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Diversity and Inclusion Council generates positive change

  • Published
  • By Capt. Monique Roux
  • 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, Public Affairs

Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. stated “I want the wisdom and knowledge to lead, participate in, and listen to necessary conversations on racism, diversity and inclusion. I want the wisdom and knowledge to lead those willing to take committed and sustained action to make our Air Force better.”

This is what led the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing to stand up its own Diversity and Inclusion Council, focused on building an environment where all Red Tails can thrive and rise to their maximum potential by embracing equality, removing barriers and developing pathways to achieve positive change.

To succeed in these objectives, the council facilitates weekly discussions focused on diversity and empowerment, creating a space for Red Tails to openly share personal experiences and different perspectives.

“The weekly discussions offer a neutral platform for Red Tails to engage in meaningful conversations that shape each other’s perspectives and provide an opportunity to discuss issues that impact them personally and professionally,” said Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan, 332d AEW public affairs superintendent and outgoing council chair. “Discussions rotate through a variety of topics every week. Over the past several months we have talked about generational differences, communication styles, sexual identification, dating barriers, unconscious and implicit biases, and socioeconomic differences.”

In addition to hosting weekly meetings, the council is responsible for properly educating the wing and honoring federal observances.

“The events and information on each federal observance shared by this council has had a resounding impact on our Red Tail community,” Goonan said.

To date, the council has hosted special observance engagements to bring 332d AEW Airmen together honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Black History month, Women’s History month, the week-long Holocaust Days of Remembrance and Asian American Pacific Islander month.

“Our council members have hosted 5K’s, paint-and-sips, T-wall paintings, zoom keynote speakers, dance lessons and even a Luau to bring our members together,” she explained. “The turnout has been incredible for every event.”

In addition to hosting a variety of events, the council publishes timely newsletters that educate the masses on the historical context of each special observance, tying it back to the mission.

“We know not everyone will attend a meeting or have an interest in participating in planned events,” said Goonan. “Some individuals prefer to read verses participate and the newsletter bridges that gap. We are careful to craft fact-based newsletters with a military connection that relates to the observance being highlighted.”

Fostering a deeply-rooted culture of inclusion and having a deeper understanding of what makes our Air Force diverse and formidable equips 332d AEW Airmen to continue flawlessly generating, executing and sustaining combat air power.

Black History month newsletter
Women's History month newsletter
Holocaust Days of Remembrance newsletter 
Asian American Pacific Islander newsletter