The California Water Association and regulated water utilities throughout California join the chorus of voices advocating for a more equal and just society. Our business is to provide affordable access to clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to diverse communities with customers of all races, religions, incomes and places of origin. Like every organization, recent events have led us to review our engagement with the African American community and to ask what more we can do.
To inform our efforts, CWA is forming a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group. The group will be charged with developing diversity and inclusion organizational and leadership best practices. The group will inform CWA’s annual strategic planning and assist in developing training for our two annual conferences.
CWA and our member agencies are committed to cultivating a culture in the regulated water utility industry that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunity for advancement.
The commitment of CWA members to contract with and nurture a diverse group of contractors and subcontractors is one way we strive to support the communities in which our members do business.
Since 2015, CWA member companies have engaged with hundreds of minority-owned businesses, including African American owned businesses, as part of our commitment to promote inclusion. In addition, we implemented a mentor protégé program aimed at helping small businesses build capacity so they can better compete in the marketplace.
Over the years, CWA has provided financial support to many ethnic organizations as part of our diverse supplier outreach and active community engagement.
We will continue to focus on our existing programs to ensure diversity among our contractors and suppliers and as we seek out opportunities to do more, particularly with African American owned businesses.
CWA is dedicated to working toward a more equitable future for the African American community and all Californians.