Community Learning Series: Equity in Disaster Recovery

Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 12 – 1 p.m.  

Via Zoom

The dual disasters of 2020 were difficult for most in our community, but it was more difficult for those without access to resources due to pre-existing disaster conditions and situations such as poverty, employment status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, dis/ability, language access, homeownership, family composition, age and citizenship.

The Community Learning Series: Equity in Disaster Recovery event helped increase understanding of the challenges that many in our community continue to face during their recovery from the pandemic and derecho. Attendees heard from Cedar Rapids homeowner, Melody, who has faced numerous barriers in repairing her home. And guest presenters helped us explore the link between disaster recovery and equity issues, and what our community’s challenges continue to be.

Guest Presenters

Cari Cullen, MA

Director of the Midwest Early Recovery Fund

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Ashley Balius, MSURP

Community Outreach & Assistant Director

Linn County Community Services

J’Nae Peterman

Director of Housing Services


The event was facilitated by three Community Foundation staff members with extensive experience in disaster preparedness and recovery including Karla Twedt-Ball, MPP, Senior Vice President, Programs and Community Investment; Carrie Walker, Nonprofit Network Manager; and Elizabeth Cwik, Senior Program Officer. Since 2014, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation has participated the in the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership (PPREP), a cohort of Midwest grantmakers who work together to build disaster preparedness and response skills. PPREP is led by The Funders Network with curricular support from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which works to embed an equity lens into the cohort’s learning. To learn more about PPREP, click here.

A recording of the event can be viewed here.

The video shared at the event can be viewed here: