As Individuals & In Their Communities
- Read fiction + non-fiction written by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). Follow BIPOC on social media.
- Invest your time in trainings (eg, Academics for Black Survival and Wellness, bystander intervention training).
- Form accountability groups for white people to educate themselves – don’t increase the burden on BIPOC.
- Use privilege (time and safety) to advocate for BIPOC in the workplace and to take on administrative tasks disproportionately shouldered by underrepresented groups.
- Constantly query goals and plans, and engage in frequent discussions among other allies and with BIPOC. Make sure what you are doing is actually helping – addressing real problems and not creating new problems! Don’t be afraid to take on risk.
In Institutions and Work
- Make sure we are actively recruiting BIPOC for jobs (entry-level to head of the organization). Consider how we establish job qualifications and who we are excluding when we do so. Consider how job boards and other means of publicizing openings reach different groups. Ensure that we are prioritizing equity and inclusion, not just diversity.
- Work on compensation/reward issues. Pay students and interns! Compensate everyone who does DEI work. Move beyond citations as a metric for performance.
- Center environmental justice and human well-being in our research questions.
- Increase emphasis on outreach and engagement work.
- Work from both the bottom up and top down – attain a critical mass of people dedicated to social justice.
- Use white privilege to buffer BIPOC against unstable/unsafe work environments – especially in government jobs.
- Create spaces that are safe and welcoming for BIPOC. Academic spaces are hierarchical (with people at the top mostly white) and use language that can be a barrier to BIPOC. Some outdoor spaces are actively unsafe for BIPOC.
- Create curricula and classes that emphasize environmental justice and the history of racism underlying conservation biology.
- Consider the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on BIPOC in the workplace. Enact policies that protect “essential workers” (disproportionately BIPOC)
- Make land acknowledgments, acknowledge the racist history of universities and “public” lands.
- Find seminar speakers from non-traditional backgrounds – use networks/”snowball sampling” strategies to do so.
- May need more surveys and data-gathering to define define our problems. Work to create survey methods that include BIPOC in the design and execution. Need buy-in from everyone to get accurate data.
As SCBNA Allyship Group
- Provide resources for potential allies to educate themselves and plan actions to influence their home institutions. Provide training or connect allies with reputable groups that providing trainings.
- Form accountability groups for allies to work together on training and education and to hold each other to training goals. Accountability groups can also provide a forum for discussing personal goals and successful/unsuccessful efforts to work on institutional change.
- Produce video series featuring voices of BIPOC / minoritized conservation biologists relating their experiences in the field.
- Act as a resource for diversity efforts within SCBNA – provide time and effort needed to write grant proposals, work on theory of change, find speakers and plan conference.
- Put pressure on SCBNA to shift in the right direction. Echo concerns of underrepresented groups and make these concerns mainstream!
Recommendations for SCBNA
- Center BIPOC voices – create safe forums for voicing and listening to concerns of BIPOC at conferences and beyond
- Examine ways to reduce the burdens of or provide compensation for doing SCBNA-related work.
- Consider funding more community conservation work.
- Consider giving awards for DEI work and community-led projects.
- Leverage the benefits of virtual meetings in reducing barriers to entry, while also finding ways to facilitate networking in this new format.
- Create and provide support for long-term mentoring relationships. Consider establishing a mentoring program that leverages SCB’s connections to educational institutions, governmental organizations, and NGOs.
*Recommended actions compiled by organizers and participants in NACCB 2020 Interactive Session Expanding Boundaries Through Allyship in Conservation Biology