DAF awards Malmstrom AFB council as 2021 D&I Team of Year

Diversity means having a variety of people who are different from one another, but equity and inclusion means those differences are accounted for, embraced and even celebrated.

Malmstrom Air Force Base‘s Diversity and Inclusion Council was recognized as the Air Force’s 2021 D&I Team of the Year, Jan. 12.

Master Sgt. Darnell Dobson, D&I program manager, explained that in addition to their ongoing work of fostering an environment of equity and inclusion and continuing the base’s long-standing observances, in 2021 the council initiated the first Pride Month events at Malmstrom AFB and the first Juneteenth celebration in the city of Great Falls.

The Juneteenth celebration and city-wide holiday proclamation was the biggest coordinated effort between the council and the local community in 2021, and Dobson said the relationship grew throughout the year.

The council also worked with the local community to establish three historical land markers, raise funds for special observances, and rename a section of the public library in honor of Alma Jacobs.

“With the ties that we have with the community and everything we’ve been doing, it’s encouraged them to want to be educated and they are even putting on a racial equity workshop,” Master Sgt. Rachael Dobson, D&I deputy program manager.

The team was even invited to be part of the interview process for the local police department and give input on what questions could be asked to help hire people that value and respect diversity.

“They came to us because they value the D&I team,” Dobson said. “They asked us, ‘What do you think we should be asking? We’re seeing a lot of issues happening in the world and we don’t want that to happen in Great Falls.'”

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