California Sea Grant staff members are deeply saddened and troubled by the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people over the years. Communities of color are also being disproportionately affected by the global health and economic crises, all exposing the systemic racism that pervades our country.
As a research and education program dedicated to serving California’s coastal communities, California Sea Grant is committed to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion through collaboration with diverse communities. But it is clear that broad commitments are not enough. As a program, we will reflect on our current efforts to increase diversity in our fellowships and employment to determine how we can do more. We will also determine and implement new ways that we can make tangible progress in decreasing inequities in our own program, ocean science-related fields, and the communities we serve.
We welcome your feedback on how we can do more to break down the structural, societal and environmental injustices that continue this long history of racism and discrimination in our country. This just has to stop.
Please stay safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Shauna Oh, Director, and the staff of California Sea Grant