To successfully engage diverse communities in our work, we must develop effective communication and outreach strategies. These strategies should connect with the history, culture and traditions of underrepresented communities. They should be relevant to the unique environmental challenges that face these communities. They should show community members that addressing these challenges is critical to their wellbeing and to that of their families. And they should make it clear that community members have a role in the decision-making process. Otherwise, we will not see meaningful engagement from these communities in environmental protection or restoration efforts.
Diverse communities need more opportunities to participate in the “green job” field. This could occur through environmental education, restoration training or more sustained involvement in grant competitions. Public outreach should target qualified, diverse individuals interested in training programs, internships and careers.
Information Tracking and Assessment
To measure our success, we must establish appropriate tracking and assessment tools. We must also collect baseline information to the extent that it is currently missing or unavailable.
Cross-Goal Team Collaboration
Our diversity goals cannot be reached through the diversity outcome alone. The Diversity Action Team will work with other Goal Implementation Teams (GITs) to address diversity in their work. The team plans to collaborate on the work being done toward the following outcomes: citizen stewardship, climate adaptation, climate monitoring and assessment, environmental literacy planning, local leadership, protected lands, public access, toxic contaminants research, toxic contaminants policy and prevention and tree canopy.
Factors Influencing Progress
Several factors could impact our ability to recruit and engage groups that are not currently represented in the leadership, decision-making or implementation of conservation and restoration activities at the Chesapeake Bay Program. These factors have directly informed the management actions our partners will take to achieve the Diversity outcome.