Learn more about the 2022-2024 CAPECA Cohort Here 


Please review the information below. With remaining questions, please contact communityresilience@uci.edu for assistance.  

Materiales en Español?

Si quiere recibir estos materiales en español, contacte communityresilience@uci.edu. El equipo del proyecto CAPECA es bilingüe en inglés y español.

What is CAPECA?

CAPECA is a 15-month training program for placed-based teams of community members and researchers in California to work together for a just and survivable future.

Community-Academic Partnerships to Advance Equity-Focused Climate Action is a pilot that aims to augment the training of up to 12 Californian place-based teams of community leaders and university researchers from the UC and CSU who work together to ask and answer key research questions that inform climate planning and action in their place.  We call the project CAPECA for short. 

CAPECA harnesses a team of popular education-based curriculum designers and facilitators who train and walk alongside climate vulnerable low-income communities and communities of color throughout California to support community-driven climate resilience planning. The training is rooted in the principles and practices of participatory action research, popular education, and social equity. 

CAPECA goals include:

Desired Outcomes:

CAPECA aims to enable:

CAPECA is sponsored by the University of California's Carbon Neutrality Initiative through the UC President’s Global Climate Leadership Council. 

Communities across California increasingly experience the impacts of the climate crisis. In response, cities, counties, and universities are accelerating the development and revision of climate and climate resilience action plans. However, too often these processes leave out the vital knowledge, priorities, visions, and leadership of the people who bear the brunt of climate impacts locally, and who often know the most about what is needed. "Key to closing equity gaps and resolving climate vulnerability is direct participation by impacted communities in the development and implementation of solutions and policy decisions that directly impact them. This level of participation can unleash much needed capacity, but also requires initial capacity investments across multiple sectors to strengthen our local democracies through systems changes and culture shifts."*

While excellent training resources focused on such shifts already exist in community-based settings, there is a need for additional and comparable state-wide training resources to support community-based organizations in climate-impacted communities across California to partner effectively with universities. When effective, such partnerships can advance the research needed to support communities in galvanizing action for relevant climate solutions. CAPECA aims to help fill this gap. 

CAPECA bridges between community and academic partners by drawing upon frameworks and tools from various community-based training settings (including Facilitating Power's Spectrum of Community Engagement to Ownership*; Vision Power Solutions; and the Coliberate participatory action research curriculum from Partners for Collaborative Change). This bridge is buttressed by alignment with university-based capacity building initiatives (including the UC-wide Student Leadership Institute for Climate Resilience and the UC-wide DEIJ-focused Climate Resilience Planning Framework) and with various national and state entities that innovate in this space (including National Association of Climate Resilience Planners, California Governor's Office of Planning and Research, Climate Innovation, Full Spectrum Capital Partners, and the University of California's Center for Climate Justice). 

CAPECA works with place-based teams in California. CAPECA invited teams composed of representatives from the community (leaders or staff in community groups, organizations, or hubs), facilitators or intermediaries that work within the community, and lastly, university-based researchers or facilitators from UC and CSU campuses. We welcome participation from already formed community-academic partnerships as well as those in beginning and formative stages. We also welcome inquiries from individuals who are open to building relationships towards a potential place-based community-academic partnership. Check out the following criteria.

This training is for you if you…

Timeline & Milestones

CAPECA began in October 2022 and lasts through December 2023, with the option of continuing CAPECA accompaniment through June 2024. Notable dates include:


After the Introductory Workshop, CAPECA sought applications from place-based teams to become part of the 15-month CAPECA cohort. While a place-based team may be as large as the team needs it to be, for the purposes of CAPECA, we asked teams to identify a mix of up to five community-based and academic members to commit to participating in CAPECA activities on behalf of their team throughout the training (please review the participation criteria in the "Who?" section above). For certain online CAPECA workshops, it may be possible for more team members to participate beyond the designated five. 

By October 2022, we began working with 12 place-based teams for the 15-month training series. CAPECA provides up to $6,000 per place-based team to help support community member participation in CAPECA activities. 

Spanish language translation and interpretation are available. Tradicción e interpretación en español disponibles. For all other languages, please contact the CAPECA Project Team. 

Introductory Workshop

CAPECA launched with a two-hour virtual Introductory Workshop by Zoom in February 2022. Through this participatory workshop, the CAPECA team engaged participants to elicit core principles of equitable community-university collaboration and set the stage for more. Check it out to learn more about CAPECA.  Please find the recording, slides, and other materials here:

Workshop Slides:

Workshop Recording:

Workshop Jamboard:

Resources Shared by Peers at the Introductory Workshop


CAPECA Project Team: The team that designs and facilitates the CAPECA curriculum. Composed of popular education and participatory action research trainers, learning and evaluation faculty, and faculty and staff affiliates.

CAPECA Project Support Team: The team that supports the CAPECA Project Team to execute the CAPECA curriculum. Composed of experts in the areas of participatory action research, language justice, project management, and equity-focused climate innovation.

CAPECA Advisory Team: The team that helps to ensure alignment between CAPECA goals and process in the context of broader climate and climate justice aims. Composed of community, state, social movement, and academic leaders.

CAPECA Project Sponsors: The institutions that provide sponsorship and in kind support to enable CAPECA collaborators to work together. 

CAPECA Project Team

Reach the CAPECA Project Team at communityresilience@uci.edu

CAPECA Project Support Team

CAPECA Advisory Team

Project Partners

Project Sponsors

Project Support Partners