The Department of the Air Force published its first enterprise-wide Diversity & Inclusion Resource List July 17 intended to support commanders and other Air Force leaders in conducting challenging conversations about race, unconscious bias, and systemic prejudices that Airmen and Space Professionals face every day.
“Our Chief of Staff, Gen. Goldfein, shared how two things happened with the brutal killing of George Floyd,” said Brig. Gen. Troy Dunn, Air Force director of military force policy and director of the Department of the Air Force’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. “One, something broke on the streets of America, and America responded as Americans do, which is to gather together and protest a wrong. Two, something broke loose in the Department of the Air Force. This is the opportunity for us to make long-term, meaningful, and lasting change. We start by having courageous conversations.”
To equip leaders in leading those necessary conversations, the Department of the Air Force developed a resource list on race-specific issues, unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, among others. The list provides impactful information to facilitate listening sessions and build a foundation about diversity in organizations and American society, since both diversity and inclusion are important to mission success.
“We must arm our forces with the insights and perspectives of how they can first and foremost be empathetic leaders, and then through the use of that foundational leadership trait, leverage diverse personnel and an inclusive culture to innovate and be ready to combat our adversaries wherever they challenge us,” said Lt. Col. Angel Lugo, education and training chief, of the Air Force Diversity and Inclusion Division.
The Department leadership and the Task Force received feedback from the field requesting additional resources for follow-on listening and sensing sessions. This resource list is the first of several tools being developed about diversity and inclusion for use by commanders, first sergeants, instructors, recruiters, and other Airmen and Space Professionals.
“This is only one step in what we intend to offer to leaders so they become more comfortable when discussing issues about race, diversity, inclusion, and any other topic that may arise,” Dunn said. “These conversations help to build trust across the force.”