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HCRI Kicks Off “Regards to Rural Conference”

HCRI Group standing behind conference table

On Friday, April 19th, the Hazard and Climate Resilience Institute kicked off the Regards to Rural Conference with their workshop: “Building Resilience and Vitality in Your Community.” The session attracted roughly 100 attendees and set a lively, engaging tone for the remainder of the two-day conference.

The workshop emerged from work already underway in the VIP Building Resilient Communities course at Boise State University, led by HCRI Director, Dr. Brittany Brand and Research Associate, Kyle Peterson, MPH. The team of students – consisting of Prithila Purkayastha, Mike Maxfield, Alex Iturriria, Ismaeel Mujahid, and Jake Peckenpaugh – acted as small-group facilitators, guiding participants through discussions and activities designed to promote rural resilience and development.

Past semesters of the VIP course were integral to the Kamiah Resilience Assessment – which utilized the City Resilience Index – and the Spring 2024 team aimed to customize the assessment materials specifically with rural communities in mind.

“Our priority for this workshop was audience interaction and engagement. We used Mentimeter to allow real time question responses and actively demonstrated a few assessment tools for participants to keep and use with their home communities. After a long semester of work, it was really encouraging to hear such positive feedback throughout the rest of the conference.” – Kyle Peterson, HCRI Research Associate

Some of the tools created by the HCRI team include the Characteristics of Resilient Communities, Challenge & Solution Trees, and an Action Planning Template. Dr. Brand hopes the HCRI can scale up its resilience assessment efforts in the future, but in the meantime, these tools can aid communities in starting on their own path to resilience.

Workshop materials will be publicly accessible in the coming weeks at the following link: Conference Materials Google folder.