It's no longer a man's world
By Laurie Brenner
Although gender issues do exist in our industry, sometimes they are unintentional and it is everyone’s job to professionally call out, clarify, and work through these issues when they arise.
Why all the fuss?
By Debi Lewis
The word Ally comes from the Latin word alligare, meaning “to bind to,” like nations who are allies in wartime —they will act together and protect one another.
Just a Stone's Throw from Failure
By Jon Liberzon
How can we leverage diverse cultural knowledge to improve outcomes?
Can you hear me now?
By Hailey Rowbatham
Some female members of CWEA report they are shut out or shut down during conversations. How can we make sure everyone is included during a conversation?
Square Peg, Round Hole
By Beverli Marshall
20% of the US population is considered neurodivergent, and 80% of neurodiverse adults are unemployed.  How can the water sector tap into this vast pool of talent?
Leadership Flows Downhill
By Joone Kim-Lopez
There are very few women of color leading California water and wastewater agencies. Data collection is so poor, we don’t even know the number. How can we can support women of color within our sector and help increase the diversity of CA water leadership?
See Something, Say Something
By Jon Paz
I have researched the bystander effect, the phenomenon where individuals take no action during an incident because they assume someone else will step in. I continue to learn about ways to be a good bystander and want to share 5 ways to take action.


The water and wastewater industry workforce offers a wide range of careers and benefits locally and nationally. CWEA’s JEDI program seeks to recruit, develop and retain talented employees with diverse backgrounds and experience by introducing them to the range of career pathways and by fostering inclusive and welcoming work environments.


Our mission is to promote awareness within CWEA that a Just, Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive (JEDI) workforce benefits all members and programs. We will develop and provide an archive of short, entertaining, JEDI “eye-openers” (slides or multimedia) and encourage their use as an opening activity for all CWEA functions.

Project Goals

  • Raise awareness of diversity and inclusion in the water sector
  • Increase awareness and understanding about diversity and inclusion topics
  • Help CWEA Local Sections and Committees deliver short and insightful diversity moments at the start of their meetings so our members can learn about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Share easy to deliver diversity moments that CWEA, agencies and others in the water sector can put to use with their audiences
  • Support conversations, including tough conversations about what our profession needs to do to increase diversity and inclusion

JEDI-Opener Work Group

  • Jon Liberzon, Chair, Tomorrow Water
  • Debi Lewis, CWEA Board, retired
  • Kathryn Gies, CWEA DEI Chair, West Yost
  • Laurie Brenner, Union Sanitary District
  • Beverli Marshall, Valley Sanitation District
  • Drew Lehman,
  • Hailey Rowbatham, UC Berkeley

The JEDI-Opener work group reports to CWEA’s Membership and External Relations Committee.

Staff Contact

Alec Mackie

About this Program