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Resources and Information For 2023 Fall Convening

Presenter Profiles:

Mary Grant

Mary Grant is the Director of the Public Water for All Campaign at Food & Water Watch, a national environmental group that mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. Since 2015, Mary has overseen campaigns at the local, state, and federal level to support universal access to safe water and sanitation and promote responsible and affordable public provision of water and sewer service in the United States. Mary is a policy analyst on U.S. water utility privatization.

Andrew Kricun

Andrew Kricun has nearly 40 years of experience in wastewater and biosolids management. He currently serves as a Managing Director for Moonshot Missions, a nonprofit dedicated to providing assistance to underserved communities with water and wastewater challenges. Prior to that, he served for many years as the Executive Director and Chief Engineer of the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority. He also serves on the USEPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the New Jersey Environmental Justice Advisory Council. He also served for several years on the board of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies as well, serving as co-chair of both the environmental justice and utility of the future committees. Mr. Kricun graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in chemical engineering. He is also a licensed professional civil engineer as well.

Candice Mushatt

Candice Mushatt is a former Public Information Officer for the City of Flint, Legislative Aide in the Michigan House of Representatives, and lifelong Flint Resident. Through her work with the National Wildlife Federation and Healing Our Waters Coalition, she has successfully lobbied for federal dollars to fix lead-tainted pipes in Flint. She currently serves as the Director of the Flint Community Lab, the first of its kind community water lab.

Tony Spaniola

Tony Spaniola is a leading national advocate for PFAS-impacted families and communities. Tony learned in 2016 that his cottage in Oscoda is impacted by PFAS contamination from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base -- the first reported PFAS site in Michigan and the first reported U.S. military PFAS site in the world. In response, Tony has catalyzed action on the local, state, and federal levels to address these harmful “forever chemicals.” Among his projects, Tony co-founded the Need Our Water (NOW) community action group in Oscoda; he co-founded and co-chairs the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network; and he serves on the Leadership Team of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition. Tony also served as a consultant to Pulitzer Prize winner Sara Ganim on her critically acclaimed PFAS film documentary, “No Defense: The U.S. Military’s War On Water.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney

Rev. Edward Pinkney is the founder and leader of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council and the current President and CEO of Black Autonomy Network Community Organization. He is also the pastor of God’s Household of Faith. Rev. Pinkney and the Water Council advocated for solutions to the elevated lead levels in the drinking water, distributed filters and bottled water, and collected compliance water samples for the City due to erosion of trust. A petition to the U.S. EPA in August 2021, demanded their swift intervention to protect public health and long-term solutions for the elevated lead. As a result, the state committed $20 million for lead pipe replacement, provision of emergency water direct to residents, and door-to-door canvassing to educate residents on filter use and maintenance and installation of filters. Rev. Pinkney has organized workshops on various issues, such as alternative punishments for children and adults, juvenile courts watching, juvenile crime, and others covering medical and mental health issues in the justice system.

David Wheaton

David Wheaton currently serves as an economic justice policy fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. As a fellow with LDF, David uses advocacy and public education to increase fairness and equal opportunity for Black Americans in all aspects of the economy. David previously served as advocacy director at Texas Housers. In that position, David supported grassroots leaders across Texas and developed and advanced policies and practices that promote the purpose of the Fair Housing Act. David played a major role in litigation involving federal disaster mitigation funds, where the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs found that the State of Texas discriminated against people of color in their appropriation of federal disaster funds. David was also heavily involved at the Texas State legislature, fighting for more affordable housing and tenants’ rights legislation. Before joining Texas Housers, he was a staff attorney and legal fellow at the Capital Appeals Project/Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he helped handle appeals for incarcerated people on death row in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Marya Czech

Science educator and ecologist with particular interest in Great Lakes, Lake Erie, and water education, is committed to environmental justice issues which impact vulnerable people. Because environmental health is inextricably bound to public health, is researching best strategies for connecting stakeholders with appropriate information so that we can advocate together for our children and elders. As coworker to Alicia Smith and environmental educator for the Junction Coalition, has found the perfect venue for learning advocacy, policy, and the importance of communication with stakeholders by way of educational strategies. (Tries to create interactive strategies to teach “sense of place” and “ecology of place” ; for example, with a Great Lakes floor map on which children can identify states, cities, and other important Great Lakes features; developing age-appropriate curriculum for teachers to implement.)