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American Water Resources Association

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  • The Role of Community Engagement and GSI in Underserved Communities

The Role of Community Engagement and GSI in Underserved Communities

  • 22 Nov 2023
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • ONLINE: Zoom link to be provided in registration reminder email


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

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The Role of Community Engagement and GSI in Underserved Communities

Presented by

 Maurice Sampson: Clean Water Action, Eastern Pennsylvania

Ahmad Almakky: Clean Water Action, Eastern Pennsylvania


Philadelphia’s underserved communities suffer from documented discrimination and lower quality of life, related to less access to public services, ineffective law enforcement, and a disproportionate number of hazardous facilities in or near their neighborhoods.  This has resulted in community distrust of outsiders who may have honorable or predatory intentions about projects in their neighborhoods.  Outside organizations and public officials seeking to redress past harms or implement programs to “improve” communities frequently fail to engage local leaders or fulfill their objectives effectively and frequently meet community opposition.

Funded by the William Penn Foundation, the Resilient Community Stormwater Infrastructure (RCSI) project addresses this issue directly by prioritizing the community's interests and meeting the foundation's goal to identify an underserved community to develop 25 acres of GSI. This presentation provides an overview of the community engagement process led by Clean Water Action in cooperation with the Academy of Natural Sciences.  The work entailed roundtable sessions in five underserved areas of the city and culminated with selecting Kingsessing as the neighborhood targeted for the GSI development as a model for future support.  Three workshops held with neighborhood leaders in the summer of 2023 resulted in the development of the Kingsessing Green Vision Plan that will be the basis for next steps in this program.


Maurice Sampson is the Eastern Pennsylvania Director for Clean Water Action (CWA) 2016 to present, an organization where he previously served as a volunteer and National Board member for more than 25 years.  He is responsible for staff and programs in support of the organization's mission to “protect our environment, health, economic well-being, and community quality of life.”

Mr. Sampson is responsible for designing and overseeing CWA’s role in the RCSI Project, engaging communities in discussions and planning for green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) in their neighborhoods.

Mr. Sampson’s 50-year career has included co-founding and running a non-profit youth environmental organization, setting up municipal recycling programs in Newark, NJ and Philadelphia, PA, and being an entrepreneur on the cutting edge of recycling, waste reduction, and composting. He has actively engaged and worked with stakeholders in all these endeavors to accomplish these goals, making a tangible difference.

Throughout his career, he has served and provided leadership in traditional and environmental justice boards of directors and committees. For instance, he was the sole Pennsylvania delegate to the First People of Color Environmental Summit (1991) and party to the composition.

Ahmad Almakky is the Environmental Justice Program Manager for the CWA in  Eastern Pennsylvania.  Mr. Almakky is a Pakistani national and graduate of Duke University’s Masters in Environmental Management, where he focused on community-based approaches, specifically on achieving broader well-being through environmental projects and quantifying qualitative data. His experience includes working with local communities in Pakistan on wildlife conservation, environmental, and development projects.


This seminar does qualify for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH). A Certificate of Attendance will be available for AWRA-PMAS members only. The meeting price for non-members who wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance for the PDH is $10.00 ($3.00 for meeting + $7.00 for certificate).  

Please note: 

  • Presentation Zoom link will be provided in registration reminder email.
  • Zoom link should only be used by those who register for the event through AWRA directly. 
  • PDHs will be issued through PDFs.
  • Please allow extra time to register through Zoom and get software set up.
  • Presentation will start at noon.
  • Early participants will be in a Waiting Room until noon. 
  • Participants must email to request PDH Certificate after the event.

Thank you!

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