Who is at the Table?
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Waste and Recycling
August 27, 10am-12pm PST / 1-3pm EST
Presented by Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA) in coordination with the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council, the NCRA DEI Committee and the Ohio Recycling Coalition. Produced by Portia Sinnott, NCRA Vice President and Zero Waste USA Program Director.
Are we leading the way or stumbling behind? Does anyone have a handle on the statistics? Has your business, agency or non-profit adopted DEI initiatives? Are they actively being implemented and tracked? Are the benefits clear to all involved? What factors are being addressed – age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, ability, language and/or cultural background? Does your workforce reflect these commitments – in front of the house: management/decision makers, as well as the back of the house: workforce/membership? Are there efforts underway to boost workforce training and advancement?
This webinars objectives are to motivate the waste and recycling industry to actively explore and discuss DEI issues and initiatives, and inspire organizations as well as individuals to create their own DEI mandates. We will address the various aspects of the topic via succinct introductory presentations followed by commentary, a robust intra-panel discussion and a lively Q&A session! The webinar slides and resources will be made available to all attendees.
- Moderator and Commentator, Arley Owens, Executive Director, Ohio Recycling Coalition, former NRC Board Member, organizing member of the NRC DEI Council, and former Chair of the NRC Communications Committee and the Minorities Recycling Council
- DEI Introduction and Industry Situational Report, Sophia Huda, Vice President, Ohio Recycling Coalition, member of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board and Adjunct Sustainability Professor, The New School, New York
- Developing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mandates, Faye Christoforo, Executive Director, Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN)
- Safe and Sustainable Recycling, Alina Bekkerman, NCRA Board Member and DEI Committee Co-Chair and San Francisco Conservation Corps, Zero Waste Consultant and Felisia Castañeda, NCRA Member and DEI Committee Co-Chair, and Recology San Francisco Environmental Learning Center Supervisor
- Moving Forward Together, Abrilla Robinson, Vice President, Ohio Recycling Coalition’s and Chair of the Ohio Recycling Coalition’s newly created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. Past President of the National Recycling Coalition Minorities Recycling Council and organizing member of the new NRC DEI Council.
Sophia has several years experience working in waste management and the environmental sector, with a particular focus and passion for recycling and plastic waste and environmental justice. She began her career in Brussels at a trade association representing the plastics industry, where she worked on issues such as chemicals regulation, plastics recycling, and food packaging safety. She has also worked as a research analyst for the Closed Loop Fund, in the Middle East and Mexico on water management issues, and on public health issues for Sub-Saharan African countries.
An Adjunct Professor at The New School in New York City, she lectures an undergraduate class on Sustainable Systems at Parsons School of Design and a graduate class on Sustainable Perspectives and Practices for the M.S. Environmental Policy and Sustainability at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy.
Sophia sits on the Leadership Team of the Ohio Recycling Coalition, is also a member of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board, and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School in the Bronx.
Originally from Toronto, Canada she has lived and worked in France, Belgium, the West Bank, and the United States. Sophia has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and graduated cum laude from the University of Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) with a M.Sc. in Public Policy in 2010 and from Columbia University with an M.S. in Sustainability Management in 2016. She is fluent in French and can speak Bengali and Arabic.
Arley Owens presently is the Executive Director for the Ohio Recycling Coalition. He is also the Founder and President of the of the critically acclaimed, “Earth Team Green Eco-Thriller Comic Books” for the classroom series. His next bestselling Eco-Thriller is titled “The Sky Princess- Crusader For Climate Change and Zero Waste Wonder.”
A former National Recycling Coalition Board Member, he chaired the NRC Communications Committee and the Minorities Recycling Council. In his last year of his four year tenure as an NRC Board member, Arley was honored as one of the National Recycling Coalition’s Star Volunteers of the Year.
In 2014 Arley along with nine other Ohio based businesses and individuals were recognized by the Association of Ohio Recyclers as one of the individuals who had made a major impact on Ohio’s Recycling Industry.
Arley earned an MBA in Marketing from the University of Phoenix, a BA in Communications from THE Ohio State University and completed the Solid Waste Authority of North America’s course work and is a Certified Residential Recycling Manager.
Arley is married to Audrey Owens they have one son, Ryan and two grandsons Cayden and Cartier. Arley is a Viet Nam Combat Veteran, having served honorably with the United States Air Force’s Tactical Air Command’s Elite 823rd Combat Security Police Squadron who, during the 823rd’s tour of duty, aggressively defended eleven US Air Force Bases in South Viet Nam.
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