Statement of Justice, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

MARISA is committed to justice through the pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) as fundamental principles guiding our climate adaptation research, outreach, and education. Our efforts aim to foster a sense of belonging for students, researchers, policymakers, resource managers, businesses, and local community members working to address the impacts of climate variability and change in the Mid-Atlantic region. Our core values include: (1) respecting differences; (2) cultivating dialog, learning, and growth; (3) demonstrating integrity; and (4) being transparent and accountable. We incorporate these values into our research designs and all aspects of our work.

MARISA’s approach to justice critically examines the pre-existing conditions and power imbalances that influence access to decision-making procedures and resources. We define equity to include the inter-related dimensions of how environmental, social, and economic benefits and costs are distributed; which stakeholders are recognized, represented, and included; and the pre-existing conditions that influence access to decisionmaking procedures and resources. We define diversity as differences in characteristics, perspectives, and resources across individuals and communities. Inclusion means openly and respectfully discussing issues concerning DEIB in an environment of involvement and connection. We recognize a need to build a sense of belonging, fostering relationships that support growth and understanding. MARISA is committed to comprehensive assessments of climate-related challenges and responsive strategies for climate adaptation efforts at all levels.

Consistent with the commitment expressed by NOAA and the RISA program to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the practice of science, MARISA recognizes multiple opportunities to promote these principles. Examples of ways in which we intentionally address these principles in our communities of focus and other activities include

  • identifying and addressing the needs of vulnerable groups
  • broadening participation of under-represented groups
  • building a diverse team with strong commitments to our core values
  • training a future workforce equipped with the skills and desire to incorporate DEIB principles
  • evaluating equity performance through community-derived indicators
  • seeking commitments by RAND and MARISA partner institutions to embed DEIB principles.