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Wed 30

November 30, 2022 @ 2:00 pm3:00 pm EST

Promising Practices Webinar: Embedding Engagement in Climate Policy

National Civic League

Location: Online

A new report, Civic Engagement in American Climate Policy: Collaborative Models, seeks to develop federal policy designs based upon robust civic engagement models across multiple fields of practice. The report considers how to build the civic and institutional capacity for resilient and just communities in face of the twin crises of climate and democracy.

In this webinar we will hear from the author and contributors of this report who will provide an overview of the main recommendations and discuss how the report can be used as an essential part of climate policy and investment in the coming years. We will also do a deeper dive into two of the report’s main sections that are of particular interest and relevance to the National Civic League: Sustainable Cities and Local Climate Planning, and Civilian Climate Corps.



Carmen Sirianni, Editor-in-Chief, CivicGreen

Carmen Sirianni is the Morris Hillquit Professor Emeritus in Sociology and Public Policy, Brandeis University. He was academic advisor to the EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program and served as Academic Chair of Partnering with Communities: National Workshop on Federal Community-Based Programs, in collaboration with the White House and federal agencies in 2009-2010 during the Obama administration. Carmen also served as research director for the joint White House Domestic Policy Council and Ford Foundation Governance initiative on Reinventing Citizenship during the Clinton administration and he co-directed the action research project on Youth Civic Engagement Networks for the Pew Charitable Trusts. He has held research appointments at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard. He is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and served as co-principal investigator of Non-State Actors in Environmental Governance, sponsored by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center(SESYNC), University of Maryland, with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO, The Corps Network

Mary Ellen Sprenkel is President and CEO of The Corps Network, which represents some 145 youth service and conservation corps across the country. During her tenure, Service and Conservation Corps have become better known programs to lawmakers and policymakers throughout the federal government. Legislation that would expand and bolster youth programs including Service and Conservation Corps has been routinely introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Under Mary Ellen’s leadership, in 2010 more than $63 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects were granted to Service and Conservation Corps throughout the country by 15 federal agencies. These projects provided youth with jobs and service opportunities while connecting them to public lands including national parks and forests.

She has served as a member of the Federal Advisory Committee tasked with providing recommendations to federal land management agencies on how to implement a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Prior to joining the Corps Network as its Director of Government Relations, she served on Capitol Hill for a decade, as well as in other nonprofit and educational organizations.

Merlene Mazyck, National Program Manager, USDA Forest Service

Merlene has served as Program Manager for the USDA Forest Service Volunteers & Service program since 2010. During the past year she also served as the acting Deputy Director for the National Forest System Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources staff group. In her permanent position, Merlene provides strategic leadership and policy guidance for a national program that engages more than 100,000 volunteers and service members on the 175 national forests and grasslands, and FS units in every deputy area, annually. She has been instrumental in rebranding Forest Service volunteerism efforts, promoting expanded service opportunities for youth and veterans through the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Program, and establishing new programs such the Resource Assistants Program that are making significant contributions to the Forest Service mission. Prior to joining the Forest Service, Merlene served as the Director of AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), an AmeriCorps program operated by the Corporation for National & Community Service.