HAMPTON, Va. (May 18, 2021) – Four Hampton University Marine and Environmental Science (MES) alumni serve leadership roles with a new non-profit called, Black in Marine Science. This non-profit group of Black marine scientists and allies organizes and coordinates an online event to engage all Black marine scientists and supporters.
“We produce the best and the brightest here at Hampton University. We love to see our alumni doing great things and making a positive impact in the world,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey
Black in Marine Science began as a week to highlight and amplify Black voices in the field and encourage younger generations, while also shedding light on the lack of diversity in marine science. After the harassment of Black birder Christian Cooper and #BlackBirdersWeek, the need for #BlackinMarineScienceWeek was evident. It started with a tweet from Dr. Tiara Moore and developed into a team of organizers putting together an online event.
“The time for racial and ocean justice is now. I think the biggest thing is that we need to stop thinking small scale. We want black people in Marine Science and we are providing the space to do that. That is my goal with Black in Marine Science,” said Founder of Black in Marine Science, Tiara Moore.
After a rewarding turnout from #BlackinMarineScienceWeek, the non-profit was created to continue highlighting and amplifying Black voices. “We hoped to have a successful week, but we were blown out of the water when we discovered that so many people were impacted by our events. We created a community of Black marine scientists that was much needed during the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Moore.
Black in Marine Science Leadership Team Members
- Dr. Tiara Moore (’13) – Founder
“I am an environmental ecologist, with a background in marine science. I currently use environmental DNA (eDNA) to conduct community biodiversity assessments. I enjoy marine science because I absolutely love asking questions and traveling to awesome locations to answer them. I am involved with #BlackInMarineScienceWeek to highlight all of the excellent Black marine scientists across the globe and dispel the history of exclusion!”
- Dr. Camille Gaynus (’14) – Chief Financial Officer
“Black in Marine Science has allowed me to work and amplify the voices of other Black marine scientists. It is something the field needs more of."
- Dr. Jeanette Davis (’08) – Chief Innovation Office
“I enjoy marine science because I love finding solutions for problems that impact humanity. I am involved with #BlackInMarineScienceWeek to promote ocean literacy and diversity, and to shift the narrative of what it looks like to be a scientist.”
- Mrs. Symone Barkley (’12) – Chief Learning Officer
“We are #BlackInMarineScience. It is not just a week. We are in this work and we deserve to share our science and expertise as widely as anyone else in the field. We are here to support one another and to tear down the systems that have traditionally left us out of the conversation.”
Black in Marine Science plans to continue to highlight and amplify Black voices while inspiring younger generations. In doing so, they will create outreach opportunities, scholarships for the youth, as well as a documentary and coffee table book highlighting Black marine scientists past and present. Their goal is to increase the diversity in marine science while also providing a place to uphold the excellent Black scientists who already exist in the field!
YouTube Channel: Black in Marine Science - YouTube