Mayborn Museum Complex, Baylor University
Public Interest Technology Community Innovation Fellowship
Cindee Millard, a native Wacoan, works as the Public Engagement Manager at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex.
Cindee worked with numerous nonprofits and enjoyed a variety of volunteer community leadership positions before she joined the museum. She received her Master of Arts from Baylor University with a concentration in organizational communication, combining her years of nonprofit expertise with academic knowledge to collaborate with community partners.
Melissa Mullins is an aquatic scientist and environmental educator. She coordinates water education and outreach at Baylor University’s Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research Center, an aquatic resources research and education partnership between Baylor University and the City of Waco.
Water experts and the community at large co-created the project topic, using surveys to identify which questions were most important to the community.
While everyone can agree that access to clean water is important, different water consumers—such as the city government, farmers, and local residents—have different priorities for its use.
This project convened city officials, representatives of community and cultural organizations, county and state water officials, and large and diverse groups of community members to address the question: “How should our communities meet future water challenges and promote climate resilience?”
A two-hour long forum took place via Zoom on September 10, 2020, and began with an introductory speech from the Mayor of Waco. Participants then moved into small groups to discuss actionable options for community climate resilience, with each group choosing one action that can be taken in the next two years.
At the end of the forum, participants heard from water and climate experts. For people who could not participate in the Zoom event, the project team also offered a website for people to vote on potential actions. In total, there were almost 300 participants, most of whom identified as community members, partners, or volunteers.
After the forum, data from the event was turned into an action plan that was shared broadly, including with the Mayor’s Office and Waco City Hall.