FEMA's Interagency Recovery Coordination Speakers Series: "Equity, The Foundation of Resilience"


Produced and hosted by FEMA, this 6-part Speaker Series is organized around the theme ‘Equity, Resilience in Recovery’.  The goal of the Speaker Series is to bring people together to exchange information, inspire one another, and generate discussion on equitable strategies that build strong foundation for recovery which brings us closer to resilience and security for all.

Equity is the superior resilience model as it refers to proportional representation of opportunities in housing, healthcare, employment, and all indicators of living a healthy life for all populations

As Region 6 embarks on addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities, we must set the intention of our work beyond just recovery. Recovery gets us back to where we were before crisis.  Resilience makes us stronger and better prepared to rebound and recover from times of crisis.  Equity is the heartbeat of resilience. When we focus efforts on equity, true resilience abounds. Equity is about building the capacity of people and their communities to withstand, recover from, and thrive after crisis. Efforts to create a more equitable Region 6 must be accompanied by a systemic approach that is employed across our region to promote access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce disparities, including housing insecurity, education, workforce development, health, and other economic and social disparities.

Each 90-minute Session will provide the place to have honest conversations on the critical issues exacerbated by COVID-19; discuss disparities and barriers to resilience; identify opportunities for collaboration; leverage of resources; and identify innovative solutions to equitable and resilient recovery across all social and community sectors.

Outcomes and Benefits

  • Create a gathering space for problem solving and working together in this time in which we find ourselves
  • Identify ways in which partners can use and leverage resources to solve problems we can’t solve on our own


Topic: Equity, the Foundation of Resilience

Date: July 30, 2020

Time: 1:00 – 2:30pm CDT

Host: Tonia Pence, FEMA Recovery Liaison State of Louisiana

Welcome: Jose Gil Montanez, FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer

Facilitator: Flozell Daniels, Executive Director Foundations for Louisiana

Region 6 Social Vulnerability: Laura Blackstone, FEMA Geospatial Date Analytics



Lamar Gardere, Executive Director, The Data Center

Allison Plyer, Chief Demographer, The Data Center, Equity Index Analysis

Jade Brown-Russell, Principal JD Russell Consulting and Appointee to Resilient Louisiana Commission

Topic: Equity, The Superior Growth Model

Description: Equity is not just a moral obligation – it is the superior growth strategy. Better planning, a fair allocation of resources, smarter growth, a clear-eyed gathering and reading of data, and a commitment to equity are all factors will improve our efforts to realize a more resilient Region 6. This commitment will help all people and communities survive crisis and equip them with the tools to thrive in their wake.  The Presenter will discuss how a superior growth model is one that brings together two agendas that have traditionally been separate: job growth and equity.  This equity-driven growth model builds on our assets, leaves generations to come with a strong foundation for the future and brings us closer to the ideal of prosperity for all, urban, rural, underserved, and tribal communities.

Dr. Alessandra Jerolleman, Jacksonville State University

Topic: Recovery Through the Lens of Justice

Description: Dr. Jerolleman will be presenting an overview of her proposed principles for just disaster recovery.  These principles are presented more fully in her book, Disaster Recovery Through the Lens of Justice.  The book constitutes a call to action, asking policy makers, emergency managers, disaster professionals and other interested parties to take a closer look at the role that current policies around disasters play in creating and perpetuating injustice.  Disaster recovery policies and programs have routinely and repeatedly failed to prioritize human rights and failed to acknowledge the dynamic pressures and complex history of disaster risk creation in the United States.  


Karen R. Diver (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa): Director of Business Development for the Native American Advancement Initiatives, Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona

Topic: Region 6 is home to 70 Tribal Nations

Description: Tribes navigate unique relationships with federal, state and local governments. Responding to natural disasters and pandemics has highlighted the need for greater understanding of the needs and obligations to and with Tribes.


Cassandra Thomas: FEMA Region 1 Interagency Recovery Coordination

Topic: Equity in Region I Covid-19 Long-Term Recovery

Description: Showcasing some of the way in which FEMA Region I Long-Term Recovery is working with the states and tribes of New England to build equity into the economic, housing and healthcare system recovery.


Audiences: State leaders from New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, FEMA Representatives, Interagency Coordination Partners, from the 10 FEMA Regions, state organizations, universities, professional associations, planning and development districts.

Resource Type

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Interagency Recovery Coordination Speakers Series, Webinar 1: Equity, the Foundation of Resilience". Long Term Community Recovery (LCTR). July 30, 2020. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/t5aCj776Tp4 on April 11, 2023.

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