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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Our Vision

The Consortium’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion creates a culture of belonging where all people are treated with dignity and respect, and have equitable access to resources, opportunities, and outcomes.

We acknowledge that our activities, programs, services, and everyday interactions are enriched by building a diverse team of staff and partners who engage in open, respectful, and meaningful exchange. We also strive to achieve our agency’s mission by engaging individuals from a broad diversity of backgrounds who bring a range of experiences, values, and tools to bear on the region’s major environmental and socioeconomic issues.

How We Value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity

The communities that rely upon coastal and ocean resources in our state are inherently diverse in lived experiences and identities. We remain committed to increasing the diversity of our grantees, our staff, and our partners to better represent and create strong bonds with those we serve. We are committed to our responsibility to enhance opportunities for workforce training and development in underserved communities.

The Consortium appreciates people of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, physical traits, cultures, religions, neurological statuses, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types. Our agency acknowledges the value of these diverse identities’ contribution to further our mission in providing the best available science for coastal communities in South Carolina.

Equity

The Consortium aims to empower the voices of communities that have been historically and are currently marginalized through a commitment to foster equitable opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities. We challenge bias, harassment, and discrimination; we strive to build awareness and capacities that cultivate equitable outcomes. The Consortium encourages environmental justice through the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people of all backgrounds in order to ensure equitable access to the decision-making and regulatory process for the development and implementation of environmental policies.

Inclusion

The Consortium benefits all communities of South Carolina through continuous inclusion of diverse perspectives and experiences and by ensuring that all people are invited and welcomed in the spaces in which we work. Our program builds inclusive research, extension, communication, and education programs. We strive to foster belonging, co-creation of knowledge, and active participation among our staff, partners, and communities that we serve.

Our Strategies

We recognize the necessity to adapt our strategies as priorities and community dialogues evolve. Therefore, the following strategies comprise a “living document.”

In development and execution of our programmatic activities, we commit to the following specific strategies to implement these values:

  1. All meetings, symposiums, and webinars will follow the Sea Grant Association’s Events Code of Conduct and be welcoming and inclusive.
  2. All work will be conducted in safe work environments free from explicit and implicit sexual harassment/assault and racial bias.
  3. Facilitation techniques are designed and implemented to ensure balanced input.
  4. Funding opportunities are distributed to a wide variety of audiences within our network, and we actively seek diverse partners for research, extension, education, communication, and professional development projects to create pathways for success.
  5. Engage organizations that support underserved communities to enhance their access to coastal science, outreach, grant funding, and sustainable economic development opportunities.
  6. Our program will intentionally advertise to recruit staff from diverse sources so that our team reflects the many communities that we serve in South Carolina.
  7. We will continuously provide communications, trainings, and resources to all staff in order to ensure the retention of a diverse workforce.
  8. We recognize our responsibility to strengthen the STEM pipeline to college and professional life for students of all backgrounds and abilities.

These efforts will help ensure the Consortium adheres to the principles in NOAA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2020-2024, especially with respect to effectively recruiting individuals from diverse backgrounds, actively seeking out diverse partners, actively engaging diverse stakeholders, developing practices for managing diversity and inclusion for program implementation, and convening safe work environments free from any harassment/assault and racial bias.

The Consortium is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic factors (including medical history), military/veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. S.C. Sea Grant participates in E-Verify.

See also: The National Sea Grant Program’s visioning statement for diversity, equity, and inclusion