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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, we recognize that diversity is an asset and we welcome people of all backgrounds regardless of race, religion, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran-status, socio-economic status, gender variance, or sexual identity. We are committed to making diversity and inclusion integral in our organizational structure, policies, board of directors, staff, strategic goals, and program delivery. The Alliance believes a broad base of participation and partners reflecting all of society is needed to be successful in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration effort.

We Are An Alliance of Allies

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement during this turbulent and important time of national discourse on historic pain and trauma due to a legacy of systemic racism in our country.

The Alliance believes that clean water and equal access to nature are civil rights that impact human health and quality of life. As an organization, our mission is to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This is a mission inclusive of all communities that make up our Chesapeake Bay region.

The Alliance strives to collaborate with partners in the Chesapeake Bay community who demonstrate integrity and amplify diverse voices for equitable and inclusive impact.

The Alliance is committed to creating a more diverse, inclusive, equitable, and just environmental movement.

Black Lives Matter.

In solidarity,

Our Commitment to All Chesapeake Bay Communities

  • In January 2017, our Board of Directors adopted a Resolution on Building a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion. This Resolution led to the Alliance establishing a staff-led Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) team that same year, with the full support of  the Alliance’s leadership and our Board of Directors. Our DEIJ team’s endeavors will continue to expand and be instrumental in:
    • Additional training related to an internal culture that promotes equitable, diverse, and inclusive outcomes and actions for all staff.
    • Reviewing and providing feedback on three standing critical policy documents that govern the Alliance’s employees and are key to onboarding new staff: Expectations of Staff, Procurement Guidelines and Policies, and what will be an overhauled Alliance Personnel Manual.
    • Establishment of a DEIJ handbook for all staff in order to educate and guide best practices that Alliance employees can implement in their everyday work environment.
    • Engaging leadership and hiring managers to ensure job postings provide language reflective of the inclusive multicultural organization the Alliance aspires to be.
    • Working directly with the Alliance’s Communications team to maintain regular updates regarding actions the organization is taking in order to keep our partners and supporters knowledgeable of our stance, and to lift the voice of others, specifically Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
  • In May of 2020, the Alliance’s Board of Directors formalized their support of the DEIJ team by establishing a Board Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee by unanimous resolution. The Board is committed to supporting these efforts at the staff level, as well as throughout Board initiatives and campaigns.
  • Over the past 5 years, our annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum has incorporated diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) practices to enhance participant’s Forum experience. The Forum is the Alliance’s most widely attended annual event, with participants from various stakeholder groups throughout the Watershed. This fall, the Alliance will continue to broaden these DEIJ efforts by:
    • Expansion of the Chesapeake Collective, a platform that celebrates our watershed-wide diversity as a source of strength and provides a foundation for a social movement to help meet our collective restoration goals.
    • Developing a DEIJ Guide for all participants, which sets expectations and accountability for the planning committee and attendees to improve the experience for all participants.
    • Building upon our Demographic survey, initiated in 2015 to help our planning team make the Forum a more inclusive event.

Our Staff DEI Team

The Alliance’s DEI Team started in February 2018 to coordinate the commitments of the Board Resolution on Building a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion.

The DEI Team’s vision is to achieve equitable and inclusive restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Its mission is to make diversity, equity, and inclusion integral in the Alliance’s organizational structure, policies, board of directors, staff, strategic goals, and program delivery.

Our Board’s Commitments

Blog Posts and News

  • Remembering Nelson Mandela and His Vision of Freedom

    Remembering Nelson Mandela and His Vision of Freedom

    “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” -Nelson Mandela

  • Riverwise Schools meets STEM in Richmond, VA

    Riverwise Schools meets STEM in Richmond, VA

    Environmental educators from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the James River Park System are thrilled to be working together to bring an after-school program to Richmond Public Schools (RPS) students next year. Middle school students that pick the STEM based program will experience learning outdoors and examine what role they play in their community to protect the James River. Thanks to a recent grant to the Alliance, funded by NAAEE and NOAA, the educators will run the program through the 21st Century Community Learning Center partner, NextUp RVA.  The program has unique features including a TopoBox and a visit to see the Science on a Sphere!

  • Diverse Communities in Dairy Farming

    Diverse Communities in Dairy Farming

    Dairy farming is not only very physical and demanding work, but also a very stressing one. Not surprisingly, the number of dairy farms is decreasing according to the last Ag Census. But more sadly, the

  • Equity in Forestry

    Equity in Forestry

    Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program "What a friend we have in a tree, the tree is the symbol of hope, self improvement and what people can do for themselves."  - Wangari

  • Alliance Board Member, Gregory Wims: An Activist for Victim’s Right Foundation

    Alliance Board Member, Gregory Wims: An Activist for Victim’s Right Foundation

    Gregory (Greg) Wims is a local businessman and community activist who has been on the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Board of Directors for the past three years. Greg has occupied his time quarantining during

  • Year of the Woman: Carmera Thomas-Wilhite

    Year of the Woman: Carmera Thomas-Wilhite

    Carmera Thomas-Wilhite is this month’s Year of the Woman feature! Carmera works at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as the Baltimore Program Manager. I asked Carmera how she became interested in the environmental field and to

  • Our Commitment to All Chesapeake Bay Communities

    Our Commitment to All Chesapeake Bay Communities

    The mission of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve our lands and waters. As an organization, we know we must do a better job of addressing social injustices through our work to restore our Watershed. The Alliance has taken purposeful steps to raise awareness around and address diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice issues and opportunities internally for several years. These are the Alliance’s commitments to our staff, partners, and constituents to continue to advance these efforts in the immediate future.

  • Virtual Events to Attend to Celebrate Juneteenth

    Virtual Events to Attend to Celebrate Juneteenth

    What is Juneteenth? According to History of Juneteenth ©JUNETEENTH.com, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th 1865, Union army general Gordon Granger's read the

  • We Are An Alliance of Allies

    We Are An Alliance of Allies

    The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement during this turbulent and important time of national discourse on historic pain and trauma due to a legacy of systemic

  • Taking Nature Black!

    Taking Nature Black!

    Taking Nature Black (TNB)! It’s a direct, bold expression that has become the name for an annual conference held by the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS). February 27th, 2020 saw the third conference held by ANS, and was an excellent way of celebrating Black History Month.