WACD forms Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Today, WACD President Jeanette Dorner appointed 11 people as members of the newly formed Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI). Two agency representatives were also appointed as advisors to the committee.

All six areas represented

WACD divides Washington State into six areas; each area has an area association. The appointees are drawn from all six areas, assuring that all areas are represented.

Committee charge

The charge of the committee is to address the directives as outlined in WACD resolutions 2020-05 and 2020-06. The committee will develop recommendations by September 2021 for consideration by WACD’s member conservation districts.

Facilitator selected

A DEI consultant has been selected to help get the committee well launched. WACD is currently negotiating a scope of work and deliverables with DEI Management.

As we work to address the two resolutions, WACD’s overarching goals are to continue to promote healing and to strengthen our community. We believe that facilitation of the committee by DEI Management will help the group come together more effectively and give committee members the important information and tools.

Although WACD did not have enough seats to be able to select all who indicated interest, we will continue to provide opportunities for member conservation districts and partners to contribute to the work of the committee.

Committee appointments

In consultation with the WACD Executive Committee, President Dorner appointed the following individuals to serve on a special committee called the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • North Central Area (Only one person volunteered, and additional recruitment efforts proved unsuccessful)
    • Craig Nelson – Okanogan Conservation District
  • Northeast Area
    • Elsa Bowen – Lincoln County Conservation District
    • Alex Case-Cohen – Pend Oreille Conservation District
  • Northwest Area
    • Linda Lyshall – Snohomish Conservation District
    • Chris Porter – King Conservation District
  • South Central Area
    • Mike Tobin – North Yakima Conservation District
    • Karen Van de Graaf-Erickson – Eastern Klickitat Conservation District
  • Southeast Area
    • Annie Byerly – Walla Walla County Conservation District
    • Mary Collins – Palouse Conservation District
  • Southwest Area
    • David Iyall – Thurston Conservation District
    • Mike Nordin – Grays Harbor and Pacific Conservation Districts
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
    • Nick Vira (advisor to the Committee)
    • Peter Bautista (advisor to the Committee) (updated 4/27/2021)
  • Washington State Conservation Commission
    • Bill Eller (advisor to the Committee)

In addition, Jeanette Dorner (Pierce CD) and Sue Marshall (Clark CD) are included as Committee members because their districts sponsored DEI resolutions. WACD staff Ryan Baye and Tom Salzer will provide support to the Committee.

Website resources

The Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion now has a public-facing web page where WACD will post information about the committee’s progress. Please visit that page from time to time to remain informed about the work of the committee.