Who we are

Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action (ANCA) was born out of the Institute of Cultural Affairs USA (ICA). In 2013, the ICA tasked several groups of volunteers with taking the neighborhood forum model and implementing it in cities across the country. That task birthed the first Denver neighborhood forum in October 2016.

The ANCA work is completely powered by volunteers committed to bringing climate action to the neighborhood level. Since the forum in 2016, the team has been working to formalize the ANCA initiative, seek out neighborhoods to roll out the neighborhood forums, and develop partnerships with educational institutions to create volunteer & intern opportunities for students.

Mission & Goals

Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action (ANCA) is designed to create shared, place-based climate action on a block-by-block, neighborhood-by-neighborhood level. Our passion is providing the support and resources to equip neighborhood residents with the tools to take action and be a force for good. Together we can move Denver closer to a sustainable future.

What we do

Neighborhood Climate Action Forums

  • Video/presentation about the science & status of climate change augmented by Q&A and focused conversations;
  • Creation of a vision for a sustainable, climate-friendly neighborhood and dialogue between neighbors about what is already happening;
  • Discussion about the barriers to future effective local action;
  • Group action planning including follow up steps and assignments; and
  • Document that will be shared amongst attendees and posted on our website and neighborhood websites should they exist.

Training of Emerging Neighborhood Leaders
ANCA’s design is built on leadership training and community development methods that were created by one of our partner organizations, the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) forty years ago and refined in development projects in every time zone and on every continent around the world. Since then, they have been applied in villages, urban community centers, town halls, federal and corporate boardrooms; and they work. Originally aiming at individual empowerment and social/economic justice, they empower individuals, and generate consensus-based, shared action plans. And at the same time, they are enjoyable, strengthen existing relationships and build more cohesive, resilient communities. Prior to the forums, ANCA will offer an all-day training for active neighborhood residents who are interested in helping lead forums in their own neighborhood and potentially in expansion neighborhoods.

Student Engagement and Training
Students from MSU Denver will be trained

  • to map existing baseline assets and actions in participating neighborhoods to be made available at the neighborhood forum
  • in the leadership/facilitation skills necessary to lead new forums.

Why we do it

  • Climate change is the defining issue of this century and will chart the course for humanity for the future.
  • Effective and important work is being done at the governmental and institutional level, but this is not enough. (Note: Some of this work is now at risk.)
  • Progress in addressing this monumental issue has been stymied by its politicization. What should be science based inquiry and collaborative action into an issue that affects us all and to which each of us contribute has been diverted into unproductive debates about its existence. The conversation must be de-politicized.
  • Each of us makes personal decisions everyday—how we eat, get around, shelter, and clothe ourselves, consume and use material, interact with others and vote—that have a direct effect on climate change.
  • Climate change cannot be mitigated, nor can we adapt to it without each of us taking personal responsibility for examining and changing our own behavior and choices.
  • One of the most promising positive social trends in Denver’s recent history has occurred in the last several decades as people have increasingly learned about and identified with their unique neighborhoods and become active in their neighborhood associations.
  • There is great power – and joy – in working for positive social change through our relationships with family and neighborhoods.