Request for Proposals

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

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Statement of Purpose:

Blue Water Baltimore, a Baltimore-based environmental non-profit seeks an experienced Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) consultant to: 1) assist Blue Water’s staff and board members in understanding the role that environmental injustice, equity, diversity and inclusion play in our organization’s work and the communities we collaborate with; and 2) equip staff and board with the means to incorporate JEDI values into all aspects of our organization’s work.


About Blue Water Baltimore

Blue Water Baltimore’s (BWB) mission is to restore the quality of Baltimore’s rivers, streams and harbor to foster a healthy environment, a strong economy and thriving communities. Find more about our organization here.

We are a small non-profit with a majority white staff and board. The City of Baltimore is a majority African American city with a long history of segregation, redlining and environmental injustice.

BWB staff and board leadership have made learning about and exploring issues of environmental injustice, diversity, equity and inclusion a priority with the goal of applying these insights to the organization’s work with the Baltimore community and with each other.

We have funding through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to engage in organization-wide training and planning to understand and work against racism and environmental injustice in our organization and sector. 


Scope of Work

 1) Needs assessment 

This assessment will identify the board and staff’s understanding and attitudes toward JEDI concepts, and will inform the consultant’s recommendation on how best to substantively proceed. With this input, the consultant will recommend whether board and staff meet separately or together and whether there be subgroups of staff given respective responsibilities or other groupings based on various identities.

2) Training

Conduct training so that our board and staff:

  • Have a common understanding of the words justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and environmental justice.
  • Understand implicit (unconscious) bias, and how it influences individual, group and organizational decisions;
  • Understand the concepts of race/racism/structural racism and its history in Baltimore/the East Coast;
  • Understand perspectives of the colonized and how colonial ideals perpetuate differences in the structural environment;
  • Understand the impact that structural racism has on environmental justice and the barriers it presents to non-profits, partners and funders;
  • Understand how we as an organization perpetuate these systems and behaviors that reinforce injustice;
  • Understand what BWB must do to be culturally responsive and more deeply understanding of the communities that we work with including those that experience environmental racism;
  • Understand how the interconnected nature of social power structures such as racism, sexism, ageism, and classism create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage; and the impact this has on BWB’s work within the community and with each other whether staff or board members.

3) Planning

  1. Identify strategies that BWB can apply to address implicit bias in our policies and practices.
  2. Identify tools/methods that BWB can use when working with community partners to ensure the best equitable outcome in every project or interaction.
  3. Assist BWB in creating a plan to ensure that JEDI concepts are an integral part of BWB’s values and develop solutions to address systemic barriers within our own organizations.


Consultant Qualifications

The consultant should have: 1) the capacity and experience to work with an environmental group seeking to increase its commitment to sustained JEDI work; 2) an understanding of Baltimore’s history of racism and segregation; 3) experience working with staff and board members; and 4) experience doing the work virtually should this be required.   We also request consent to allow presentations to be recorded, when appropriate, so they can be shared with future employees and board members.


BWB anticipates having a phone conversation with 2-3 candidates for this work in the first weeks of February, 2021 and selecting a consultant to begin work with a needs assessment in March, 2021.  The full scope of work for Phases 1 and 2 should be completed by February, 2022, with phase 3 continuing through 2022. BWB may choose to contract initially for Phase 1 (needs assessment) and separately for Phases 2 and 3.

Response Requested

If you are interested in being considered for this work, submit a proposal outlining your qualifications, relevant race equity project and consulting experience, and your approach to the process described herein by January 31st. If you are interested in working with us but unable to meet this deadline or timeframe, please reach out to Leanna Powell via [email protected]

The proposal should refer to similar projects that focus on race and equity. The budget should not exceed $30,000. The proposal should be emailed to: [email protected]