RCE Greater Atlanta - 2023

RCE Greater Atlanta Quarterly Meetings
Basic Information
Title of project : 
RCE Greater Atlanta Quarterly Meetings
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Atlanta
Contributing organization(s) : 
City of Atlanta
Praise House Project
US Green Building Council – Georgia
A.G. Rhodes
University of Georgia
US Forest Service
Atlanta Regional Council
Kennesaw State University
Atlanta Metropolitan State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Education
Organizational Affiliation: 
Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Georgia Institute of Technology
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Monday, August 28, 2023
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Greater Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Education
Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Georgia Institute of Technology
760 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Atlanta is currently a city riddled with wealth and income inequality, particularly affecting communities of color, where 80% of African-American children reside in high-poverty areas compared to only 6% of their white peers. Historical divisions in housing, schools, and zoning perpetuate these disparities. The city's rapid development can also affect the environment, causing potential issues with reduced greenery, increased pollution, flooding, and soil erosion. Despite being an economic hub, Atlanta is marked by racial segregation, concentrated poverty, gentrification, and displacement, and has one of the lowest social mobility rates for its poorest population. It also ranks poorly in terms of income inequality, energy burden, gentrification, traffic, and air quality.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
RCE Greater Atlanta supports our partners that do important groundwork in sustainability, like advocating for greener building practices, preserving local culture, or fighting rampant gentrification. The Quarterly Meetings brings together members of the network to encourage collaboration and share news about important work happening in the community to address various sustainable development challenges. By building a strong network, we can share resources and knowledge to advance progress on all projects and work in the area, and we can further education on the SDGs.
January, 2018
The purpose of quarterly meetings is to bring together civic leaders, community leaders and community members, educators, business leaders, researchers, students, and residents from across the Greater Atlanta area to network with others interested in the SDGs, share their local and regional ESD activities, and learn about and figure out how to support activities that advance the SDGs. Quarterly meetings are always hosted by different members in different geographic areas of the city and region, so they expose attendees to different communities, issues, and activities.
The goals of our quarterly meetings are to:
- update the network members and the greater Atlanta community on what is going on with the RCE
- encourage members and the community to get engaged
- share a story about the host’s SDG-related work
- foster networking and relationship-building
- further education about the SDGs
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Quarterly meetings generally include an engagement orientation for people who are new to the network or interested in getting more involved; a presentation by the host about their SDG-related work; and interactive activities that expose attendees to RCE projects and help them understand how to get more engaged. For example, the first 2023 meeting, held at Atlanta City Hall, featured a student interviewing Chandra Farley, Atlanta’s new Chief Sustainability Officer; presentations by the 2022-23 SDG Futures Fellows; and a project engagement fair. The second 2023 meeting, held at a historic Black-owned Funeral Home, featured an art exhibit; small group project discussions; and a visit to the Sweet Auburn Avenue Water Tower for a special program led by the artist of the water tower’s mural.
Size of academic audience: 
Over 100 people joined the RCE Greater Atlanta for its first 2023 quarterly meeting since 2020 and about 80 people for the second 2023 meeting. Meetings traditionally attract between 70 and 100 people.
The quarterly meetings connect leaders, experts, students, and others in the community to foster networking and build relationships. They provide an easy entry point for new people to get exposed to the network, and the engagement orientations and interactive nature of the meetings create friendly environments for new members to feel at home right away. They also serve to update members and the community about RCE activities and help them understand ways to get involved. Finally, these meetings often help facilitate connections among members to build relationships and collaborate on a variety of projects, including projects outside of the RCE that advance the SDGs in more dispersed ways.
Lessons learned: 
Quarterly meetings have been popular since their inception in 2018. They always draw big, intergenerational crowds, from multiple sectors. Hosting them at different members’ locations has been popular, as the host gets a platform to share their work and people enjoy going to visit and learn about different sites. They are a great combination of learning, work, and sociality.
Key messages: 
Because the RCE is a network, it is important to have regular events to bring people together to foster new and existing relationships. We want to continue engaging the community and supporting them in our goal to further education about the SDGs.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Quarterly meetings are key to helping members and the broader community keep up to date on the RCE’s activities, build relationships that help advance those activities, and figure out how they can get involved in the network.
There is no funding specifically for quarterly meetings. Hosts generally provide space, and often food, free of charge. Sometimes multiple institutions provide in-kind support, for example, for food. Other times, like at the Summer 2023 meeting, food is done as potluck and attendees bring a variety of contributions.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon quarterly_jan1.jpeg (253.71 KB) Jan 2023 Quarterly Meeting – Fireside Chat with Chandra Farley, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Atlanta
Image icon quarterly_jul2.jpeg (367.28 KB) July 2023 Quarterly Meeting – small group discussion for Mentorship Program Fiona Cheung
Image icon quarterly_jul3.jpeg (425.21 KB) July 2023 Quarterly Meeting – small group discussion for Community Organization Engagement Fiona Cheung
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
I acknowledge the above: