The third annual Black in Marine Science (BIMS) Week begins on Sunday, November 27. An endorsed activity of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science, these week-long celebrations amplify Black marine scientists and their ongoing work.
The first BIMS week occurred in 2020, after footage of Black birder Christian Cooper being harassed in Central Park went viral. The second iteration of the BIMS conference occurred towards the end of 2021 and expanded to include 35 programs with 85 speakers. It also ended with the BIMS Ball, which intertwined Black culture and science in a virtual, highfalutin affair. As of 2022, BIMS spans 28 countries, produces four YouTube series, and has events throughout the year for members to get involved while also onboarding the next generation of marine scientists.
“Black In Marine Science has grown from a tweet to a nonprofit organization with a $400,000 operating budget which we aim to double next year. I think the world has realized we are here to stay and our continued impact makes that clear,” says BIMS CEO, Dr. Tiara Moore. “Not only will we change the face of who people see as scientists, [but] we will finally include, protect, and inspire the communities most impacted by the ocean itself.”
This third BIMS week is slated to be the biggest one yet. This year’s theme is “Marine Science is Lit”, aiming to show that a career studying and protecting the ocean can be joyful and fulfilling. It launches with an international day of service entitled #BIMSSweepsTheBeach, with 17 coastal clean-up sites that include Belize, South Africa, and the USA.
“BIMS and BIMS Week are safe spaces for Black people who love the ocean. I am excited each day focuses on a different community from the youth to grad students to early career scientists to government workers,” says BIMS Week leader Chanté Lively, “I hope on December 3rd, after all the festivities end, people leave feeling more connected to each other, all the ways they can interact with the ocean, & how lit marine science is.”
To support Black in Marine Science Week this year as a non-Black ally, you can share events with your community and donate.