Drawing on the strengths of this immigrant workforce that hailed from places like Cape Verde, Guatemala, Norway, Nova Scotia, Vietnam, and Portugal – the Port of New Bedford has grown to become the most valuable fishing port in the country. As we begin to welcome offshore renewable energy to our waterfront, let us not forget that New Bedford and its diverse immigrant workers “lit the world” as whalemen generations ago.
Like the days of whaling, New Bedford is once again at the center of an ocean industry that promises wealth and prosperity for its citizens. We have the responsibility of ensuring that the City of New Bedford’s history and diverse communities are preserved and strengthened as this burgeoning industry develops.
The NBOC established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee as a first step to solidify our commitment advancing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive marine economy in greater New Bedford and to ensure our actions to advance DEI in New Bedford’s marine economy is informed and supported by the community.
The Committee is responsible for planning, creating, and promoting policies and procedures across all aspects of the NBOC that encourage and support equal access, opportunity, and inclusion for underrepresented groups in New Bedford’s marine industries. By listening, learning, and active engagement, we strive to create a vibrant marine economy that reflects New Bedford’s historically rich and diverse community.
To that end, the NBOC aims to:
- Remove barriers to entry for underrepresented groups.
- Educate, inform, and connect the local community.
- Promote workforce development and training opportunities widely.
- Create a diverse and equitable supply chain and procurement systems.
- Advance and promote safeguards and accountability measures that ensure economic justice and empowerment.