Board Resolution on Building a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion*


A commitment to bringing a diversity of voices together to find solutions is central to the identity and strength of the Alliance. It is our belief that a broad base of participation, reflecting all segments of society, is needed to be successful in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration effort. That is why we work with watershed groups, local governments, farmers, businesses, and local communities. This collaboration drives our outreach, planning, and programs and it shapes our accomplishments. To further accomplish our goals, we strive to connect all people with nature and create opportunities to build personal knowledge and experience that leads to stewardship of the environment.

But there is more we need to do to ensure that our decisions, processes, staff, Board and programs reflect, include, and benefit all the communities we depend on to help us reach our goals. The perspectives of communities of color and different cultural and economic backgrounds are often underrepresented in the viewpoints, values, and experiences that dominate the Chesapeake restoration movement. We recognize that environmental burdens and benefits are not distributed equitably across the Chesapeake Watershed. Bringing about greater diversity in our efforts requires not only action at the programmatic level, but also a cultural shift, embedded in the way we govern and manage our organization and our work in the watershed. The Alliance recognizes the need to embrace this process of change.

Be it resolved,

In order to more fully accomplish our mission, we affirm our commitment to make diversity and inclusion evident in our organizational structure, policies, board of directors, staff, strategic goals, and program delivery. We recognize that diversity is an asset and we welcome people of all backgrounds; seeking a culture of respect, openness, learning, integrity, and honesty. Through our commitment to partnerships, we strive to build relationships where all participants are heard, respected, valued, and empowered. Our focus on innovation leads us to seek out and learn from a multitude of cultural and life experiences, perspectives, and talents. We believe that a commitment to increase diversity and inclusion at the Alliance is supported by our core values and essential to achieve the mission of our organization and our collective restoration goals.

We will act on these commitments by:

  • Seeking diverse and highly qualified candidates for Board and staff
  • Developing multi-cultural competency, sensitivity, and empathy through training
  • Adding diversity commitment language to Strategic Plan and guiding documents
  • Adjusting communications to reflect diversity
  • Designing programs and events to be accessible to diverse communities Collecting diversity data where possible related to program delivery and events

*adopted by the Board of Directors on January 27, 2017

View the PDF version here.