DEIJ Assessment and Guide

Location: Chesapeake Bay Watershed | Clients: Chesapeake Bay Trust, Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and Choose Clean Water Coalition | Project Date: May 2017 – May 2019

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DEIJ in Action: A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Guide for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Project Description


In May 2017, the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT), the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network (CBFN) and the Choose Clean Water Coalition (CCWC) launched a significant, collaborative initiative to assess the state of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) among organizations working on environmental issues in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and to develop a DEIJ Guide with recommendations for how organizations working on environmental issues and the funders who support them can increase DEIJ within their organizations. This effort represents the first assessment effort of its kind within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration community.


Skeo led the project team through a DEIJ assessment and recommendations development process, including:

  • Developing an assessment framework.
  • Conducting training workshops with CBFN and CCWC.
  • Facilitating roundtable discussions with CBFN, CCWC and environmental justice leaders.
  • Conducting a survey of funders (including 25 respondents from 15 organizations) and groups working on environmental issues (including 199 respondents from 122 organizations).
  • Facilitating a dialogue with conference attendees at the 2017 and 2018 Choose Clean Water Conferences.
  • Developing recommendations to advance DEIJ within organizations and through their mission-related work in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.


The resulting DEIJ Guide provides an actionable path forward for organizations working on environmental issues in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It includes recommendations for advancing DEIJ outcomes within organizations, through environmental work and through grantmaking. The guide also identifies regional investments to amplify DEIJ outcomes and provides a roadmap to help users develop a DEIJ Action Plan. Many recommendations include a specific focus on DEIJ as it relates to communities of color and race-based disparities. This focus is intentional due to our nation’s history of race-based discrimination and the related split between the environmental movement and the environmental justice movement.

Looking ahead, CBT, CBFN, and CCWC have committed to operating as a learning community and to advancing the learning of others in this space to promote a more equitable watershed restoration movement. The DEIJ Guide codifies these efforts and allows for each member of the Chesapeake Bay community to either begin or continue efforts to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

This material is based on work supported by Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and Chesapeake Bay Trust.