Alaska Sea Grant serves a diverse constituency, from small business and industry, to groups and individuals in urban and rural communities. In order to be effective in responding to the needs of these communities, our work must appropriately engage, acknowledge and reflect differences. When Indigenous and other minority and underrepresented groups are included, and when Alaska Sea Grant is able to create spaces where everyone feels respected and welcome, we are better able to find solutions appropriate and beneficial for all.
This year we set out to articulate how diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are integral parts of our work and organizational culture. We convened a working group to draft a formal statement explaining how DEI is part of our identity, our approach to programming, and our day-to-day operation.
Included in the statement is the following:
Alaska Sea Grant champions diversity, equity, and inclusion by recruiting, retaining, and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities. Alaska Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication, and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives, and ways of thinking. Alaska Sea Grant encourages diverse participation with regards to age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, culture, religion, citizenship type, marital status, education level, job classification, veteran status, income, and socioeconomic status.
Alaska Sea Grant is working to incorporate DEI principles internally and in the work we do throughout the state. We recognize our work does not end with this statement, and we continue to explore how we can integrate DEI in all that we do, from expanding internship and fellowship opportunities to historically underrepresented groups, to acknowledging and incorporating multiple ways of knowing into more aspects of our work. We need to continually strive to improve, and we welcome guidance on how we can do better.
You can find our statement of diversity, equity and inclusion, including a list of our values, goals, and plans for implementation, on our website.
Reach out to any of our staff or your local Marine Advisory Program agent if you have input on how Alaska Sea Grant can better address the marine and coastal issues facing Alaska’s diverse communities.