Date of Award

Fall 8-31-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Leadership Studies

Committee Chair

Laura Henry-Stone

Committee Member

Autumn Dodge

Committee Member

Jennifer Hall


This study uses an intersectional and justice lens to analyze how economic, institutional, social, cultural, and natural factors influence resilience in historically marginalized communities. It builds on the work of previous studies that have employed a five-dimension conceptual framework of resilience at the community level by focusing the model on the factors that enable or prevent resilience to extreme heat in communities. The focus community is the City of Lynchburg, Virginia. The researcher observed groups of community organizers in the process of setting an environmental justice and sustainability agenda, who prioritized determining how to engage residents in the decision-making process around these issues. Key informant interviews supported the observational data. In the concluding chapter, this paper offers recommendations on how to continue to engage residents in community decisions as one pathway towards resilience in the face of extreme heat and historic environmental injustices.