Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, convenes policymakers, scientists, managers, business leaders, conservationists, educators, students, and members of the public to engage in dialogue on significant issues that impact our ocean and Great Lakes. The conference builds bridges, elevates key voices and thought leaders of different backgrounds, perspectives, and disciplines, and facilitates an exchange of ideas on how to keep our ocean and Great Lakes healthy and productive.
Why is CHOW 2021 focusing on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion(JEDI)?
CHOW is central to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s work to sustain a healthy ocean and Great Lakes. Systemic racism impacts laws, policies, and institutions, resulting in inequitable outcomes for communities across this nation which are impossible to ignore. These inequities require each of us to take action. As an organization, we believe it is important to focus CHOW 2021 on confronting these inequities and identifying the steps we can take as a community to address racial equity and justice in ocean conservation, science and policy making.
The health, well-being and sustainability of our ocean and Great Lakes depend on the actions we take now to ensure transformative and durable effects. Achieving bold, lasting change in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes policy will require the experience, expertise, perspectives and values of the communities most affected by environmental inequities. CHOW 2021 is an opportunity to examine how exclusionary practices and systemic racism negatively impact conservation, science, and policy; and how strengthening justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion will improve the sustainability and well-being of our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes and the communities that depend on them.