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Anti-racism in the Outdoors

Resources related to inclusion, diversity, equity and access of black, indigenous and people of color in parks and greenspaces

This new resource is a guide for faculty, staff, students, extension educators, outdoor advocates, volunteers and community leaders as allies of black, indigenous, and people of color in the outdoors. Formatted as a google doc it includes compiled lists of organizations, presentations & podcasts, affinity groups, books, articles, and resources for being an effective ally. Accessible online at http://s.uconn.edu/antiracismoutdoors

The history and impact of racial disparities in parks and greenspaces has typically received little attention in American public life.  Increases in greenspace use as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the widely publicized racial confrontation of Amy and Christian Cooper in Central Park in New York City[1] have brought increased attention to who has access to and ultimately uses these resources.  In many areas, people of color are less likely to use greenspace amenities even when they have geographic access.[2],[3],[4] These inequities are the result of complex social and economic factors that include explicit racism and segregation.  As an example, Central Park, the first urban park in America, was envisioned and largely driven by powerful white businessmen for the benefit of white elites, and its construction involved eviction of a community of African American and immigrant residents.[5],[6]    Further, parks in cities like Denver[7] and Minneapolis[8] have found that inequities in park access could be traced to discriminatory policy measures such as exclusionary zoning, and disparities in funding for these amenities between white communities and communities of color.[9] We believe that understanding the history and impacts of racism in the parks and greenspaces in our communities can only serve to improve the positive benefits of green spaces to all residents.  With this goal in mind, this list is intended to serve as an information resource for faculty, staff, students, extension educators, outdoor advocates, volunteers and community leaders as allies of black, indigenous, and people of color in the outdoors

[1] Green, A. (2020, May 26). Millions of Amy Coopers. The Cut. https://www.thecut.com/2020/05/why-amy-cooper-called-the-cops.html

[2] Mock. B. For African Americans, Park Access is About More than Just Proximity: A new study shows that the legacy of racial discimination still looms heavily. A Legacy of Racism in America’s Parks. (2016, June 2). https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-02/a-legacy-of-racism-in-america-s-parks

[3] Mock, B. Want to attract a new generation to the national parks? Find a few new rangers. (2014, March 28). Grist. https://grist.org/climate-energy/want-to-attract-a-new-generation-to-the-national-parks-find-a-few-new-rangers/

[4] Hurst, N. Racist History, Lack of Park-Going Culture Among Reasons for African Americans’ Under-Representation at National, State Parks | News Bureau, University of Missouri. (June 1, 2016). Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://munewsarchives.missouri.edu/news-releases/2016/0601-racist-history-lack-of-park-going-culture-among-reasons-for-african-americans-under-representation-at-national-state-parks/

[5] Jan 18, C. P. C., & 2018. (2018, June 11). The Story of Seneca Village. Central Park Conservancy. https://www.centralparknyc.org/blog/seneca-village

[6] Kanjae, J.L. Public Space, Park Space, and Racialized Space. (2020, January, 27). Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://www.pps.org/article/public-space-park-space-and-racialized-space

[7] Forrest, S. (2018, August 31). Study: Denver’s inequities in park access traced to segregation, funding policies. Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/689109

[8] Campbell, A. F. (2016, September 29). Inequality in American Public Parks. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/09/inequality-in-american-public-parks/502238/

[9] Moore, S. Park Inequities Are Symptoms of a Bigger Problem | Healthy Places by Design. (2019, August 9). Retrieved July 30, 2020, from https://healthyplacesbydesign.org/park-inequities-are-symptoms-of-a-bigger-problem/

COVID-19 Resources for Business, Economic Development, & Local Government

Updated May 27, 2020. Below is a list of business resources I’ve been compiling for State of Connecticut Businesses. This is a clearinghouse of resources, not an official site.  Please refer to the state resources below for official and legal guidance.

Economic development leaders, commissioners, and practitioners are invited a new unmoderated state listserv for information sharing- to subscribe go to: https://s.uconn.edu/econdevlist 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES

Note information and guidance is changing rapidly.  We will do our best to keep these resources updated as agencies provide updates. Stamford Economic Development Director Thomas Madden has also compiled an excellent list of business resources including legislation, bills, and loan information here.


Additional Resources

FEDERAL RESOURCES AND GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES

(Note: the SBA is currently finalizing disaster declarations related to Coronavirus. Once these are released, small businesses can apply. Check the website daily to see if/when CT will be eligible and/or call the CT SBA Office at 860-240-4700)

LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

Economic development leaders, commissioners, and practitioners are invited a new unmoderated state listserv for information sharing- to subscribe go to: https://s.uconn.edu/econdevlist 

    OTHER BUSINESS PREPAREDNESS RESOURCES

    • SBA/SBDC Tips for BusinessesAs Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID19) spreads, it creates concerns in all our communities both in relation to staying healthy and safe, but also in terms of how local businesses may be impacted. We have assembled a list of tips and resources to assist you.
    • The City of Bellevue Washington has created a great site for impacted businesses here. Some resources are Washington specific but this Guide on Planning for a Coronavirus Pandemic – A Guide for Businesses and Organizations is a great summary of preparedness steps. One great tip from this site: It is extremely important to document business impacts as the situation is unfolding, both for insurance purposes and for potential future relief efforts by state and federal agencies.   Be sure your existing records are in order and keep records as the situation changes.
    • Washington SBDC Business Resiliency Guide 
    • CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers – “All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 in their workplace in the event of an outbreak in the US. They should identify and communicate their objectives, which may include one or more of the following: (a) reducing transmission among staff, (b) protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications, (c) maintaining business operations, and (d) minimizing adverse effects on other entities in their supply chains.”
    • OSHA- US Department of Labor Updates 
    • Resources and Guidelines for Business from the US Chamber of Commerce “The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to ensure we are all adequately prepared to protect Americans at home and abroad.All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from the Coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations. Download these guides created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which are based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to learn more about how employers and employees can prepare for and address the impacts of the Coronavirus.”
    • Prepare Connecticut Economic Resilience Handbook  This tool is designed primarily for natural resource disasters but includes valuable planning tools, resources, and recommendations for businesses and community leaders

      Be well- Laura Brown

      ******************************
      Laura E. Brown, MS, CEcD
      Community & Economic Development Educator
      University of Connecticut – Department of Extension

      We’re hiring! Two summer internships available in Community & Economic Development

      Please help to spread the word about these two exciting paid student internships available for this summer! Compensation is $16/hour, 15 hours per week for 10 weeks ~ $2,400 (potential for additional hours) Students will have an opportunity to work closely with community & economic development professionals from across the state, contribute to applied programming, and gain employment experience.   Students in geography, sociology, public policy, urban and regional studies, landscape architecture, natural resources, economics, communications, are encouraged but all applicants will be considered. Strong communication skills and a desire to engage in meaningful community based work are required!  More details below.

      • Community & Economic Development – Best Practices in Land Use & Economic Development Program Internship – CEDAS – Open to Undergraduates and Graduate students.  Apply here or send your cover letter, resume & transcript to laura.brown@uconn.edu
      • Connecticut Trail Census Summer Internship – Open to UConn students only – Apply here – Contact laura.brown@uconn.edu

       ******

      Community & Economic Development – Best Practices in Land Use & Economic Development Program Internship- CEDAS

      Supervisor contact: Laura Brown, Community & Economic Development Educator – New Haven County Extension Center, Contact- Laura Brown: 305 Skiff St, North Haven, CT 06473 Direct: 203- 407-3157 laura.brown@uconn.edu

      Office location: Remote. Weekly online meetings (computer required) will be required and some travel around the state may be required to fully participate in the program. Interns will have the opportunity to be present in an office in North Haven as needed.

      Background: 

      Extension programs in Community & Economic Development work in partnership with communities to engage, educate and build capacity of community residents, leaders and decision makers.  This work helps residents, community leaders, and decision makers  understand decision-making processes, respond to local needs and opportunities, and make informed decisions based on research. https://communities.extension.uconn.edu/  This internship will focus on the Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development program https://www.cedas.org/Resources/CT-Best-Practices-In-Land-Use-and-Economic-Development/, a community accreditation program for municipalities in Connecticut intended to drive communities to pursue excellence in land use and economic development practices and recognize communities that have established best practices. In October 2019, twenty four municipalities were certified through this program.  The program is offered as a partnership between UConn Extension, the Connecticut Economic Development Association and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association.

      Tasks/Responsibilities: 

      This internship will focus on development of educational materials related to the Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development program in collaboration with the Connecticut Economic Development Association programs committee including but not limited to: development of  case studies for inclusion in the Best Practices library, public communications, about the program and assistance with administration of the program application process.   The intern will work closely with the Community & Economic Development Educator to refine a work-plan based on her/his skills and interests.  

      Date ranges and work times: Weekly online meetings (computer required) will be required and some travel around the state may be required to fully participate in the program. Interns will have the opportunity to be present in an office in New Haven as needed as well as various program meetings and meetings of the Connecticut Economic Development Association Board in Rocky Hill but the majority of the work hours will be self managed.

      Learning objectives: Interns will:

      • Gain/ broaden their understanding of community & economic development program implementation and related career opportunities
      • Understand key concepts in municipal economic development practice
      • Enhance their skills in educational communications (writing and verbal presentation skills) for a public audience

      Mentorship commitment:

      Laura Brown will work closely with the intern to discover key learning objectives and interests within the scope of Community & Economic Development programs.  Brown will meet with the intern on a weekly basis by WebEx or face to face at a mutually agreeable time to check in on the work plan.  The intern will benefit from additional participation in program related trainings, meetings and activities around the state proving.  The intern will have the opportunity to meet and gain connections and career contacts with program partner organizations such as the Connecticut Economic Development Association, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, and job shadowing with community & economic development partners. We will also support the student in identifying additional related learning and career opportunities following the internship experience. 

      Compensation:  $16/hour, 15 hours per week for 10 weeks ~ $2,400 with additional hours possible.

      ******

      Connecticut Trail Census Summer Internship

      Supervisor contacts: Laura Brown, Community & Economic Development Educator – New Haven County Extension Center, & Charles Tracy, Connecticut Trail Census Coordinator, Middlesex County Extension Center Contact- Laura Brown: 305 Skiff St, North Haven, CT 06473 Direct: 203- 407-3157 laura.brown@uconn.edu

      Office location: Remote. Weekly online meetings (computer required) will be required and some travel around the state may be required to fully participate in the program. Interns will have the opportunity to be present in an office in New Haven or Haddam as needed but the majority of the work hours will be self managed.

      Background: 

      The Connecticut Trail Census www.cttrailcensus.uconn.edu is a statewide volunteer data collection program intended to inform a better understanding of multi-use trail use in the state of Connecticut and to make this important information available to trail user groups, administrators, government agencies, and the general public.  The goals of the project are to understand when, who, how, and why people make use of Connecticut’s multi-use trail, educate trail user groups, administrators, state and local government agencies, and the general public about trails and their impacts, obtain multi-year information about trail use, user demographics, economic impacts, and trail amenities for identification of patterns and trends, to promote active citizen participation in monitoring and understanding the value of trails, and to encourage sound trail building and maintenance programs based on data.

      Tasks/Responsibilities: 

      As part of the CT Trail Census project, this internship will involve assisting with all aspects of the Trail Census including input of and basic analysis of survey data, drafting communications, and assisting with educational programs.  In particular, the student will be involved with 1) the implementation of a new QR code based survey deployment and short term infrared counts on trails throughout the state, 2) gathering and reviewing trail data in for the new CT Trail Finder website portal, and 3) helping to prepare outreach for a social media campaign on the value of Connecticut’s trails (economic, public health, recreation, tourism, transportation).  The student should have the ability to read and summarize literature, excellent communication, writing and organizational skills, and ability to work effectively independently.  There will be opportunities for sharing this scholarly work with peers through a peer reviewed journal piece, presentations, conferences and webinars.

      Date ranges and work times:  Remote. Weekly online meetings (computer required) will be required and some travel around the state may be required to fully participate in the program. Interns will have the opportunity to be present in an office in New Haven or Haddam as needed but the majority of the work hours will be self managed.  Dates and work hours will be mutually agreed upon at the start of the internship.

      Learning objectives: 

      • Understand concepts and protocols for measuring, recording and publishing the impacts of state and community outdoor recreation facilities;
      • Learn about the multiple values of community and long-distance shared use trails;
      • Learn how state agencies partner with local and private conservation organizations to advance and promote outdoor recreation.
      • Enhance their skills in educational communications (writing and verbal presentation skills) for a public audience

      Mentorship commitment:

      In addition to assisting with the required learning documentation and resume review, Charles Tracy and Laura Brown will work closely with the intern to discover key learning objectives and interests within the scope of the Trail Census project.  We have found weekly meetings to be very successful ( our leadership team currently meets weekly by WebEx) and we would envision the intern participating in these meetings.  We would also encourage the intern to participate in Trail Census trainings, meetings and activities around the state proving them with connections and career contacts in our program partner organizations such as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Forest and Park Association and the National Park Service. We will also support the student in identifying additional related learning and career opportunities following the internship experience. 

      Compensation:  $16/hour, 15 hours per week for 10 weeks ~ $2,400.

      New Resources on Trails and Economic Development

      Over the past few months I’ve received an increasing number of resources related to trails and their economic impacts on communities so I thought it was about time to share some of the relevant resources I’ve created and compiled on the topic.  Several years ago my great intern John McDonald created this Trail Resource Page which I have started to update. Communities all over Connecticut have also been learning more about trails and their impacts, starting with a presentation in 2018 “Downtown Trails as Community & Economic Development Engines” for the Connecticut Main Street Center’s Bridge Series.   I’ve also recently posted a related presentation for the International Economic Development Council Conference in 2019 “Trails as Economic Development Engines.” Please feel free to access these slides and please cite them if used. Over the next year I’ll also be working on a new publication series highlighting some of the key community benefits of trails.  These will be short 1-2 pagers that communities can use to cite other studies and literature.  We’re thrilled to be partnering with the National Park Service on this project thanks to a Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program Grant received by the Connecticut Trail Census.

      CEDAS WELCOMES MUNICIPALITIES TO SHOWCASE ‘BEST PRACTICES’ IN LAND USE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

      I’ve been so lucky to have he opportunity participate in the CEDAS and CCAPA Best Practices program over the last year or so.  Now until Sept 15, 2019 the program is accepting applications!  Read more on the CEDAS program site and in the release below.

      [ROCKY HILL, CONNECTICUT July 2019] The Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) is announcing the launch of the ‘Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development’ certification to recognize Connecticut municipalities for outstanding land use practices.

      In creating this program, CEDAS partnered with sponsors Eversource, UI, CNG, SCG, Pullman & Comley, and STV/DPM to present this accreditation as a strategy for sharing information on planning policies and as a catalyst for economic development in Connecticut. Collaborating partners include the Connecticut Economic Development Association, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association, and the University of Connecticut-Department of Extension.

      The Best Practices program provides a tool for planners, economic developers, and community leaders to review their existing strategies for economic development and drives them to pursue creative, community specific practices for encouraging investment and smart planning. “This is a great opportunity for staff, commissioners, and elected officials in every community to improve their effectiveness in economic development by reviewing their existing strategies and understanding what they could improve.” said Garrett Sheehan, President of CEDAS.  “We’re interested in giving communities ideas and tools for making improvements that work best for them.”

      The program was designed over the past two years with significant input from economic development professionals and planners.  According to Kelly Buck, CEDAS Board Member and Co-Chair of the Best Practices Committee “This program is the result of a unique collaboration including a diverse range of partners. We’ve reached out to share the idea with groups like the Connecticut Developers Forum, the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association and were very interested in learning from communities presently leading the way.”

      Communities who document use of established best practices will be recognized and will receive an award at the CEDAS annual meeting in October, 2019.  Applications will be evaluated by a committee of each of CEDAS’ collaborating partners. To demonstrate continuous improvement, applicants may re-submit for recertification every three years and share their successful strategies as models of ‘Best Practices’ for other Connecticut communities. The program will be revised each year to reflect input from communities.

      Interested communities can download the application and read more about the program athttps://www.cedas.org/Resources/CT-Best-Practices-In-Land-Use-and-Economic-Development/.  Applications are due on September 15, 2019.  Information and questions about the program may be addressed to cedasprograms@gmail.com

      The Connecticut Economic Development Association works closely with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) to foster economic growth in the state through its support of legislation, connect planners, policymakers, and community leaders with information on development practices and strategies, and to co-sponsor events to attract businesses and investment to Connecticut. Learn more about CEDAS atwww.cedas.org.

      CT Trail Census Receives $206,049 Grant

      CT Trail Census Receives Grant

      Our Connecticut Trail Census program recently received $206,049.50 in grant funding from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Trails & Greenways Program and the Connecticut Greenways Council. UConn Extension’s Connecticut Trail Census is a statewide volunteer-based data collection and education program implemented as a pilot from 2016-2018 on 16 multi-use (bicycle, pedestrian, equestrian) trail sites across the state.

      New Communities in the 2017 First Impressions Program

      Big thanks to the communities of Enfield, Windsor, Danbury, Meriden, North Branford and Coventry for participating in the 2017 First Impressions program!  You can find an article about Danbury’s program here http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Downtown-Danbury-seeks-to-make-a-good-first-12201657.php and links to the executive summary reports here: http://communities.extension.uconn.edu/firstimpressions/community-reports/

      Best Practices in Volunteer Training and Data Collection

      Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 1.51.24 PMBecky Pejinsky interned with UConn Extension programs in Community & Economic Development in Fall 2015.  As a result of her work with the Connecticut Trail Census project, she produced this summary webinar of some best practices for working with volunteers, including best practices in recruitment, management, and training.  In developing content for the webinar she interviewed four leaders of successful volunteer data collection programs in Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Vermont. Here are some key tips: 1) recruit volunteers locally and use word of mouth 2) make volunteers stand out by using vests or hats 3) utilize a variety of training tools including face to face meetings that allow people to practice skills as well as on demand webinars and videos  4) have training close to the date when you start the program 5) reward volunteers and treat them like family.

      Innovations in Workforce Development Webinar- Thursday February 16, 2016 11 am- 12 pm

      Economic Development Strategy Tapas Webinar Series

      Workforce development is one of the foundations of successful local and regional economic development strategies.   Local, new and emerging businesses need a well-trained and accessible labor force. In light of recent industry location decisions in the state, more than ever, communities are recognizing the importance of talent in keeping and attracting business in a global economy.  Attend this webinar to learn more about the key factors affecting Connecticut’s workforce and examples of how communities are innovating to build on existing assets.

      Download the PDF of the presentation here

      Attend this webinar to learn:

      • What’s happening in Connecticut’s labor market
      • Collaborative and innovative strategies for workforce development
      • How workforce development can grow collaboration and support businesses in your region

      Agenda

      • Overview of the Workforce in Connecticut – Patrick Flaherty, Assistant Director of Research, Connecticut Department of Labor Office of Research and Information Connecticut Department of Labor
      • Eastern Connecticut Workforce Pipeline Mark Hill Chief Operating Officer Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board, Inc.
      • Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc Bridgeport Adrienne Farrar Houel, President & CEO The Green Team; Park City Green; Next Chapter Books

       

      This is a free webinar co-sponsored by the Connecticut Economic Development Association and UConn as part of the “CEDAS Academy” Economic Strategy Series.. The audience will be economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, planners, community development professionals, and community leaders.

       

       

      UConn Extension’s First Impressions Community Exchange Program accepting applications for Spring 2017

       

      First Impressions Community Exchange Program “great reminder of what matters”

      1ST IMPRESSIONS LOGO NO TAG FINAL CroppedTightAs a new holiday season approaches, most of us know how hard it is to take time off from our commitments and busy schedules to do something new. But recent research by organizational psychologists and neurologists finds that having new experiences – new sounds, sights, or smells – changes our perspective, sparks creativity and even builds new neural pathways in our brains. A new program called the First Impressions Community Exchange aims to bring these benefits to communities across the state by providing a “fresh set of eyes” on community challenges. The program, sponsored by the University of Connecticut-Extension in partnership with the Connecticut Main Street Center, is a structured community assessment designed to help communities learn about their strengths and shortcomings through the eyes of first-time visitors. Participation in the program requires a volunteer commitment and a $200 application fee. Applications are being accepted through December 15, 2016 for communities interested in participating in an exchange in the Spring of 2016.

      How It Works

      Once communities are accepted they are matched with a similar community or neighborhood in terms of size, location, amenities or natural features. Both communities agree to recruit volunteer teams of 4-8 people, participate in training, conduct unannounced visits and report on their findings within a timeline of 3-4 months. Participants become “secret shoppers” for the day and follow procedures to document their visit using a guidebook and uploading photos and comments. The guidebook ensures that evaluations and reports are thorough and uniform and requires minimal training. Reports from the program are often used as part of broader community assessment or planning processes to inform community policy and action.

      Hundreds of communities across the U.S. and Canada have implemented the First Impressions Program since it was developed by the University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension in the early 1990s. The program was introduced in Connecticut in 2015 and four communities – Canton, Putnam, Windsor Locks and Portland – have participated in pilot exchanges. As a result of the program, communities often gain a new perspective on their own assets, learn about small changes that can make a big difference, or replicate development projects that other communities have used successfully. According to one Connecticut team member it was “…a great reminder of what matters; of the opportunity for enhancing what we have. I’m reminded that one town shouldn’t try to be like another in all cases. Each town has its unique assets.”

      Communities interested in participating can learn more and download the short application form at http://communities.extension.uconn.edu/firstimpressions/. For more information contact Laura Brown UConn Extension, laura.brown@uconn.edu, 203-207-0063 or Susan Westa, CT Main Street Center, susan@ctmainstreet.org, 860-280-2032.

      ###

      More information about the first Impressions Program including community reports, can be found at http://communities.extension.uconn.edu/firstimpressions/

       

      About UConn Extension
      Over 100 UConn Extension specialists work in communities across Connecticut as educators, problem solvers, catalysts, collaborators and stewards. To many Connecticut residents they are the face of UConn. Our eight regional Extension Centers, the Sea Grant program at Avery Point, the 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm, the Home and Garden Education Center and the UConn Extension office in Storrs all collaborate to fulfill our land grant university’s third mission of outreach and public engagement.

      UConn Extension’s off campus classrooms include: high-tech greenhouses, coastal estuaries, elementary school gardens, community centers for high risk teens and municipal town halls. We use an interdisciplinary approach and take knowledge directly to the public. UConn Extension enhances small businesses, the economic and physical well-being of families and offers opportunities to improve the decision-making capacity of community leaders.

      About Connecticut Main Street Center

      CMSC’s mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut’s Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities. CMSC is dedicated to community and economic development within the context of historic preservation, and is committed to bringing Connecticut’s commercial districts back to life socially and economically.

      CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and Eversource Energy. CMSC is also supported by its Growth Sponsors, UIL Holdings Corp.  and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org.