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Air University - Diversity and Inclusion

1.    As the Intellectual and Leadership Development Center of the Air and Space Forces, Air University must embrace an approach within our institution that deliberately integrates Diversity & Inclusion efforts into our culture and demonstrates their value as force multipliers.  Such efforts will provide a collection of strengths, perspectives, and capabilities that transcend individual contributions and will strengthen our institution as well as provide long-term viability to our mission of educating and developing Air, Space, and Cyberspace warrior leaders!
 

2.    The Air Force policy on diversity and inclusion is published in AFPD 36-70, Diversity and Inclusion, dated 16 October 2008, and AFI 36-7001, Diversity and Inclusion, dated 19 February 2019.  Simply stated, the Air Force defines diversity as a composite of individual characteristics, experiences, and abilities.  It includes but is not limited to: personal life experiences, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural knowledge, educational background, work experience, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender.  Inclusion, is the process of creating a culture where all members of an organization are free to make their fullest contributions to the success of the group, and where there are no unnecessary barriers to success.
 

3.    In order to facilitate our goals, I have established a Diversity and Inclusion Council that will develop and maintain comprehensive initiatives grounded upon mutual respect among all personnel that will leverage the diverse talents and perspectives of all Airmen and Space Professionals.  I have also directed leaders to initiate conversations with faculty, staff, and students regarding diversity and inclusion.  These discussions will help inform our next steps and allow for a safe sharing of perspectives that may have previously gone unstated.  As with any initiative, those initial conversations must then be followed-up with tangible tactics to break down barriers and improve diversity and inclusion.
 

4.    I expect commanders at all levels to set the tone for inclusive-minded approaches in daily operations.  During commander led discussions, it is imperative that you create an environment where all personnel feel safe to talk about these difficult issues.  Likewise, I expect all Airmen and Space Professionals, both military and civilian, to work to create an inclusive organizational culture and to do so as a reflection of the Air Force's core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do.  I ask that you endeavor to discuss diversity and inclusion subjects that concern or confuse you with your supervisors and commanders in a meaningful way.
 

5.    We will ensure Air University is a place where people of all colors, genders, races, religions and orientations feel valued and empowered to draw on their differences to develop and solve tomorrow's problems.  We will cultivate this environment of mutual respect and demonstrate the many benefits associated with becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization.

 

 

JAMES B. HECKER
Lieutenant General, USAF
Commander and President