The world is reeling right now as communities across the U.S. rise up to seek justice for the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery — only the latest lives lost in this nation’s 400-year history of institutionalized racism and violence. Like so many of you, we at Marine Conservation Institute are heartbroken—by these recent tragedies, and by the systemic racism that still runs deep in this nation.
Marine Conservation Institute stands in solidarity with those protesting brutality and racial injustices everywhere. Love for the natural world cannot be separated from love and respect for our fellow human beings. As such, conservation must be based on racial justice and equity to be truly effective.
Justice for marginalized communities and justice for our planet have often been fights fought in different courts, but the science shows unequivocally that communities of color are already those hardest hit by environmental injustice. At this point in human history we can no longer afford to separate these conversations.
We know that this is just the beginning. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we’ll be sitting down as an organization to examine how best to amplify Black and other minority voices in marine conservation, and how to take real action in fostering diversity, safety, and health—both at sea and in society, both in America’s marine ecosystems and in the diverse global communities with whom we are so honored to be partners. We’re still working on other exciting projects—feel free to browse our website for some sneak peeks—but we’re also opting to use this as a time for solidarity, careful reflection, and action.
If you’d like to join us on this journey, please follow us on social media as we work to amplify voices of color in the marine science community. On a local level, we’ll be looking for ways to give time, care, and resources to the most vulnerable members of our home communities, and we invite you to do the same, wherever you may live.
We welcome your voices and input as we navigate these issues, and we are so grateful, now and always, for your generous support in helping us care for our ocean and the diverse communities that rely on it.
Dr. Lance Morgan and the Marine Conservation Institute staff