Dear TCS Members,
Like many of you, I am disturbed and saddened by the senseless death of George Floyd. While this event was terrible by itself, the recent nationwide protests have shined a spotlight on other past injustices against black citizens like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and countless more. These point to a systematic and sometimes deadly bias towards black people and other minorities that persists despite the advances we have made since the height of the civil rights movement over 50 years ago.
With support from the Coastal Society’s (TCS) Board of Directors, I will take this moment to affirm that TCS values the inclusion and equal treatment of all our members regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, religion, age, or sexual orientation. There is no place in TCS for discrimination or expressions of hatred or bigotry against an individual based on their outward appearance or their private beliefs. I encourage any member who has observed such unfair behavior during any TCS event or member interactions to immediately inform me, our Executive Director, or any member of the Board of Directors with whom you feel most comfortable. Additionally, any member that feels that they have been subject to discrimination of any kind should know that we take these matters seriously. The TCS board is committed to creating a safe space for members who identify as part of a minority group to report any sort of discriminatory situations confidentially, without fear of criticism, harassment, or any further harm.
In addition, we know we must do more to lift up the voices of marginalized communities. The improvement of our coasts requires all stakeholders to have a seat at the table during planning conversations, including minority communities that have historically been under-served and under-represented. To support this ideal in the coming weeks and months, the TCS Board of Directors will pursue an actively anti-racist agenda by examining and enacting ways in which TCS can increase ethnic diversity in our organization and our activities. This will likely start with developing an anti-discrimination policy along with a diversity and inclusion strategy. For example, we will consider ways to expand events such as our MAD Coastal Career Development Workshops to better include under-represented groups. I invite all members to step forward and assist us in this effort by contacting me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or board member Tricia Hooper (email@example.com); join the conversation about how TCS can do its part to reverse institutional racism and help make our coastal communities stronger and more inclusive.
June 8, 2020