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TIDAL Toolkit

Towards Inclusion, Diversity, And Leadership in Ocean Conservation: Your online hub providing open access career resources, guides, and opportunities for youth in ocean conservation!

Project Details

Project dates
02/01/2024  – 02/01/2025
Vancouver, BC, Canada

MJ Herrin

Project Lead

Empowering & inspiring BIPOC youth to make waves of change, TIDAL Toolkit is a hub for resources, guides, and inspiration to help kickstart your journey into the world of ocean conservation. Whether you're a curious student or simply an ocean enthusiast, TIDAL toolkit is a curated collection of knowledge to help you navigate your potential, explore opportunities, and start making an impact in your community!

Project Description

TIDAL Toolkit is a specialized online hub dedicated to providing career resources, guides, and an opportunity network tailored for BIPOC youth interested in pursuing a future in ocean conservation.

While TIDAL Toolkit is available to all, our resources are specifically designed for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth who are passionate about ocean conservation and looking for guidance and opportunities in the field.

Marine conservation spaces have traditionally been, and remain, non-diverse environments with many barriers to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. These barriers disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC). Supporting BIPOC entry into conservation spaces is crucial for enhancing innovation, cross-cultural exchange, and effective implementation of marine conservation policies.

Overcoming these challenges requires promoting inclusive policies, supporting education and mentorship, fostering diverse research collaborations, advocating for change, creating safe spaces, integrating Indigenous & traditional knowledge, and continuously evaluating and adjusting strategies.

As a Filipino & 2SLGTBQIA+ individual, I am passionate about creating safe, diverse, and inclusive spaces for under-represented and marginalized groups, especially in the areas of ecology, conservation, & restoration. I wanted to create TIDAL toolkit because it is something that I wish I had access to when I first started looking for opportunities and trying to break into the world of research/conservation. My hope for TIDAL Toolkit is that it helps those who feel like “the only __” in their work or conservation spaces, and that it encourages all young ocean enthusiasts to start exploring what their unique perspective can bring to the table and what they can accomplish for themselves and their communities!

What was your biggest challenge?

While I have experience making social media graphics & managing instagram accounts, this was my first project building a squarespace website! I had a lot of fun coming up with branding & a cohesive look, but I definitely had some technical difficulties and confusion navigating how to build pages and embed my resources into the site.

Additionally, when compiling information for guides and such, it was interesting to be reminded of how information & articles can be so inaccessible – many times articles were locked behind paywalls & couldn’t be reached without institutional access! While I was lucky enough to still have my login information from university, it definitely inspired a future guide idea on how to do literature reviews & access journal articles.

What was your most valuable takeaway?

Through this project, I’ve been able to learn even more about the challenges & barriers that BIPOC individuals face in conservation spaces. I brainstormed the initial resources on the website based off of my personal journey & experiences in the Biology co-op program at UBC and switching into marine sciences & conservation later in my degree. As I began writing, I was quickly reminded that I have been quite privileged to have had these post-secondary opportunities & build relevant experiences through classwork and labs. I thus decided to structure my templates as ‘basics’ (such as how to build a resume from scratch) so that any youth, but particularly those who have little to no relevant experience, can learn to structure their documents in a way that best tells the “story” of their passions & transferable skills.

I want to take time to recognize that Black and Indigenous people are more impacted by systemic racism than other groups. While I have done my best to try and structure these resources for BIPOC youth, my perspective & experiences are certainly not reflective of all groups that fall under the umbrella of BIPOC and I am always open to conversation & suggestions about how to grow and improve. In the near future, I hope to expand the website to include resources & readings on intersectionality, EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion), anti-racism, and allyship, and I hope to keep amplifying BIPOC opportunities & initiatives on the @tidaltoolkit instagram!

TIDAL Toolkit

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