As the year draws to a close, it’s time for The Undivide Project team to reflect on the strides made, partnerships forged, and the collective impact achieved over the past year.
I started all of this in February 2022 with $5,000, help from a dear colleague and two interns. Since then, The Undivide Project has transformed this foundation into impactful initiatives. From the inception of our first Story Map and advocacy project, we’ve continuously expanded our reach and capabilities. In 2023, our team saw a significant expansion, with a committed executive director, four part-time volunteers, one mentor for each marquee project, six paid fellows, and additional professionals serving as consultants and contributing to our projects in a variety of ways.
Collaboration has been at the core of our progress. Partnerships with esteemed institutions like Georgetown University, the University of California System Resilience Network, and the George Washington University School of Law have yielded brilliant collaborations. Our work with Disaster Researchers in Place (DRIP) and the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) has not only amplified our impact but also paved the way for innovative research and advocacy opportunities in 2024.
On the community front, we’ve been actively engaged in advocacy, capacity-building, and infrastructural development. Collaborations with local foundations and organizations such as Anacostia Parks and Waterways, Bayou Community Foundation, and Rowdy Orb.it have significantly contributed to our mission.
Our initiatives across “People, Public, Planet” principles have garnered attention and yielded tangible results. From comprehensive asset mapping and pollution tracking in Anacostia to community resilience building in Louisiana, our efforts have made a meaningful difference. The Story Map project highlighting the racialized history of land use in Southern Louisiana has been utilized by community leaders before a UN committee, marking a significant milestone.
The Undivide Project’s influence extended beyond borders with presentations at national and international forums as diverse as National VOAD and UNDRR platforms. Our contributions to policy change and advocacy efforts have been recognized in publications like the MIT Tech Review. We have been invited to Congressional briefings and welcomed to Executive Branch discussions, helping us to shape crucial legislation and policy frameworks.
Looking ahead to 2024, our focus remains on furthering our impact. From refining ongoing projects like the Ten States Project to developing machine-learning components for more reliable data, our commitment to innovation and community empowerment remains unwavering.
As we wrap up this eventful year, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners and supporters. Thank you to everyone who has been reading about and encouraging this work. I wish everyone a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year.