Advancing DEIJ Internally
Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working to advance DEIJ by: Increasing diversity and inclusion for staff, appointees and volunteer bodies Building a common understand of and expanded capacity for DEIJ Institutionalizing efforts to advance DEIJ values and practices internally
By increasing diversity and inclusion for staff, appointees and volunteer bodies; building a common understanding of, and expanded capacity for, DEIJ; and institutionalizing efforts to advance DEIJ values and practices internally.
- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has established a Climate Resilience and Coastal Management Program Partnership with Morgan State University (MSU), which is a designated Historically Black College and University (HBCU). In 2021, five students completed paid internships with mentors that involved developing literature research summaries, communication and whitepaper materials, and compilations of identified emerging coastal management questions and program approaches.
- Departmental Units have internally developed Steering Committees, and subgroups that work from a modified “DEIJ Action Plan”. This is a blend of Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP)
Restoration from the Inside Out: A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Justice Strategy goals and Departmental goals on a unit wide scale. The committees meets quarterly in collaboration with the Office of Fair Practices, when they are able to attend, to discuss unit and Department movement on equity goals, to plan unit discussions and potential training on equity and inclusion issues, and to reach out to agency partners doing this work to align and build the network. Subgroups meet regularly to address Internal DEIJ work and Mission Related work, and there is a quarterly unit-wide meeting to provide transparent updates and accountability, and educational lessons around related topics.
- Department staff participate in a recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) Matrix Team led by Fishing and Boating Services. R3 targets license holders (i.e., fishing licenses and boat registrations and excise taxes) and is a national effort employed by fish and wildlife agencies to increase revenue that funds important conservation work. Department Staff bring working knowledge of the boating and marine services industry to the Matrix Team. R3 efforts are supported by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation which provides data and tools to diversify the participation in fishing and boating and which the Matrix Team uses strategically as grant funding
Training and Professional Development
- Maryland Park Service rangers, staff, and volunteers receive a variety of diversity and multicultural awareness training at Ranger School and onboarding orientations. These topics include equal opportunity employment, and Latino 101, and the nexus between public lands and social justice. Park Service Managers meetings also include discussion of strategies to improve diversifying the MPS workforce.
- Resource Assessment Service staff attended the airing of “Picture a Scientist” which deals with racial and gender biases within the sciences and led a discussion afterward regarding the topics identified to pass along highlights to their colleagues.
- The Maryland Natural Resources Police conducts annual training in Implicit Bias for each of its law enforcement officer.
- DNR Human Resources Services administers and presents the statewide required Sexual Harassment training continuously throughout the year to all DNR staff
Workgroups and Interest groups
- Employee interest groups, also sometimes referred to as employee affinity groups, provide individuals with common interests and identities an opportunity to come together and discuss experiences, build professional relationships, exchange ideas, explore career development opportunities, and plan office events.
- A Maryland Park Service employee-led workgroup, "The Interpreting Difficult Histories Team” works inside MPS to assess, research, enhance and update interpretive media and programs related to the under-told stories of topics like colonialism, enslavement, and segregation.
- The Natural Resources Police established a Diversity Workgroup to review processes and procedures and identify barriers to diversity efforts, the workgroup is a requirement of
SB673 that will take effect July 1, 2022. They are working to develop a plan to ensure the Goals of SB673 are complied with and will ensure the police force is reflective of the demographics it serves. They are also working to specifically identify independent resources available to assist with the development of a plan.
- The Office of the Attorney General participates in the
OAG Diversity Committee “established to foster a diverse and culturally sensitive workplace. The Committee's work is focused on four main areas: hiring and retention; events and programs; education and training; and advice and legislation.” Presently, the OAG is supporting the Black Employee Network and the LGBTQ+ Interest Group.
- The Office of the Attorney General’s Mentorship Program, like employee interest groups, also supports inclusivity and connectivity between staff. By offering various types of mentoring, including one-on-one, group, and peer-to-peer mentorship, OAG hopes to leverage the extensive body of OAG knowledge and experience to promote leadership skills and professional development across the office. Participants commit to meeting just once every quarter and are open to engaging in any number of potential areas of discussion and exchange, including but not limited to providing technical expertise, balancing work/life demands, navigating State government, and handling difficult clients and other workplace challenges.