The north face of the Rotunda

Governor’s Summit on Equitable Collaboration: Day 2





“Shaping a More Inclusive Commonwealth”

Two Day Program: Click here for information on Day 1, February 17.

8:45 AM – 12:30 PM EST

This event is for all those who work in health, education, natural resources, and community development and whose work involves community engagement and collaboration. At the Summit, you will learn how to incorporate equitable collaboration into your work through small group discussions, resource sharing, and case studies. There will also be an opportunity to discuss ideas for specific state policies that could help advance equitable collaboration in the Commonwealth.

Goals of the Summit

  1. Introduce and showcase the six principles for equitable collaboration.
  2. Review the growth and trajectory of collaboration in Virginia and its future needs to ensure equity.
  3. Illustrate the six principles for equitable collaboration through case studies in health, education, natural resources, and community development.
  4. Enable participants to share resources around equitable collaboration approaches, tools, and resources.
  5. Enable participant discussion and input for policy needs in Virginia to advance equitable collaboration.

See full program  details at


Dr. Mamie Parker, PhD

Dept. of Wildlife Resources Board Member; Former Head of Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mamie A. Parker is a leader in nominating and governance in various nonprofit organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy (Virginia Chapter), the National Wildlife Federation, Center for Large Landscape Conservation Board, Duke University NSOE, Northland College, Student Conservation Association, the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Brown Advisory Sustainable Investment, Marstel-Day Consulting Company, the Potomac Conservancy, and the Chesapeake Conservancy. As an Aspen Institute Fellow, she was awarded the Council of World Women Leaders’ exchange fellowship to work in the Kingdom of Lesotho and in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. She received great accolades in China while speaking at the World Fisheries Congress on the impacts of climate change and development in coastal cities and communities of color.

She is an executive coach, facilitator, and transformational speaker, having served as the commencement speaker for Duke University NSOE and Northland College, among others. Parker is the Founder of Ma Parker and Associates in the Washington, D.C. area.

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recently awarded her the prestigious John L. Morris Award. The president of the United States presented Parker with the Presidential Rank Award, the highest award given to government employees. Parker made history when appointed the first African American FWS Regional Director and the first African American Senior Executive Service member in the FWS’s 135-year history.  Teri McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia, appointed her to the Board of Directors of the Game and Inland Fisheries Commission and she was recently selected as the first African American chairwoman. The governor of Arkansas enshrined her in the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame.

Her birth mother, a maid and a sharecropper, motivated her to care about Mother Nature. She worked for almost 30 years as a fish and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Parker received the American Fisheries Society’s highest honor named after its first woman president for her outstanding work in promoting clean drinking water in our nation’s streams and the first African American woman to serve as Head of Fisheries in this nation.

She attended the University of Arkansas, Tennessee Tech University, and the University of Wisconsin. This work included her serving as the regional director of the 13 northeastern states. She was designated the authorized official to lead the negotiations with General Electric Corporation to clean up rivers, including the Hudson River.

Parker rose to the rank of special assistant to the director and assistant director in the FWS headquarters, the first African American to hold this title. As head of fisheries, Parker led the FWS staff, along with partners in developing the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. Parker has mentored hundreds of women and people of color in her profession and is a co-author in the American Fisheries Society’s most recently released book entitled The Future of Fisheries.

The Kellogg Foundation awarded the Green School Alliance a grant that allowed her to present the Ma Parker Journey. This series of public speaking engagements allowed her to share her life story as a pioneer in conservation in the Baltimore Public Schools and throughout the country.

Dr. Parker is a member of The Links, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Girl Friends, and the Rotary Club of Dunn Loring-Merrifield.

Other Speakers

Tanya Denckla Cobb, Director, UVA Institute for Engagement & Negotiation


Day 1: 9:00am – 12:30 p.m. EST
Wednesday, February 17

8:45 a.m. – Early Tech Start
9:00 – Welcome & High-Level Purpose

Tanya Denckla Cobb, Institute for Engagement & Negotiation
Ila Berman, Dean, School of Architecture, University of Virginia

9:25 – Welcome by Governor Ralph Northam

Introduced by James E. Ryan, President, University of Virginia

9:35 – Keynote Presentation – “One Virginia”

Dr. Janice Underwood, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia
Introduced by Kevin McDonald, UVA’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships

10:00 – BREAK

10:05 – Introducing Equitable Collaboration

Frank Dukes, PhD, Distinguished Institute Fellow, Institute for Engagement & Negotiation
Leanne Nurse, MA, Environmental Protection Specialist, US EPA Office of Policy

​10:50 – Equitable Collaboration in Action​

Presentations followed by Discussion (*scroll down for more)

12:00 p.m. – Next Steps for Equitable Collaboration
12:15 – Adjourn Day 1

Equitable Collaboration in Action:

We will have between 8-12 case studies presented, in separate break-out rooms, on the first morning of February 17. We will continue to update this page as more case studies are confirmed.

Charlottesville Food Justice Network and Cultivate Charlottesville
Opioid Crisis – Bridge Clinic at Carilion
Integrating Equity into K-12
Basic Biopsychosocial Needs for Students of Higher Education
Natural Resources
Coalition Building for Legislation on Heirs’ Property
Lower Chickahominy Watershed Collaborative
Community Development
UVA Memorial to Enslaved Laborers
Community Voice Method in Warren Co., NC Food Systems

Day 2: 9:00am – 12:30 p.m. EST
Thursday, February 25

8:45am – Early Tech Start
9:00 – Welcome & Day 1 Recap
9:10 – Trajectory of Collaboration in Virginia
9:20 – Keynote Presentation – “Going and Growing in our World of Clouds”

Dr. Mamie Parker, Dept. of Wildlife Resources Board Member & Former Head of Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Introduced by ​Bettina Ring, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Commonwealth of Virginia

9:50 – BREAK

9:55 – Policy Examples Using Equitable Collaboration Framework

Presentation by VNRLI Policy Action Workgroup on Solar Siting

10:10 – Considering ​Virginia Policy Needs for Equitable Collaboration

Participant Discussions Round 1

​11:00 – BREAK

11:10 – Considering Virginia Policy Needs for Equitable Collaboration

Participant Discussions Round 2

12:00 p.m. – Flash Highlights of Participation Outcomes

12:15 – Next Steps for Equitable Collaboration in the Commonwealth
12:30pm – Adjourn

Virginia Policy Needs for Equitable Collaboration –
Participant Discussions: ​

Round One:

Breakout Room #1: (Re)Creation of Inter-Tribal Council: What Should Be Its Scope and Role?
Breakout Room #2: How Can We Improve the Equitable Functioning of Virginia’s Citizen Boards?
Breakout Room #3: How Can We Increase Equitable Engagement of Inter-Faith Communities?
Breakout Room #4: How Do We Reduce Barriers to Access to Increase Equitable Engagement?

Round Two:

Breakout Room #5: How Can We Improve Equitable Solar Facility Siting?
Breakout Room #6: How Do We Standardize Equitable Metrics for “One Virginia”?
Breakout Room #7: How Can We Improve Equitable State Grant Giving in Virginia?
Breakout Room #8: What Tools and Techniques Are People Using That Have Been Effective at Increasing
Equitable Collaboration and Engaging Underserved, Underrepresented, Under-Engaged Groups?

Program Hosts & Sponsors

The Summit is hosted by the UVA Institute for Engagement & Negotiation in partnership with Governor Ralph Northam and his administration.