BIMS Week, Journey Thus Far, Future State — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

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The goal of BIMS Week is not only for Black folks in the community and around the world to think about marine science and the ocean, but to also have a space that is safe, welcoming, and inclusive.

We did a BIMS members map and you can see that we’re all over, we out here!

There’s another side of inspiring allies, too—for them to see that there’s so much more when you think about Black people and marine science. It’s not about, “Oh, I wanna go be a SCUBA diver, I wanna go study dolphins and whales.” There is a HUGE, rich history that we have to think about, especially when you have to grapple with the fact that there’s millions of my ancestors at the bottom of the ocean.

I think that’s the goal of BIMS Week—to inspire. Inspire. Inspire. Inspire. And then empower—so that folks know that this exists, then they can talk about it and then go make a difference. Get voices out there. Amplify Black voices and their stories around the world.

 

What was your favorite part of BIMS Week?

This year, BIMS Week ended with BIMS Ball—I called it the Met Gala of Black science. Literally, it was a Ball celebrating Blackness and Black culture. We had a musician, poetry from a poet, a DJ—we got some dancing going on! We also had awards; we gave a BIMS Advocacy award to honor the Black marine scientists who have helped paved the way.

We had a lot of great stuff this year, actually—for instance, we had BIMS Cares, which was all about self-care; we had a therapist come in and do live mindfulness work, as well as talk about stress and trauma. So, yeah, we had a lot of good stuff going on throughout the whole week.

 

What does BIMS mean to you?

BIMS means future to me. BIMS was built out of a place of so much pain, hurt, trauma, but there was HOPE. I think that’s the beauty of BIMS and the relationship I have with BIMS. That, as beat down as I was, there was still hope. Hope in myself as a strong Black woman, but as well as hope that there could be a different day. There were white people listening, asking questions I hadn’t been asked before, and I was like, “Wow, maybe this is the moment something will change if I’m honest and transparent about me and my experiences, the things I’m going through.”



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