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NOVAA is a nonprofit association for volunteer management professionals, founded in 1982.

Volunteer-led, NOVAA offers a variety of programming designed to support the professional development of leaders of volunteers with all levels of expertise. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the field for many years, NOVAA has something to offer everyone become a member today!

We remain committed to providing support and resources for leaders in volunteer management. Our 2022 programming will include both virtual and in person options. 

We look forward to seeing you soon! 

We're here to support you.

We’ve lived with a global pandemic for over two years. It has changed the way we live, work, and socialize. With vaccination rates increasing, we are starting to see glimmers of hope, and the resumption of some of our volunteer programs. And though many in our community are still struggling with the decision whether to vaccinate, we will continue to do our jobs with compassion and respect for all. 

Despite the uncertainty and ambiguity around us, we still take our work very seriously. NOVAA members hold themselves to high standards of ethics and accountability. We recognize that change is inevitable, and growth is always possible. We have learned much from the changes wrought by COVID-19, and the social upheaval that came with it. We accept the responsibility we bear to help create a more equitable and just world.

Behind the scenes at NOVAA, our dedicated board, made up of volunteer leaders ourselves, works hard to ensure that everything NOVAA does and shares is relevant and timely to support this community, especially through this year of so much change. We have been having continuous internal conversations exploring what NOVAA can do to be the most equitable, inclusive, accessible and representative organization possible.

NOVAA has spent the last 18 months reviewing our bylaws, evaluating our budget to identify areas in which we can offer financial support options, and working to hire a consultant to audit our practices (including the bylaws, and beyond) and help us create a sustainable equity action plan. Through these efforts, we also identified the need to include a DEI Chair position to the board that will ensure we are prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in our work, and cultivate a committee to support expanding representation within the volunteer management community.  

We encourage you to review our new DEI webpage, read the NOVAA DEI Statement, contact the DEI Committee, and find ways to get involved.

It’s an ongoing process and we do not have “results” yet but we wanted to share what we are doing to work toward our goals of acknowledging the impacts of -- and actively working to uproot the systems of racism and white supremacy that permeates close to every facet of our society.

Let’s continue to support each other. We are here for you - please reach out to us if you have  any questions, concerns, suggestions or feedback

Upcoming events

    • February 13, 2023
    • 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    • Victoria Bar (4835 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR)

    Connect with fellow volunteer management professionals for a fun happy hour at Victoria Bar (4835 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR)! Let’s come together to connect and share ideas/resources. 

    Hosted by NOVAA Board members, learn more about us here. 

    • February 16, 2023
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Volunteers are often motivated to connect and strengthen their community.  However, how do we create ways to connect which are both authentic and inclusive?  In this workshop, we'll discuss why it is essential to cultivate community and ways to connect with members in creative and collaborative ways. 

    Darnesha Weary is an entrepreneur and motivational manager.  Not only has she started BlackCoffeeNW business, she has created events for local businesses to connect and create spaces for community members to utilize.  From the past work of racial equity and activism along with her family, she envisioned a space in the world of Coffee that could integrate excellent service, not just through amazing coffee, but an amazing shop where customers can experience the true brilliance that is black culture.  Whether it's the internship/development programs they provide for our community's youth, the collaborative events with fellow black business owners or the expansion of their brand in opening multiple locations, she continues to support learning and connections which strengthen her surrounding community.

    • May 10, 2023
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • TBD in Portland Metro Area
    • 26

    Engage to Change is a team which provides anti-racism training for people and organizations.  They believe that addressing individual, organizational and systemic effects of racism must always be done in relationship and community.  Accountability, intersectional understanding, and action are key core components of how we structure our work. 

    RAKEEM WASHINGTON (he/him/his) Co-Founder and Facilitator
    Rakeem Washington is a Portland native and believes in the power and importance of connecting with community. Prior to the beginning of his professional career, he spent hours as a volunteer, mentor, and coach for families and various community based organizations. Rakeem continued his passion for working with children and families after graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2008 when he began work as a staff attorney for the Juvenile Rights Project, a public defense law firm representing children and parents in child welfare, school discipline, and juvenile delinquency cases. After witnessing, first hand, the racial disparities that exist in the intersection of the foster care, educational, and criminal justice systems, Rakeem shifted focus to more targeted equity work. He has continued that work in various forms while working with Portland Public Schools, the Oregon Judicial Department, and the Portland Observer Newspaper. Rakeem also has taught in Portland State University’s University Studies Department teaching a class called Race, Class, Gender and Social Justice. His students work year-long to create action projects that work against poverty, houselessness, mass incarceration, economic immobility, educational deficiencies, diminishing mental health services and all of the comorbid permutations disparately facing BIPOC folks. Throughout his professional career, Rakeem has advocated for those with marginalized identities, and continues to do so through his work at Engage to Change. He learned early that true anti-racism/anti-oppression work requires building coalitions by creating authentic relationships. He teaches students, college faculty, fellow attorneys, business leaders and government employees in well-versed and established equity principles. He has led conversations and trainings at the Governor’s Summit on Minority Over-Representation in the Juvenile Justice System, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and the National Conference of Association of Community College Trustees.

    KASIA RUTLEDGE (she/her/hers) Co-Founder and Facilitator
    Kasia Rutledge is an anti-racism and anti-oppression trainer as well as a capital defense attorney. For over 18 years, she has developed workshops and trained organizations, individuals, academic institutions, currently and formerly incarcerated people, and not-for-profits in equity, anti-racism, and holistic justice-based programming. As an attorney, Kasia has been privileged to represent poor people accused of major felonies. Kasia is also an adjunct professor at Portland State teaching a course on race, oppression, and activism. There she works with Black, Brown, Indigenous, API, Immigrant, houseless, and justice-affected youth on dismantling concepts of banking education, and on understanding the intersectionality of oppressions, helping them gain agency and joy in pursuit of their educational and career goals. Understanding that anti-racism work must center self-care, Kasia loves to make complicated meals and camp. Kasia has spent her career working in all kinds of fields related to equity, access, and difficult conversations. Whether as an anti-racism trainer, a public defender who helps folks navigate complicated and impossible life-altering situations, as a counselor at Planned Parenthood, who sat with folks making difficult decisions about potentially ending a pregnancy or as Executive Director of a not-for-profit housing organization in rural Kansas which struggled to adapt to the racist dynamics in a farming community, Kasia has spent her life understanding intersectional needs and celebrating the resilience of folks on the margins. Specifically, as a trainer, Kasia works to de-center whiteness, find where racism lives in each of our bodies, and compassionately hold white folks accountable to the work while centering the voices of folks on the margins. As a white, Queer, cis-woman, Kasia uses humility and her own stories of causing harm to people of color to make the work of undoing racism accessible for other white folks.

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