At the end of the month Abby Brown is on her way to Durban, South Africa to represent PHLUSH at the 12th annual World Toilet Summit. Chosen by fellow PHLUSH volunteers to take advantage of a grant awarded by the World Toilet Organization, Abby will present to a plenary session on December 6th speaking about toilet needs in North America and opportunities for citizen groups to focus officials on what needs to be done and how to do it.
Over the past several years Abby has contributed energy, talent, motivating good cheer, and hundreds of hours to our all-volunteer grassroots organization. As Outreach Specialist, she co-edits the quarterly Pee, Poo and You! newsletter, authors blog posts, engages new volunteers, and replies to inquiries from far and near. This past June, she coordinated the three-day Portland visit of WTO Founder Jack Sim arranging more than two-dozen speaking engagements, interviews, meetings and visits. At a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet event, Abby and PHLUSH Communications Advisor Poonam Sharma exhibited the Twin Bucket Emergency Toilet. In the past, Abby also organized PHLUSH participation in Portland’s Walk for Water incorporating sanitation awareness in the annual event. Currently, Abby is point person for the creation of a new PHLUSH group associated with CalState Monterey Bay working in the Oldtown and Chinatown districts of Salinas, California.
An environmental studies graduate of Evergreen State College who holds an M.Sc. in Water Resources Policy and Management from Oregon State University, Abby is currently pursuing research leading to a PhD in Sociology at University of California Santa Cruz. Her area of research interest is empowerment and gender equality in water and sanitation both in the United States and abroad. Throughout the World Toilet Summit, Abby will document proceedings of the event – tweeting at @PortlandPHLUSH and @WaterfortheAges and authoring reviews for this blog and her own highly-admired Water for the Ages blog. Previous Summits in Delhi, Singapore, and Philadelphia have featured PHLUSH presenters and enabled them to acquire information and knowledge not generally available in the United States.