Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Building a Culture of Diversity 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.

We believe PRONOUNS ARE IMPORTANT

Pronouns are how people refer to one another and how we talk about each other- they are an extension of our names and therefore an extension of our identity. “Mistaking or assuming peoples’ pronouns…mistakes their gender and sends a harmful message. Using someone’s correct gender pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity” (UCSF). Examples of pronouns include she/her/hers/herself, he/him/his/himself, they/them/theirs/themself or themselves, and ze/hir/hirs/hirself

You may see Alliance staff with pronouns noted in their emails, on virtual calls, or at their events. This intentional and encouraged practice is a critical piece of our mission to create an inclusive environment for all.

 

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.

If you are interested in learning more about the Alliance’s DEI resources, guides, or best practices, please reach out to the DEI Team at dei@allianceforthebay.org.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Terminology Communications Guide: September 2021

The purpose of this guide is to provide communication guidance on commonly used DEIJ terminology for organizations operating in the environmental field. To learn more about the Alliance’s DEIJ Terminology Communications Guide check out our blog.

Download the Guide

Our Board’s Commitments