Public Resource
Our Power Puerto Rico: Moving Toward a Just Recovery
Jayeesha Dutta, Shakara Tyler & Jesús Vázquez for Climate Justice Alliance

This multimedia report provides a comprehensive case study of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)’s Our Power Puerto Rico (OurPowerPR) campaign as a model of Just Recovery, an effective and innovative tool for climate adaptation that integrates many sectors of the economy to include energy democracy, food sovereignty, rural infrastructure and community self-determination. It introduces the Just Recovery framework, an approach to disaster response informed by grassroots rapid response work after extreme flooding in Louisiana in 2016, and Hurricanes Harvey and María in 2017.  The full report, including videos and more, can be accessed on CJA's website here.

With vulnerable communities across the country already experiencing the impacts of climate change, this report captures how intentional, mutual support networks and people-to-people solutions are emerging as powerful climate mitigation strategies. A Just Recovery approach used in OurPowerPR contributed to shifting political will, scaling translocal organizing models and proactively responding to climate change. Already, learnings from the OurPowerPR campaign have been applied by other grassroots climate organizations during climate disasters.

Key points of the Just Recovery framework include:

  • Respond (vs. aid): Mutual support networks activated to support communities on the ground to meet articulated needs of those most impacted & vulnerable

  • Recover (vs. extract): After disaster, provide resources and support for all to get back to work and into their homes

  • Rebuild (vs. displace): Long-term rebuilding of communities so that they are stronger than prior to the disaster and no longer highly vulnerable

Since the report was authored by frontline community members themselves, the reader will see “we” written to reference frontline communities—those most impacted by climate change—throughout the report. This supports a peer-to-peer practical documentation style of writing and informs the utility of the report for frontline community groups around the United States and the world facing similar challenges.

This multimedia report was created with support from the Climate Advocacy Lab.