Black in Marine Science Beginnings, Relationships, Connections — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

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BIMS is my baby! I’m the founder and CEO. My goal is to meet the mission of BIMS—to celebrate Black marine scientists, spread environmental awareness, and inspire the next generation of scientific thought leaders. And, ultimately, change the face(s) of who people see as scientists.

Honestly, it was a heartbreak around the world the way that George Floyd was treated. What was so revealing for me is that that’s just the way that Black people are seen—as folks that don’t belong in these spaces and are seen as predators. At the end of the day, if I walk outside, it isn’t “Oh! There goes Dr. Moore. She has a Ph.D.!” No. It’s, “She’s just another Black person, let’s go kneel on her neck.” Because I go outside with my hoodie on, in my sweats and my Crocs—all of a sudden, I didn’t go to UCLA, I haven’t won all these awards, I haven’t done all this stuff.

To have experienced it first-hand, when you “earn” a seat at the table but then it’s like “Nah baby-girl, this seat ain’t for you. You thought.” It was so heartbreaking. So that’s what we really want to change. To say hey, we can be these other things, we can belong in these spaces. It’s about changing the culture of science, and especially in conservation and environmental science. I think you see more Black folks in medical fields than you do in conservation and marine science, so it’s time for all that to change.

 

What’s TNC’s relationship with BIMS?

It’s two-fold. It’s through me, because I am a TNC employee. But I also think it is an opportunity for TNC to support a grassroots organization—it’s an opportunity for us (TNC) to put resources into the communities we say we want to support, resources to really see people and nature thrive. I think it needs to be targeted efforts for Black communities, because we know they’ve been impacted for long, we know that practices specifically at TNC have harmed Black people. I think it’s time for us to really put our money where our mouth is, to say, “Hey, what can we do to really enrich these communities?”

How can people get connected with BIMS?

Lots of ways! Our website, bims.org, @blackinmarsci on Twitter, @blackinmarinescience on Instagram, and we have lots of content on our YouTube channel. People can connect with us on any of those, or email info@bims.org, too.

You can support BIMS by donating here: bims.org/donate

If you’re a Black marine scientist, you can join as a member – with that, you get access to our BIMS community and can connect with other Black marine scientists.



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