Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. to Noon MT

Advancing Racial and Social Equity Through Natural Hazards Mitigation


Webinar Description:

The convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, social uprisings for racial justice, and other hazard events has revealed deep-seated racial and economic inequities in the United States, with communities of color disproportionately at risk of and impacted by these crises. As climate change alters the frequency and intensity of natural hazards, individuals and institutions need to center racial equity in policy development and resource allocation so the disparities caused by such events can be reduced.

Using a racial equity lens, this webinar will examine the following:

  • How disasters and disaster aid programs exacerbate racial and economic inequities
  • Why changing the narrative around disasters to emphasize the need for mitigation and preparedness is essential to advancing racial equity
  • The importance of multi-sector partnerships to unlock financial, political, and relational resources for the benefit of communities of color
  • The types of investment required to support both racial equity and disaster resilience

The speaker will share lessons learned in California, which is experiencing the most destructive wildfire season in the state’s history.


Alan Kwok
Director of Disaster Resilience, Philanthropy California and Northern California Grantmakers

Natural Hazards Center Overview Slides
Webinar Slides
Webinar Questions


Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, 2020

Making Equity Real in Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience Policies and Programs: A Guidebook, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, 2020

Building Wildfire Resilience in the West: A Virtual Series

The Great Collision of 2020: Philanthropy’s Moment is Here, Alan Kwok, Northern California Grantmakers

Alan Kwok

Alan Kwok is the director of disaster resilience for Philanthropy California (Philanthropy CA), an alliance of Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego Grantmakers that comprise of 600+ philanthropic organizations and groups across California. His role is to strengthen and galvanize the philanthropic sector in California around investments in community-based climate and disaster resilience. In partnership with the State of California, he leads Philanthropy California’s efforts to support disaster response and recovery for local and statewide disasters, including the 2018 and 2019 California wildfires and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Before joining Philanthropy CA, Kwok spent nearly 20 years in various social and humanitarian sectors that include community health, youth and workforce development, and disaster management. He managed a Federal Emergency Management Agency award-winning community resilience initiative across the San Francisco Bay Area at the American Red Cross. Kwok earned his PhD in emergency management at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. His research has been published in World Bank and New Zealand government publications, as well as in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Prevention and Management. He has also written for Inside Philanthropy (a trade journal for the philanthropic sector) and San Francisco Business Times.