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Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Vision Statement

The Surfrider Foundation is committed to fostering a just, equitable, diverse and inclusive organization for all people who protect and enjoy the world’s ocean, waves and beaches. Our success and impact depend on learning from our community, standing in solidarity with our allies and working toward a more just future, both for our organization and the environmental movement as a whole.


Our ocean and coasts are public spaces and we believe that access to healthy and clean coasts and a vibrant ocean should be for the benefit of all people. But around the world, too many people have been excluded, disproportionately impacted, and not welcomed to our coasts. These people have been disenfranchised from decisionmaking about these shared resources.

For over four decades, Surfrider has fought for the protection and enjoyment of our coasts and ocean for all people through active engagement, but we fell short in proactively welcoming and empowering everyone to be part of our organization.

To address this shortcoming, Surfrider seeks to infuse the principles of Environmental Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) into every aspect of our work.
With JEDI principles ingrained in our work, Surfrider will become a more just and powerful organization. Diversifying our network of activists and integrating the perspectives of underserved communities helps us gain the knowledge and power to better protect the environment.

We must make these changes to further and improve the work of Surfrider and share equitably in the wealth, joy and benefits of healthy and vibrant coastal communities. To achieve that outcome, we will pursue:

Environmental Justice (EJ): .

In consultation and partnership with marginalized communities, consider the potential impacts of our work as it relates to advancing  environmental laws, regulations and policy justice outcomes for these communities. Actively seek out, listen, support and amplify mission-relevant issues that impact these communities and understand our shared challenges.  

Equity: Within our network (staff, chapters, clubs and board of directors), , equity means everyone has an equal chance at an opportunity, whether in hiring, board appointments, promotion, or professional development training. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. 

Diversity: The Surfrider Foundation will strive to ensure individuals from a  wide range of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds with different lifestyles, experiences, and interests, are hired, contracted and engaged as volunteers to represent the organization.  

Inclusion: The Surfrider Foundation will continually work to ensure that all staff, volunteers, network members and prospective network members feel welcome and that they belong. All of our leaders and employees will demonstrate behaviors that allow diverse perspectives, opinions, and experiences to be elevated, heard, appreciated and recognized.

Our Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

For over 35 years, the Surfrider Foundation has focused on grassroots organizing in communities across the U.S. to ensure that everyone has a voice when it comes to protecting and enjoying our coasts. A core tenet of our work has been to ensure the ocean, waves and beaches are safe and accessible to all people.

We are making the following commitments to elevate Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) in our work, both internally and externally. We will measure our progress and incorporate milestones into our annual report in order to hold ourselves accountable.

Core Principles

We will:

  • ensure that our work to protect and enjoy our ocean, waves and beaches is for all people.
  • embody the diversity of the communities in which we work. This is to confirm that a full range of interests are represented in our advocacy.
  • call out systemic racism and work aggressively to remove any institutional barriers that add layers of disadvantage and environmental injustice to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ communities.
  • promote openness and tackle microaggressions. There is no room for discriminatory behavior, such as bullying and harassment in our organization.
  • train managers, staff and chapter leaders to identify and address microaggressions.
  • promptly investigate every issue of discrimination, harassment and unconscious bias and take decisive action.
  • consider and address issues of environmental justice in all of our campaigns.
  • support and work together with neighboring organizations that are also fighting to protect the coastal environment in complementary arenas.

Learning & Training

We will:

  • provide training to our staff on unconscious biases and incorporate JEDI training for our board, staff and our chapter and club network.
  • distribute JEDI and LGBTQ+ educational materials, including historical information on environmental racism and bias, to share with our chapter network and staff.


We will:

  • commit to be anti-racist and anti-bias allies in support of BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented communities throughout our work.
  • engage with BIPOC and LGBTQ+  environmental experts and organizations so that our activities are informed in meeting the needs of all communities, speak to a variety of cultural requirements, and seek to remove any institutional barriers and biases we may have in our organization.
  • only participate in coalitions that meet our Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion standards
  • advocate for the greater inclusion of BIPOC and LBGTQ+- led groups.
  • create opportunities to support BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth to engage a broader set of perspectives, support emerging leaders  and build a more diverse environmental  movement.


We will:

  • use our communications platform to amplify the voices of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ by sharing their experiences and advocacy via our communications channels.
  • leverage our social media to amplify the messages of our diverse allies working on environmental and social justice issues.
  • create opportunities to support BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth to engage a broader set of perspectives, support emerging leaders and build a more diverse environmental  movement.


We will:

  • incorporate JEDI into the DNA of the Surfrider Foundation by taking actions to increase our diversity on our board and staff, in our chapter and club network and with our vendors and coalition partners.
  • mandate that a diverse pool of applicants are considered when hiring employees, contractors and vendors. We will make allowances for remote work so that office location is not a barrier.
  • use the equity and empowerment lensas a transformative tool to improve the quality of our planning, decision-making, and resource allocation, leading to more racially equitable policies, procedures, programs and activities.