River Rally 2021 Program
The second virtual River Rally featured an engaging and fun virtual program that ran for four empowering days, May 17-20, 2021. Participants had access to ‘live’ content including plenaries, workshops, discussions, and inspiring reflections from award recipients, along with access to a huge library of recorded workshops, opportunities to connect with peers, and an innovative new community platform.
Welcome Ceremony and Remarks
Monday, May 17, 12p ET Join River Network staff and board leadership for a fun welcome to River Rally 2021! Get a glimpse of the hope and inspiration we have planned and hear from Radhika Fox, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Tanya Trujillo, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (and Assistant Secretary Designee) for Water and Science, US Department of Interior.
Radhika Fox is the Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water. The Office of Water works to ensure that drinking water is safe, wastewater is safely returned to the environment, and surface waters are properly managed and protected. Prior to joining EPA, Radhika served as Chief Executive Officer for the U.S. Water Alliance, Director for policy and government affairs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the Federal Policy Director at PolicyLink. Radhika has used her 20+ years of experience to address the most salient water issues facing the nation—including climate change, affordability, equity, governance, innovative finance, and the evolution of the One Water movement. Radhika holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley where she was a HUD Community Development Fellow.
Tanya Trujillo is a water lawyer with more than 20 years of experience working on complex natural resources management issues and interstate and transboundary water agreements. She most recently worked as a project director with the Colorado River Sustainability Campaign. Before then, she served as the Executive Director of the Colorado River Board of California. She has served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at Interior. A native New Mexican, Tanya attended Stanford University and the University of Iowa College of Law.
Plenary Panel: Rivers and Water for All – Our Evolution
Tuesday, May 18, 12p ET Moderator Ronda Chapman (Trust for Public Land) will guide panelists Raj Shukla (The Nature Conservancy), Tom Kiernan (American Rivers), Nicole Silk (River Network), and Na’Taki Osborne Jelks (West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Spelman College) through a reflective conversation about the evolution of river conservation and justice over the past 10-20 years, the biggest challenges and opportunities NOW, and hope on the journey ahead towards clean water and healthy rivers for all.
Wednesday, May 19, 12p ET
Catherine Coleman Flowers will present Environmental Justice Is Also River Justice at River Rally 2021. Environmental justice will protect rivers as well as ensure equity for communities that have been left behind. This talk will connect the dots.
Catherine Coleman Flowers is an internationally recognized environmental activist, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, and author. She has spent her career advocating for equal access to water and sanitation for all communities — particularly those who are marginalized. She was recently appointed Vice Chair to the Biden Administration’s White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice (CREEJ), Flowers has spent her career advocating for equal access to clean water, air, sanitation, and soil in marginalized rural communities in order to reduce health and economic disparities in marginalized rural communities. In addition, she serves as Rural Development Manager for the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), is a Senior Fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Flowers uses her lens of leadership in environmental justice and climate change advocacy to inspire attendees with her innovation and experience.
As the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret, Flowers shares her inspiring story of advocacy, from childhood to environmental justice champion. She discusses sanitation and its correlation with systemic class, racial, and geographic prejudice that affects people across the United States. Catherine was a 2020 River Hero.
Sandra Postel will present From Rivers Catching Fire to Rivers Getting Rights, a brief look back at where we’ve been, where we stand today, and where we can go with this community leading the charge.
Sandra is founding director of the Global Water Policy Project and author of Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity. From 2009-2015, she served as Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, where she co-created Change the Course, the water stewardship initiative awarded the 2017 US Water Prize for restoring billions of gallons of water to depleted rivers, aquifers and wetlands. In 2021, Sandra was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize, often described as the Nobel Prize for water.
Sandra works to bridge science, policy and practice to build a more water-secure world for people and nature. She has authored four books (one co-authored with Brian Richter) and numerous articles for scholarly and popular publications, including Science, Natural History, and Scientific American. Her first book, Last Oasis, appeared in eight languages and served as the basis for a television documentary. Sandra appeared in the BBC’s Planet Earth, Leonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour, and the National Geographic Channel’s Breakthrough series. Previously, Sandra served as vice president for research at the Worldwatch Institute. The recipient of several honorary degrees, Sandra has taught water policy courses at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, as well as at Mt. Holyoke College, where she also directed the Center for the Environment. She lives in the Rio Grande watershed and serves on the River Network Board of Directors.