Seattle Aquarium's commitment to anti-racism

The front of Seattle Aquarium's main building along Alaskan Way with groups of people walking in front on the sidewalk.

The Seattle Aquarium is committed to continued diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) learning and practices, and to using our sphere of influence to actively oppose racism within our industry and communities of conservation. We are proud today to share with you our commitment to anti-racism, as well as some further information about our ongoing DEI work.
 
The Aquarium views diversity as a strength and recognizes that we can only achieve our mission by including the skills and varied perspectives of all people. In 2019, we formed a DEI Council to guide and support the application of time and resources to create an inclusive Aquarium culture across all dimensions of diversity. The purpose of the DEI Council is to bring staff at all levels together to define, prioritize, and implement actions that foster a welcoming and equitable culture that reflects the multiple dimensions of diversity within our community. Recently, the council finalized an anti-racism statement for the Seattle Aquarium that is shared on our website and among all staff and volunteers. 

The Seattle Aquarium’s commitment to anti-racism:  
The Seattle Aquarium respects and celebrates the vitality and strength of the ethnic and cultural diversity that thrives in our neighborhood and surrounding communities. We recognize that we can only achieve our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment by including the skills and varied perspectives of our entire community.  To include the entire community, we must be a welcoming and inclusive organization making the conscious decision to identify and challenge racism daily. This requires on-going self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through our daily operations and plan for the future.  

The Seattle Aquarium honors our location on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, who stewarded these lands and waters for generations and continue to do so today. As an organization striving to be anti-racist, we are making ourselves more aware of how racism has affected the lived experience of Black, Indigenous and People of Color and in what ways we are playing a role in those experiences. We know that racism is systemic and has been deeply ingrained in society throughout history. We understand that too many people knowingly and unknowingly participate in racism and perpetuate white-dominant norms. Using our sphere of influence the Seattle Aquarium is actively opposing racism within our industry and communities of conservation by committing to:  

  • Facilitate mandatory in-house diversity, equity and inclusion workshops for all our staff.
  • Address internalized racial and implicit biases.
  • Commit to be a learning community that identifies, implements, and adapts best practices on how to create a welcoming and inclusive space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color staff, volunteers and guests.
  • Actively continue to evaluate and implement more inclusive hiring practices, as well as retention and promotion strategies, with the goal of our workforce representing the diverse community in which we are located.
  • Operate an institutionalized, sustainable DEI Council with the authority to guide and support the Aquarium in the application of time and resources to create an inclusive culture.

These commitments, while not an exclusive list, represent the Aquarium’s commitment to continued diversity, equity and inclusion learning and practices. The DEI work currently underway at the Seattle Aquarium is grappling with the unconscious perpetuation of inequity and reinforcement of stereotypes and implicit, or unconscious, bias. The Aquarium is currently creating a DEI strategic plan that will guide our next steps as we continue to evaluate our organization through an anti-racist and inclusive lens.

We know that there is more work to do and we are hopeful that through institutionalized, sustainable, action-oriented systems we will keep moving forward to the inclusive, anti-racist organization we strive to be. We will continue to share updates as we continue this work and we thank you for being part of the journey with us. 

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