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Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Union Troops arrived in Galveston, TX and ordered that all persons held as slaves were free and had absolute equality of their personal rights. This day has been celebrated by the Black communities for many years but has gained additional recognition recently due to increased attention on racial injustices.

The State of Washington recently announced it will make June 19 a legal state holiday for education, remembrance, and action. and All three states represented within PNCWA now officially recognize this holiday. As an industry that is focused on improving public health for all the communities we serve, we can use this time to practice active allyship by learning more about Juneteenth and working to support a just, equitable, and anti-racist society.

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RSJ Subcommittee Newsletter - May 2021

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee spring newsletter contains links to podcasts and readings which focus on the recent awareness and attention on actions and biases toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, as well as the exposure of environmental justice issues at water utilities following the deep freeze in the southern U.S. The newsletter highlights diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collects multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e. essays, books, podcasts, etc.); membership organization RSJ/DEI program (i.e. agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick with your ideas and suggestions

WEFMAX Hosted by PNCWA

On May 6, PNCWA hosted the Water Environment Federation Member Association Exchange (WEFMAX). WEFMAX serves as a symposium for WEF Member Associations from across North America to gather and share successes and lessons learned on how to best serve their members. Originally planned as an in-person gathering in Boise, this year’s WEFMAX events were hosted virtually.

More than 60 WEF members were in attendance. PNCWA President Haley Falconer provided opening remarks, along with WEF Vice President Ifetayo Venner (Florida Water Environment Association) and the WEF House of Delegates Speaker Nikita Lingenfelder (Nevada Water Environment Association). After opening remarks, PNCWA President-Elect Rob Lee and PNCWA WEF Delegate Casey Gish co-moderated three member association presentations. Haley kicked this off with a seminar on the PNCWA Summit Series and was followed by talks from the Rocky Mountain WEA and North Carolina AWWA-WEA on Operator Training Initiatives and Member Engagement, respectively.

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Member Spotlight: Brittany Burch

Brittany Burch

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in our newest section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For our next spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Brittany Burch. Take it away, Brittany.

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month, we’ll highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Erin Lamb here.

Erin LambErin Lamb
Student at Portland State University
Civil Engineering, May 2022

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Member Spotlight: Miaomiao Zhang

Miaomiao Zhang

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in our newest section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For our next spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Miaomiao Zhang. Take it away, Miaomiao.

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month, we’ll highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Mary Martin here.

Mary MartinWhy are you excited to participate in the InFLOW Program?
I am looking forward to sharing resources with young engineers and helping each other build our professional skills.

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Member Spotlight: Frank Dick

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in a new section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For this month’s spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Frank Dick of the City of Vancouver. Take it away, Frank.

Member Spotlight

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month, we’ll highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Lesley Martinez here.

Lesley MartinezLesley Martinez
Civil Engineer I at Tetra Tech
B.S. Civil Engineering from University of Portland, May 2020

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Member Spotlight: Brittany Downing

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in a new section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee chair Brittany Park. For our first spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Brittany Downing of City of Portland. Take it away, Brittany.
Brittany Downing

Where did you go to school?
I graduated from OSU in 2017 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. While in school, I joined the engineering sorority, Phi Sigma Rho, and I am actively involved on the board of our chapter’s Alumni Association as the Events Chair. I also continue to support the collegiate members as an Alumnae Advisor.

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month, we’ll highlight our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Liz Thorley here.

Liz Thorley & HusbandLiz Thorley
Project Engineer at Keller Associates
B.S. Environmental Engineering from Oregon State University, 2018

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RSJ Subcommittee Launches Newsletter

Black History Month
The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee has launched the first issue of their newsletter. The Subcommittee newsletter highlights diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collects multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice. Check out the first issue.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e. essays, books, podcast etc); membership organization RSJ / DEI program (i.e. agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick with your input.

Racial & Social Justice Subcommittee Update

RSJ Subcommittee

PNCWA members participated in the Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) subcommittee’s first virtual social hour on December 22. This was an engagement for people to interact socially while discussing topics of racial, cultural, and gender diversity in our workplaces and communities — a safe space for discussion which also allows us to get out of our comfort zones. The RSJ group intends to host these social hours about once a month on the Teams platform, with a suggested essay or article reading or podcast listen (beforehand). Join us for our next social hour, set for Tuesday, January 19 at 5 p.m. Contact Frank DickRob Lee, or Shelby Smith for the invite!

Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month we’ll be highlighting our participants, and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Read about Amanda Howard here.

Amanda HowardAmanda Howard
Student at Washington State University
Mechanical Engineering, May 2021

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month we’ll be highlighting our participants and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program.

kyle-ledda-lewarenKyle Ledda-Lewaren
Student @ Oregon State University
Mechanical Engineering, June 2022

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Meet the Racial & Social Justice Subcommittee

Be the change... Ghandi

The Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Member Services Committee, which was established to ensure the growth of PNCWA by promoting and retaining membership and identifying opportunities to improve member services. Among its goals is to increase the diversity of PNCWA to make the membership more representative of the community at large.

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Meet Our InFLOW 2020-2021 Participants

Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water, or InFLOW, is a program that began through the Water Environment Federation (WEF) in 2018 and aims to enhance diversity and inclusion in the water workforce. We offer scholarship opportunities to engage underrepresented professionals in WEF programs, solidify their interest in working in the water sector, and increase the probability of long-term success in water.

PNCWA launched its own InFLOW program at the annual conference in 2019. When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee wondered what that meant for its program, the core of which was gathering participants at conferences and events to build community. The subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month we’ll be highlighting our participants and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Program chair, Brittany Downing, kicks things off in this month’s digest.

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The PNCWA InFLOW Program Goes Year Round

Due to unforeseeable circumstances caused by COVID-19, the PNCWA InFLOW Committee has had to reimagine the InFLOW program. Last year, the inaugural InFLOW class had the opportunity to participate in the DePAVE project, present at the annual conference on their perspective of entering the water industry, and attend all conference days, including the expo fair and a number of networking events. The Annual PNCWA 2020 Conference was canceled and PNCWA pivoted to a virtual Summit Series over a six month period. This prevented us from being able to provide the incoming InFLOW class with the same program as the year before.

The Member Services Committee has taken this opportunity to realize one of the overarching goals of the InFLOW program, creating a year-long program that will prepare students and young professionals from under-represented groups for making the most out of their trip to conference. The year-long program will have five separate workshop sessions in preparation for the 2021 PNCWA Annual Conference, which are as follows:

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Racial and Social Justice Subcommittee Goals

We are committed to furthering the role of racial and social justice within the water/wastewater industry. To do so, the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) has taken the step to create the Racial & Social Justice Subcommittee (RSJ) under the Member Services Committee (MSC) to empower PNCWA membership by providing education and resources, collaborating with impacted communities, and advocating for enduring racial and social justice in water resource organizations, programs, and projects that bring about lasting change. The inaugural Chair, Rob Lee, and Vice Chair, Brittany Downing, have volunteered to lead this subcommittee’s effort in pursuing 5 main goals:

  1. Focus on furthering the membership’s education on RSJ issues by providing an optional book club and quarterly LinkedIn posts with articles and additional resources related to RSJ.
  2. Engage and collaborate with other organizations and groups that are leaders in this effort to leverage ongoing studies, share ideas, and further community engagement.
  3. Partner with MSC and the Students and Young Professionals (S&YP) committees to focus on outreach to underrepresented communities and to provide mentorship opportunities.
  4. In the long-term, the subcommittee will take on a project that provides resources and leadership opportunities for impacted communities to improve their water/wastewater systems; and
  5. Partner with the Government Affairs Committee to potentially influence legislation.

Together, we can learn, grow, and make a real, lasting change in our community. If you're interested in joining the subcommittee, please contact Rob Lee.

Racial and Social Justice Subcommittee

On July 10, the Member Services Committee kicked off the first meeting for the Racial and Social Justice Subcommittee. The purpose of this group is to provide education and leadership opportunities for PNCWA members to advance and promote racial and social justice into water resources organizations, programs, projects, and the impacted communities in our region. Contact the Subcommittee Chair Rob Lee if you're interested in joining. We need your voice!

The national Black Lives Matters movement has put a spotlight on systemic racism and injustice. In response, PNCWA has created this new subcommittee with the goal to educate our membership on the issues. If you have not yet read it, here is the statement against racism that PNCWA released, PNCWA Statement Against Racism; these ideals will be the backbone of the Racial and Social Justice Subcommittee.