Underwater view of two people scuba diving and planting coral.
Diving for Diversity Lisa K. Terry of TNC's Caribbean Program, assisted by a young, trained coral gardener, plants young staghorn corals onto damaged reefs, Grenada. © Tim Calver

Caribbean Currents Newsletter

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice at TNC in the Caribbean

In the heart of TNC’s Caribbean Division, an inspiring transformation is underway—a journey that transcends conventional conservation narratives and embraces the rich tapestry of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ). At the center of this effort lies a profound respect for people, communities, and cultures and the recognition that the success of our conservation work is inextricably linked to actively involving and empowering those whose lives are most directly impacted by it.

A cornerstone of TNC’s values is our unwavering commitment to diversity, with the aim of fostering an inclusive and equitable organization that reflects the richness of our global community. We acknowledge the intricate and nuanced nature of DEIJ, particularly in a region itself characterized by a profound diversity of people and experiences. We also recognize the importance of elevating and leveraging these unique experiences and contexts within the broader DEIJ conversation at TNC. 

Three people in a lab viewing coral under UV light.
Beauty in the Dark Three members of the group Black in Marine Science (BIMS) view coral under UV light. © Michelle Butler

Three members of the Black in Marine Science (BIMS) organization view coral under UV light at our coral lab in the Bahamas.

DEIJ as a Guiding Light

TNC's Caribbean Division has initiated a DEIJ project focusing on internal processes and staff alongside our conservation initiatives. Our journey started with a comprehensive scoping exercise seeking to characterize DEIJ issues in the Caribbean context. This exercise includes a TNC in the Caribbean staff survey, staff focus groups and interviews, along with surveys conducted with community partners in the Caribbean countries in which TNC operates. The insights gained from these engagements will inform the development of a framework and action plan to further strengthen DEIJ for both staff and community partners.

This project signifies a narrative of empowerment where stakeholders, from dedicated staff members to local partners, actively contribute to shaping a sustainable and inclusive vision for Caribbean conservation. Through this collective effort, TNC in the Caribbean aims to honor organizational aspirations, celebrate diversity and forge a path toward a more equitable, inclusive and diverse community—one that resonates with the values of the broader TNC mission. As the Caribbean Division continues this impactful work, the adoption of a people-centered approach that invites diverse voices to contribute their unique perspectives will help foster a community genuinely embodying the principles of DEIJ.