A Quarterly Publication from the VA AWWA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Observances and Holidays
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Seasonal Celebration Recap
Local brews, delicious food, and ugly sweaters, oh my! On December 13, 2023, we held our first Seasonal Celebration in partnership with the Virginia Section AWWA and Virginia Water Environment Association‘s membership, regional activities, Young Professional and DEI committees.  

Forecast of Our Future in pictures


Letter from the DEI Committee Chair



Happy New Year 🥳!  

Now past the end of 2023, our hearts overflow with gratitude as we reflect on the path we have journeyed. We cherish the moments of growth and transformation and the valuable lessons that have shaped us. Our Committee has accomplished and grown so much. And the impact is undeniable. Personally, I am grateful to witness how so many folks have been able to find a space to be seen, accepted, and valued. 

On the brink of a new year, we stand united, filled with hope and endless possibilities. With ignited hearts and wise minds, we step confidently into the future, knowing that we possess everything needed to turn our dreams into reality. This committee is preparing for our next chapter, and we don’t want to write it without you. Your perspective, experience, and ideas matter. 

This will be a year to awaken our fearless spirit. Leaning into the courage within us to lead with unity, cherishing every aspect of who we are. It beckons the brave version of ourselves to step forward and illuminate the path ahead with unwavering determination. In this luminous journey, we embrace the essence of water, cherishing and valuing every facet of our being. 

Together we continue Building Relationships, illuminating the unseen, listening to the unheard, and speaking to the powerful constructs that have stifled Diversity, Equity, and Incision in how we engage every day. We remain dedicated to our purpose: To lead and empower diversity and inclusion in our community by creating support unity and cultivating belonging so ALL can thrive; acting in a way that is equitable, sustainable, and intentional. 

On behalf of the VA AWWA DEI Committee, we look forward to Building a future with you where all can thrive!  

                             ~ Jerry Griffin Jr.
                                VA AWWA DEI Chair

Look What's Coming Up!
Thoughtful Tuesday: For the Love of Water
For the Love of Water is a unique event that invites you to explore the connection between love and the Water Industry. Water is essential for life, but it also has the power to inspire, heal, and transform. In this interactive forum, you will have the chance to share your passion, your stories, and your vision for a more loving and sustainable world. You will also learn from others who are making a difference through their work, contribution, or personal journey.
When:  February 27, 2024  |  1 - 2 PM
Where:  Online
Cost:  Free


We Are Still Looking for Mentors

The DEI Mentor and Allyship workstream is currently seeking mentors and mentees to be a part of our 2024 program.  This is an opportunity for individuals to gain knowledge and career guidance from their colleagues across the state. To sign up or to join this workstream, please reach out to the Workstream Lead, Patra Brodie, at Patra.Brodie@rva.gov

In case you missed it...

Forecast of Our Future


On January 26, the DEI Committee held its first Forecast Our Future workshop. DEI Committee leaders and VA AWWA members gathered virtually and in person to co-create our north star for 2024. Jerry Griffin, DEI Committee Chair, kicked off the day by setting the tone and objectives of the workshop. Kayla Sanon, DEI Committee Vice-Chair, then led a powerful icebreaker, creating a brave space for us to get to know one another through our DEI journeys. Teresa Wong, Publications Workstream Lead, then facilitated the Forecast Our Future workshop. 

The workshop began by grounding ourselves on the VA AWWA Vision: to be Virginia’s leading association dedicated to the promotion of safe and sustainable water. ‘Sustainable’ is also echoed in the DEI Committee’s purpose: to lead and empower diversity and inclusion in our community by creating opportunity and cultivating belonging so that all can thrive; acting in a way that is equitable, sustainable, and intentional. We noted that ‘sustainable’ water projects are just as important as a sustainable culture for the people who work on those projects.  

We then used the KJ Method of Affinity Clustering to answer our guiding question: what impact do you want the DEI Committee to have on members this year? We first answered the question individually on sticky notes before sharing with the group. As we clustered our ideas, it was validating to see that many of us had similar responses to the guiding question. There was so much energy and creative discussion that it made it hard for us to choose just one top cluster. We voted nonetheless and co-created the language to guide our work this year. The passionate discussion that ensued only further confirmed that we had found our collective north star.  


     Upcoming Events
     February 20 - DEI Committee Meeting
     February 27 - Thoughtful Tuesday For the Love of Water
     February 27 - VA AWWA Networking - River-Sea Chocolate Factory Tour and Tasting
     February 29 - VA AWWA Networking and Water Awareness Happy Hour
     March 7 - Thoughtful Tuesday Workstream Meeting     
     March 13 - Publications Workstream Meeting
     March 19 - DEI Committee Meeting

About the DEI Committee

Our purpose is to lead and empower diversity and inclusion in our community by creating opportunity and cultivating belonging so all can thrive; acting in a way that is equitable, sustainable, and intentional.
We need YOUR energy, drive, and participation to bring our purpose, vision, mission, and commitments to life! This is a phenomenal opportunity for YOU to get in on the ground floor for something important, and make a real difference. We hope that you will join the movement with us. Make a Splash!


Community Engagement
Thoughtful Tuesday
Mentorship/Allyship and Industry Engagement