • October 13, 2021: Community Asset Mapping Tactics
  • November 10, 2021: Community Engagement
  • December 8, 2021: Financial and Technical Feasibility

Tools & Resources

Series participants received:

  • A Community Energy Resilience playbook by CEL;
  • Meeting recordings;
  • A community email list for sharing best practices;
  • Legislative updates;
  • Tools and templates for use in their project development and community organizing efforts.
Watch session 1 of the workshop (May 12, 2021) for a Policy and Funding Briefing and Workshop Overview.
Empowering Sustainable, Equitable Places Breakout Session: How to Start and Develop a Place: A Primer

Download the slides from the first workshop.

To learn more about the workshops or the join the mailing list contact us.

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