Cultural Resilience Principles and Practice: From Storm Water Remediation to Food Sovereignty to Cultural Programming

Cultural Resilience Principles and Practice: From storm water remediation to food sovereignty to cultural programming, how communities define and invest in their resilience is specific to the place, the history, and the people involved. This workshop will frame the importance of cultural resilience and highlight key principles based on community participatory research. The session will include a panel discussion with people who are putting cultural resilience principles into practice in a variety of places and communities across the US. The discussion will consider the meaning of resilience, the implication of history and community trauma in the meaning and practice of building resilience, and how culture and creativity are fundamental to survival.

The workshop will include specific examples from places such as Chicago, San Francisco, Greenwood, MS and the Gentilly district in New Orleans.

Participants will leave with a framework for understanding cultural resilience in theory and practice, and case studies to inspire their own work.


Nella Young

Sr. Program Director for Culture and Creativity

Enterprise Community Partners (Boston, MA)

Nella Young is a Senior Program Director for the Building Resilient Futures Initiative at Enterprise Community Partners. She works nationally with community development organizations and practitioners to cultivate practices that center residents’ culture, creativity and healing. In this role, she facilitates collaboration between non-arts systems and artists, designers, local culture bearers, and place-keepers in service of community well-being, leveraging her curiosity and love of people to bridge silos of practice.



Meghan Venable-Thomas

Cultural Resilience Program Director

Enterprise Community Partners (Boston, MA)


Meghan is the Cultural Resilience Program Director at Enterprise Community Partners supporting community development organizations across the country in integrating culturally based practices and principles for improved resilience outcomes. She graduated with her Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University, centering her dissertation on creative and cultural practices for increasing community resilience. She has a background in public health focused on health equity, community based participatory research, and tools for advancing creativity and culture. With over 10 years of military experience developing and implementing strategies, building programs, and leading teams, she is now focusing on ways to improve social determinants of health in the United States and abroad.

She maintains her military service as a Major in the Massachusetts Army National Guard providing Sexual Assault Prevention Coordination, directing programs, training, and victim advocacy around Sexual Assault prevention. As a Doctor in Public Health focused on how arts and culturally grounded practices impact health equity, she leverages both practices to think about creative opportunities for increasing access and decreasing health disparities. Meghan has worked for companies such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia Innovation Lab, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership, and The Just City Lab. Meghan holds a masters degree in Public Health Management from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy (USMA).


Brandon Jones

Cultural Resilience Program Director

Enterprise Community Partners (San Francisco, CA)


Brandon Jones is a community development practitioner with an expertise in cultural integration within urban development. He currently serves as the Cultural Resilience Program Director for Enterprise Community Partners based in the Northern California. In this position, he cultivates frameworks and strategies that center resident voice, legacy, and healing. Brandon is the founding Director of Cultural Engagement for the New York City-based organization, Theatre for the Free People; and is the Co-founder of Free People International, a social advocacy firm based in Amsterdam, NL with clients throughout the Europe and the United States.


Emily Roush-Elliott

Social Impact Architect and Co-Founder

Delta Design Build (Greenwood, MS)


Emily Roush-Elliott is a founding partner of the Delta Design Build Workshop (Delta DB). Delta DB is a social impact design build organization that builds equity through the built environment in the Mississippi Delta. The organization operates on the tenets that process is as important as product, waste is a social construct, and local leadership is necessary to realize impact. Projects include design, construction and development of healthy, affordable housing, capacity building alongside small municipalities and job training programming.

Emily was awarded an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship (2013-2015) that brought her, along with her partner Richard Elliott, to the Mississippi Delta in 2013. Emily received a Master of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University. Her interest in socially impactful architecture solidified into a career path while studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and while building homes in Biloxi, MS following Hurricane Katrina. Emily speaks regularly about Delta DB’s work at conferences and in academic settings. She has served on various juries, boards and committees which currently include the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community and the AIA Government Advocacy Committee.


Nick Satterfield

Community Design Project Manager

New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (New Orleans, LA)


Nick Satterfield is an architect and project manager with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. His current work focuses on implementing the Community Adaptation Program, one of the nation’s first residential green infrastructure flood mitigation programs of its kind. Prior to joining NORA, he lived in Louisville, KY where his portfolio of work included design across various sectors such as; healthcare, master planning, higher education, and community led public space planning.