August 17, 2023
Last week we hosted the 2022-2023 Fellow graduation for CivicSpark, our AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for public agencies to address environmental and social equity resilience challenges. We were honored to reflect on the hard work, fresh insights, and novel ideas that this group of emerging leaders have brought to the communities they served.
At last month’s California Adaptation Forum, attendees were energized around generating ideas for how this field can cultivate the next generation of leaders. There were several discussions around how organizations and agencies large and small and communities across the country are facing a trained workforce shortage.
CivicSpark’s proven model meets a number of crucial needs by building local government capacity while also providing an equitable workforce development pipeline for green jobs to support local communities as they increase climate resilience. Since 2014, nearly 1,000 Fellows have provided more than one million hours of service to more than 300 local public agencies through over 900 projects.
In 2022, after 8 years of growth throughout California, we launched our first CivicSpark cohorts in Colorado and Washington state. And now, thanks to an AmeriCorps national planning grant, we are exploring expansion into the U.S. Southeast. Given the increasingly extreme weather events we are experiencing across the country, we look forward to partnering with local governments and leaders to bring CivicSpark’s proven model to address community resilience issues in this region.
As CivicSpark prepares to begin our tenth service year, we are also launching a brand new look. The vibrant new green and yellow logo reflects CivicSpark’s connection to CivicWell through the use of color and the circle—representing continuity and evoking the well, a symbolic place of gathering and nourishment. The internal spark embodies the inspiring and impactful work CivicSpark Fellows and partners do in communities every day.
We are excited to share this milestone as we continue to grow CivicSpark’s impact, and look toward celebrating ten years of this groundbreaking and trendsetting program.