Leaders speak on diversity, inclusion

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Col. Katrina Stephens, installation commander, and Chief Master Sgt. William Hebb, installation command chief, discussed diversity and inclusion during a recorded message to the workforce Aug. 24.

The senior leaders, who both arrived at Hanscom earlier this summer, called on the members of the installation to take an “introspective look” at themselves to incite change.

“We arrived here during unusual times,” said Stephens. “Not only are we navigating a global pandemic, but we’re wrestling with the challenges of a diverse nation and the need for all of us to feel equal and included.”

Hebb highlighted diversity, strength and inclusion; and likened them to the Air Force core values.

“Our personal integrity is our conviction that all persons are created equal, and must be treated with dignity and respect,” said Hebb. “Secondly, selfless service is what gives us the intrinsic motivation to be engaged and get it right. When we’re selfless, we can truly listen to others and respect their beliefs and perspectives.”

Hebb addressed “excellence in all we do” by challenging each member of Team Hanscom to strive for an inclusive, fair and diverse military and community.

“This is a total force effort,” said Hebb. “It’s going to take every member, regardless of the uniform they put on each day, to support diversity and inclusion.”

Stephens acknowledged that a culture shift will not happen overnight, nor will it be an easy task, but that she and the command chief will continue their work to keep the dialogue going.

“Standing by idly is a direct contrast to our values,” said Stephens. “A lack of acting or speaking up sends the message ‘that’s OK,’ and it’s not. Not here in our community, and not in our Air Force.”