commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility (DEIJA)
The Department of Oceanography is committed to department-wide, shared responsibility for creating a just, equitable, and inclusive culture that:
Our commitment to DEIJA is not only an ethical obligation. We recognize that diversity of thought and experience promotes scientific progress; that local and Indigenous ways of knowing are valued and belong in our classrooms and laboratories; and inclusive hiring practices ensure that the most talented individuals join us in pursuit of our mission. In short, we recognize that diversity makes our department stronger and produces better science.
We also acknowledge the history of Hawaiʻi and Native Hawaiian oppression, including awareness of the racism underlying the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and we are committed to actualizing an anti-racist, anti-discriminatory workplace.
Find out more about our DEIJA efforts below.
Please consider a gift to the Oceanography Diversity Fund to support DEIJA efforts in our department.
From department leadership
“Hoʻokahi nō lā o ka malihini — A stranger only for a day”— ʻŌlelo Noʻeau
A key component of the Department’s DEIJA strategy is our work toward the University’s goal of becoming a Native Hawaiian place of learning. Hoʻokahi nō lā o ka malihini means “A stranger only for a day”, which embodies our expectation that everyone in our community contribute to this effort. After one day as a guest, one must help with the work, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau.
Centering the work of our department in Native Hawaiian values is foundational to our approaches to student success and positions us to best serve the needs of Hawaiʻi through community outreach, extension, and engagement. We also understand that community-focused efforts require building relationships based on consultation, consent, and trust.
efforts and accountability
The Department of Oceanography is committed to action, and accountability is key to ensuring that substantive progress is made. Learn more about our efforts by exploring the areas of focus below, and note the accountability measures designed to keep us on track.
DEIJA efforts in Oceanography are currently led by an Interim iDEIJA committee, which was formed in response to a letter sent to the department by the Diversity and Inclusion in Marine Science for Underrepresented Minorities (DIMSUM) group composed of students, postdocs, and staff in the Oceanography and Marine Biology departments. The faculty response to the DIMSUM letter outlined a number of initiatives, including the formation of this committee, with the goal of creating a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, welcoming and supportive environment. Additional initiatives are outlined in subsequent tabs.
The primary purpose of the Interim DEIJA committee is to lead the department’s effort to obtain support for a full-time DEIJA professional (see “Doing the Work” tab). The committee will also initiate efforts to improve department culture and DEIJA literacy. The “interim” descriptor acknowledges that creating inclusive culture and eliminating institutional racism is hard work requiring the attention of a dedicated professional. At such time that a full-time DEIJA position is created and filled, leadership of these efforts will be transferred from the committee to the professional, with a permanent DEIJA committee continuing in a support and advisory role.
The current committee is composed of four faculty, one staff member, one graduate student (a representative from Nā Kama Kai), and one outside advisor. The committee also receives input from the department chair and DIMSUM.
See the “Contact” tab for the current committee composition and email addresses for committee members and DIMSUM.
Substantive change requires a lot of work, and we recognize that one person (or even one department) cannot do it all. Multiple members of the Department of Oceanography are investing time and effort in support of DEIJA, and we are working across departments and schools within the university to learn from each other and pool resources.
To learn more about who is doing the work and what is being done, please reach out to the Interim DEIJA committee and/or the Diversity and Inclusion in Marine Science for Underrepresented Minorities (DIMSUM) for more information. See the “Contact” tab for how to get in touch.
If you would like to learn more about DEIJA in the Department of Oceanography, please reach out to members of the Interim DEIJA committee (in alphabetical order):
- Seth Bushinsky (email@example.com), Assistant Professor
- Alexus Cazares (firstname.lastname@example.org), Graduate Student
- Jennifer Engels (email@example.com), Outside Advisor, Oregon State University
- Phil Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Assistant Professor
- Sherrill Leon Soon (email@example.com), Postdoctoral Fellow
You can also reach out directly to the Diversity and Inclusion in Marine Science for Underrepresented Minorities (DIMSUM) group at firstname.lastname@example.org. This group is composed of students, postdocs, and staff in the Oceanography and Marine Biology departments.