· Diversity: The practice of including the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, cultures and beliefs of the American people, including underserved communities.
· Equity: The consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment.
· Inclusion: The recognition, appreciation, and use of the talents and skills of employees of all backgrounds.
· Accessibility: The design, construction, development, and maintenance of facilities, information and communication technology, programs, and services so that all people, including people with disabilities, can fully and independently use them. Accessibility includes the provision of accommodations and modifications to ensure equal access to employment and participation in activities for people with disabilities; the reduction or elimination of physical and attitudinal barriers to equitable opportunities; a commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities can independently access every outward-facing and internal activity or electronic space; and the pursuit of best practices such as universal design.
While the overall DEIA office mission focus is to “strive to attract, recruit, develop and retain a high-quality, diverse Total Force, ensuring a culture of inclusion in order to leverage the diversity of the nation for strategic advantage in Air Force, joint and coalition operations,” three branches will execute specific diversity management and equal opportunity programs.
· Affirmative Employment (DEE): The Affirmative Employment program manager will develop action plans, implement and manage the installation’s Affirmative Employment Program and the Air Force special emphasis programs. This branch includes the Disability Program manager who will communicate the needs of individuals with disabilities and information relevant to ensuring Air Force compliance with affirmative employment initiatives and federal law, including barrier and trend analysis and subsequent recommendations for eliminating unlawful employment practices and procedures.
· Equal Opportunity (DEH): This office will work to ensure equal opportunity compliance, provide proactive human relations services and champion the Air Force policy of zero tolerance for unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment for all agency employees, Air Force members and tenants.
· Resource Advocacy (DER): Resource advocacy will lead strategic communication and other messaging to highlight diversity and inclusion value at the individual, organizational and operational levels.
“The DEIA office continues to grow and evolve as the mission dictates. However, regardless of our acronym or name, our mission will remain the same: remove all barriers to ensure that all of our Airmen; regardless of military or civilian status, can achieve and succeed,” said Tickle.
For more information on the DEIA mission and to reach the specific program leads, individuals can reach out to Tickle. Airmen and civilians are encouraged to also work with center and installation program leads for additional information.