Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
At NEWEA, we strive to promote education and collaboration while advancing knowledge, innovation, and sound public policy for the protection of the water environment and our quality of life. A crucial component of that mission is recognizing, respecting, and promoting the variety of similarities and differences among us, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, immigration status, religious beliefs, and mental and physical disabilities. The contributions of a diverse work force will enable our association to succeed and grow.
The Committee’s vision is to ensure a welcoming climate for all members, where everyone feels empowered, valued, respected, and safe. Recruiting and retaining a diverse membership is a key priority.
Marina Fernandes, Chair
What does the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee do?
- Increase awareness of diversity issues among our members and the water and environment industry by engaging members in conversations and trainings.
- Recruit and retain diverse membership of water and environmental professionals through targeted outreach programs, including opportunities for mentorship, scholarships, and internships.
- Strengthen and enhance NEWEA’s commitment to advancing diversity by supporting policies that provide equal services for environmental justice communities and collecting data that highlight inequities in our association and in the communities that we serve.
- Increase the participation of diverse backgrounds in NEWEA membership and in leadership positions in the organization
How often do we meet?
- Monthly conference calls
Why should you join us?
See what we’ve accomplished.
- Hosted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion forum at NEWEA’s 2021 Annual Conference to highlight racial inequalities that exist in the water industry and actions that must be taken and resources available to enhance diverse representation and foster greater inclusion in the water workforce. The full forum can be viewed on NEWEA’s YouTube channel.
- Coordinated to feature Oluwole A. (OJ) McFoy, General Manager of the Buffalo Sewer Authority, as a keynote at the 2021 Annual Conference. The full keynote can be viewed on NEWEA’s YouTube channel.
- Published “Confronting racial inequalities in the water and wastewater industry” in NEWEA’s 2021 Winter Journal, written by committee members Isabella Cobble, Jennifer Lawrence, Marina Fernandes, Stephen King, and Nick Tooker.
- Hosted the Disability in the Workplace Panel Discussion at NEWEA’s 2021 Spring Meeting. Resources from this discussion can be found at the following link: www.newea.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Disability-Discussion-Resource-Materials.pdf
- Established the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award to recognize an individual, group, or organization in the wastewater field that has created, promoted, and maintained the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in their organization/profession and/or community.
- Hosted the DEI 101 Webinar, featuring speakers Chi Ho Sham and Sally Gutierrez, to provide attendees with a better understanding of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and raise awareness of DEI challenges and opportunities at the personal, workplace, and professional levels. The presentation slides can be viewed at the following link: www.newea.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/NEWEA-DEI-101-Webinar-Slides.pdf