ERW Workshop 1: We Learn

On Thursday, May 2, CLEO launched the second Overtown edition of its 2019 Empowering Resilient Women program. Hosted at the YWCA in Overtown, this program consists of 4 workshops to teach women and girls about the causes, effects and impacts of climate change, as well as offer leadership training to empower participants to become change-makers and advocates.  

The first workshop was titled “We Learn” and explored how climate change impacts the South Florida community at large and specifically women’s health.

Olivia, CLEO’s Director of Programs, started with an informative Climate Change 101 presentation. The attendees learned about the safety risks caused by climate change in South Florida, including increased flooding, extreme heat, saltwater intrusion, and air pollution, and how all these changes threaten our physical and mental health. Participants also learned about what solutions they could implement in their daily lives, such as reducing single-use plastics, incorporating more vegetarian meals, becoming more conscious consumers, reducing food waste, and using the power of their vote and voice.  

Following this, attendees listened to a brief lecture by Dr. Cheryl Holder, Internist and Founder of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action . Her presentation explored the various ways that climate change impacts South Floridians’ health, such as increases asthma risks for residents who live near highways and an increased rate of heat exhaustion for children who play outside, as well as laborers, construction workers and our agricultural labor force.

The attendees expressed much interest in learning more about the effects of climate change on their bodies. They asked questions about how to protect their skin during summer and how to reduce their children’s’ risk during sports practices.

To close the session, attendees participated in a soothing sound meditation exercise led by Christina Pierce. The purpose of this exercise was to show the women a safe and free way to reduce their stress and anxiety, as well as become more mindful.

2019Natalia Ortiz