Lake Champlain Sea Grant is committed to the principles of partnership and diversity. The shock, trauma, and anguish of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and others in the summer of 2020 prompted us to recommit, individually and as a group, to explore our biases more fully and to work openly and actively within our personal and professional networks to seek a more equitable and just society. To express this, we developed a statement in June 2020 (PDF).

Since issuing that statement, we identified ways to weave anti-racist activities into our daily work. We defined and agreed to a framework for action that is implemented individually and collectively and to which we are accountable. Following are our two goals and some of the actions we intend to take to address these goals.

  1. Apply individual and collective action to become a more just organization.
    1. Examine our biases and strengthen our commitment to diversity and to racial justice in particular through trainings, personal learning, and sharing experiences.
    2. Ensure that Lake Champlain Sea Grant's values and mission incorporate the views, ideas, and opinions of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color by diversifying staff, advisory committee, and competitive research program.
  2. Engage in outreach, education, and research efforts to increase environmental and economic justice in the Lake Champlain basin.
    1. Share and acknowledge the full history of the land and people of the Lake Champlain basin through our programs, communications, and educational materials.
    2. Increase access to natural areas and information on the environment for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color by expanding opportunities for participation.
    3. Identify environmental disparities experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color within the Lake Champlain basin by funding or incorporating in research and increasing communication about environmental risks.
    4. Support pathways to college-level science education for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color by providing outstanding education experiences and offering mentorships and internships.
    5. Support pathways to natural resource careers in the Lake Champlain basin for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color by funding an undergraduate scholarship program and career exploration opportunities.

We embrace diversity across race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, nationality, socio-economic status, color, cultural and/or geographic background, religious belief, age, disability, among other identities.

We cultivate an atmosphere of respect for people and the environment. We abide by the discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct policies of our host institutions, the University of Vermont and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, which strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of an individual’s membership in a legally protected category. Any act that falls within the definition of sexual misconduct constitutes discrimination or harassment and is a violation of this policy. Likewise, we, our partners, and stakeholders follow national, state, and tribal laws and relevant institutional policies regarding discrimination and sexual harassment, including disclosure of incidents.

By not tolerating discrimination and harassment and conducting our work with respect, we move closer to realizing our vision of long-term ecosystem health and sustainable economic development in the Lake Champlain basin.