A new Inclusive Diversity SETAC North America committee is being spearheaded by Latonya Jackson and Austin Gray, with a kickoff Meet and Greet to be held at the Annual Meeting in Sacramento in November! As the Northern California chapter president, I am very excited that this committee is getting started, and our entire Board of Directors is looking forward to working with the committee to figure out how we can better support and serve underrepresented groups in environmental sciences in our region.
This is an important issue for me because I recently made a transition from working in consulting and government to an environmental nonprofit job, and after having lived and worked in the highly diverse San Francisco Bay Area for many years it has been an eye-opening experience to see how little diversity there is in most environmental nonprofits. Environmentalism is often seen as an elitist movement, and in fact historically people of color were often excluded and marginalized from this movement. It is time to change that. Like most of you, I am interested not just in the science side of things, but in utilizing my work to make the world a more sustainable place to live. In order to develop innovative solutions that will be implemented on a large scale with popular support, we need to include people from all backgrounds on our teams, and to value the diverse perspectives they bring.
We encourage all of you to come to support the committee and provide your input. Please note that you do NOT need to be a member of an underrepresented group to attend and show your support – all are welcome! You will have the opportunity to meet those involved with setting up the committee and find out more about it, and you can sign up to become a member, representative, supporter, or collaborator. In addition, many members of your local NorCal Chapter Board of Directors will be present, and we would love to hear your ideas on how we can improve inclusion and diversity in our chapter!