For those that are new, we are very excited to have you on board. For those who are returning D&I representatives, welcome back!
Our way forward is very simple. We want to get dialogue about Diversity and Inclusion flowing. There will continue to be yearly data calls (after action reports on your installations' D&I events) from HAF, as there always has been. However, ACC will focus on establishing a forum that will facilitate broader, free-flowing communication to address barriers to diversity (which we define as including but not limited to: personal life experiences, geographic background, socioeconomic background, cultural knowledge, educational background, work background, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender). The forum we have chosen to go with is LeanIn.org.
In September 21, 2015, the DoD partnered with Leanln.Org as a commitment to recruiting and retaining the very best of the Nation's talent by harnessing the strengths inherent in its diverse workforce. Leanln.Org offers the support structures to better leverage those strengths and to encourage diverse leadership. Leanln.Org is a nonprofit organization founded by Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, to empower women to achieve their ambitions. While the site was originally founded to encourage communication and identification of obstructions to women in the workplace, it has expanded to include all aspects of diversity. In this end, Air Combat Command has decided to adopt this form as its home for all things D&I.
Your D&I councils will operate similarly to familiar special interest groups on base such as CGOC, Top III, and so on, in that the work load will be determined by you and your members (and your Installation Commander/Vice Commander, who is the OPR for the installation D&I programs). Lean In Circles are allowed to meet monthly, for a reasonable duration before, after or during work hours, and to make reasonable use of DoD spaces such as conference rooms, meeting areas, and break rooms. The Lean In forum will facilitate communication from us to you, you to your members, and you and other ACC installation D&I councils. It has a library of useful documents (to include funding information and our upcoming strategic plan). It has a forum where you all can post insightful articles on D&I, for the community to read, etc. The site is also available to you on work computers, home devices, and mobile phones, making it accessible in most environments. This will enable us more efficient and fluid communication as we work across joint bases and even when connecting with non-military affiliated members in the community.
What we ask from you as the installation chairperson is to go to http://leanin.org/ and register. Find the 'ACC Diversity and Inclusion' chapter, and create a circle for your installation under this chapter. When creating the name for your circle, please include 'your installation name' and 'Diversity and Inclusion' so members seeking to join understand it is a D&I circle, and not the generic Lean-In circle (which is generally oriented to women). Joint Base Langley-Eustis has already established a circle within the chapter.
This is just Step 1. Our next steps are to set-up a telecom to communicate our vision/expectations of you and to hear your expectations of us. Following this, we will send our draft Strategic Plan to you all and solicit any input or changes you would like to see. We want to ensure our Strategic Plan captures the D&I goals unique to ACC via your input. Our aim is to publish the Plan with COMACC’s signature this spring. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 757-504-6066.
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