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DEIJ Strategy Contractor

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy

Contractor
Arlington, VA, USA · Remote
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2023

SUPPORTING OYSTER AQUACULTURE & RESTORATION PROGRAM

SCOPE OF WORK FOR SOAR DEIJ INITIATIVE

Opportunity

The Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR) program is seeking a contractor to assist in developing a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) strategic plan to guide SOAR in advancing the leadership of underserved communities already involved in aquaculture and restoration, co-create opportunities where they do not already exist, and cultivate and retain a more diverse workforce. The contractor will be responsible for completing an assessment to identify underserved communities in the aquaculture industry, organizing and leading outreach across targeted geographies, assisting the SOAR team in developing a pipeline of fundable and impactful projects, and contributing information for the SOAR team to develop a strategic plan.

Background

Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, onthe-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters, and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners.

Starting in 2020 as a COVID-19 relief program and created in collaboration with The Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew), SOAR supports a resilient oyster industry and leverages aquaculture for direct oyster reef restoration. The SOAR program to date has had two key areas of strategic focus, including 1) purchasing farmed native oysters and placing them in nearby oyster restoration projects, providing an additional income stream for growers and aiding in reef recovery; and 2) providing resiliency grants to native shellfish growers and aligned organizations to further collaborative marine conservation efforts and foster economic opportunities for native shellfish farming in the U.S. More information is available here: www.tnc.org/soar.

Position Overview

Building off the success of the initial program, TNC and Pew relaunched SOAR in February 2023 to incorporate a third area of strategic focus: to co-create opportunities for restorative aquaculture and restoration with underserved communities. The goal of the new SOAR DEIJ Initiative will be to identify and fund several of these opportunities as pilot projects. SOAR is currently defining underserved communities as socially vulnerable and marginalized groups who have been sidelined or faced WORLDWIDE OFFICE 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100 Arlington, VA 22203 Phone (703) 841-5300 Fax (703) 555-1111 nature.org discrimination due to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This body of work will focus on race and ethnicity as a starting point for our overall DEIJ initiative. SOAR is defining restorative aquaculture as commercial or subsistence aquaculture that provides direct ecological benefits to the environment, with the potential to generate net-positive environmental outcomes.

The contractor will be responsible for two (2) primary tasks. Task one (1) is to complete an assessment to identify and understand selected (see above) underserved communities and their interests. Task two (2) is to conduct outreach across the initiative’s targeted US geographies to help inform the SOAR DEIJ strategic plan and identify projects to potentially be funded by the SOAR DEIJ Initiative. SOAR envisions these projects will grow participation of underserved communities involved in aquaculture and restoration, co-create opportunities with communities new to this space and interested in getting involved, as well as cultivating and retaining a more diverse workforce. Through these tasks, the contractor will help inform the development of a SOAR DEIJ strategic plan and also provide overarching guidance to SOAR, with coordination between the various SOAR DEIJ Initiative workstreams.

Tasks and Deliverables

  1. Complete an assessment to better understand and identify underserved communities in the aquaculture industry. a. This assessment should gather known information on underrepresented demographics (i.e., Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander) and their representation within the shellfish aquaculture industry and restoration efforts to inform the SOAR DEIJ Initiative. The assessment should be informed through the activities included below (b-d) and include a literature and media review to provide supplementary information if warranted. b. Hold at least four (4) conversations with TNC and Pew staff to better understand their engagement to date related to aquaculture and shellfish restoration. These interviews may include but are not limited to staff from: TNC Global Aquaculture, TNC State Chapters, Pew’s U.S. Conservation project, and the SOAR DEIJ Initiative Working Team. c. Interview at least four (4) managing agencies (I.e., federal and state) and four (4) industry leaders (I.e., associations and members) to better understand demographic composition and geographic representation of the underserved communities. d. Identify leaders within promising geographies who could potentially liaise on SOAR’s behalf with underserved communities if deemed appropriate.

  2. Conduct outreach (I.e., listening sessions, interviews, or some other to be determined activity) to better understand status and challenges for underserved communities to engage in aquaculture and restoration and these industries to retain a more diverse workforce. This outreach will help inform the SOAR DEIJ strategic plan and identify projects to potentially be funded by the SOAR DEIJ WORLDWIDE OFFICE 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100 Arlington, VA 22203 Phone (703) 841-5300 Fax (703) 555-1111 nature.org Initiative. This includes all pre-activity logistics, including but not limited to securing venues, issuing invitations, and managing RSVPs, preparing agendas and other materials, and ensuring feedback is accurately recorded. a. Work with the SOAR DEIJ Initiative Working Team and Advisory Committee to identify the goals and outcomes for the community engagement, such as, but not limited to where and how the engagement takes place, keeping in mind inclusivity and accessibility requirements. b. Develop questions and other materials with the SOAR DEIJ Initiative Working Team and Advisory Committee. c. Hold listening sessions (or interviews or other activity to be determined) to listen to leadership of underserved communities involved in aquaculture and restoration to better understand status and challenges cultivating and retaining a more diverse workforce. d. Provide written reports/summaries that capture key learnings and themes, and a final report that synthesizes learnings from all engagement activities with recommendations. e. Attend regionally relevant meetings (e.g., National Shellfisheries Association Annual Meeting, Oyster South Symposium, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association annual meeting, etc.)

  3. In coordination with TNC and Pew staff, present a report with recommendations that help inform the development of a pipeline of impactful projects for funding. a. Work with the DEIJ Initiative Working Team and Advisory Committee to develop key parameters of the SOAR DEIJ Initiative awards, i.e., project requirements, eligible applicants, project types, evaluation criteria, etc.

  4. Provide guidance and expertise to TNC and Pew staff as it relates to SOAR.

  5. Attend meetings of the SOAR DEIJ Initiative Working Team and Advisory Committee.

  6. Participate in coordination calls with TNC and Pew staff, with an expectation of at least monthly, and provide short, progress reports to staff throughout the project as needed.

  7. Conduct other activities as mutually agreed to by contracted parties.

  8. Adhere to TNC policy on engaging with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities or IPLC.

Desired Qualifications

• Demonstrated experience developing DEIJJ strategic plans and the ability to think about this application across an industry.

• Demonstrated experience engaging with local communities and facilitating meaningful conversations.

• Knowledge of, or willingness to learn, about the U.S. unfed aquaculture industry. To

Apply

• Please provide a CV and cost estimate to SOAR@tnc.org. Applicant materials will be reviewed on a rolling basis until 8/18/2023.

The Nature Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.