A new project, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Justice and led by Resilient Virginia, started up in the summer of 2022 to assist historically underserved people in flood prone neighborhoods of Lynchburg. The project, titled Lynchburg Rising: Beyond Survival to Environmental Justice, is inviting people to tell their stories about how flooding has impacted them, and bringing resources and workshops to four neighborhoods to help residents with flood issues.
The project is supported by two Lynchburg-based consulting groups – Leslie King Consulting and Sobis, Inc. Bill Bohn, COO of Sobis, Inc., is an engineer and GIS analyst who is assembling and integrating data on demographics and flood hazards to identify the neighborhoods that will be involved with the project. Leslie King is an experienced equity and engagement consultant who will lead the neighborhood meetings and is organizing a January conference on Race, Equity, and Social Justice, in conjunction with the local organization, Many Voices One Community.
The project is also coordinating activities with Randolph College and University of Lynchburg‘s staff and students, who are working with neighborhoods located in areas of the city that experience excessive heat issues during summer months. Additional partners contributing to the project by hosting community meetings and providing flood and climate educational information, are Jubilee Center, City of Lynchburg, and Central Virginia Planning District Commission.