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RCE in 2023: First quarterly meeting and ways to get (more) involved

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An excited crowd converged in the light-filled atrium of Atlanta City Hall on the morning of January 28, 2023. Over 100 people joined the RCE Greater Atlanta for its first in-person quarterly meeting since 2020. The meeting brought together civic leaders, activists, educators, business leaders, researchers, students, and concerned citizens from across the Greater Atlanta area. Despite coming from different parts of the area, and from a wide variety of backgrounds, everyone brought with them an interest in supporting the region’s progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Thank you to the City of Atlanta for hosting us as we reconvened for our first in-person quarterly meeting in years. We were honored to hear from Atlanta's Chief Sustainability Officer, Chandra Farley, in a conversation with Mark O. Lannahan, the RCE’s Youth Engagement Manager, about her approach to her new role, which she began last fall. She spoke about her own background and what personally drew her to sustainability, how Atlanta’s status as an international city gives it an opportunity to be a leader in the space, and she is focused on creating safe, healthy, connected neighborhoods throughout the city.

Founders and long-time members of the network representing higher education, business, nonprofit and government sectors welcomed those who were new to the group, including the first cohort of SDG Futures Fellows. The 27 Fellows are students who represent a wide variety of backgrounds and come to the program from nine Greater Atlanta Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with experience in more than 20 different disciplines. In small teams, the Fellows took turns sharing with the gathered membership the topics of the projects they are developing during the fellowship this year. The topics cover many of the 17 SDGs, working on everything from developing metrics for the SDGs for the City of Atlanta, to supporting green entrepreneurs, scaling community solar power, creating a marketing plan for a responsible consumerism app, and storytelling for peace.

The action groups were also in attendance, showcasing their work within the network to showcase to members and new attendees the options of the many ways to get (more) involved and broaden the work of the RCE Greater Atlanta. Below are some suggestions:

Here are 5 Ways to Engage in the Network Right Now (from Mark O. Lannahan):
If you have not signed up as a member or affiliate, please do so here to stay plugged into the network.

  • Sign up for a New Member Consultation to become better acquainted with network opportunities.
  • Sign up to Be a Mentor: Fill out the form here! Alternatively — if you’re looking for some mentoring — sign up to Be a Mentee: Fill out the form here! · Youth (ages 18-29) may enroll in the newly launched SDG Pathway Program– to learn more about the SDGs and meet more people around the region and the world working to advance them!
  • Host an RCE event: we want to do more than quarterly meetings – please send an email to about an event your institution/organization would be willing to host this semester (and – we are looking for a volunteer to host the next quarterly meeting too.)
  • Engage in the Global RCE Network - The RCE has a newly launched five-part online course called Localizing the UN SDGs through Education, Training and Regional Collaboration. This is a great learning opportunity and an exciting introduction to other RCEs across the U.S. and Canada.

Additional ways to engage
If you have your own event or activity that you want to work on with the RCE, members may send out a message to the Google Group and see if you can find some collaborators! And – add it to our RCE Website calendar! (Here’s a 3-step walkthrough on how to do that)