AUSTIN, Texas – The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Directorate at Army Futures Command strives to ensure that every employee has the opportunity to bring their full and best self to the workplace.
“The Army is leading the charge on Diversity and Outreach – hands down,” said Lakreisha Johnson, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Division Chief and Acting Deputy Director of the DEI Directorate.
“It’s really exciting to see it, to participate in it, and to know that you’re going into an organization that basically has a blueprint for appreciating the many different facets of human beings that make up the world we live in. And we want to bring all that diversity that’s out there in the world into our organization, because that’s where we’re going to get our talent.”
“I agree 100 percent,” said Sgt. 1st Class Corey Walker, DEI Directorate Military Equal Opportunity Advisor, of the Army’s commitment to DEI. “If you look at history, the Army has led Diversity and Inclusion, way before anyone else did.”
“I think we are still leading the charge,” Walker added, noting how the Army continually seeks to understand “the way that the upcoming generation is thinking, and how we can make them better Soldiers for tomorrow.”
Johnson, Walker and their teammates – including EEO and Diversity Director Dr. Victoria Dixon, who has decades of dedicated experience in the DEI realm – manage multiple initiatives designed to ensure that Army Futures Command staff and their families feel supported and protected, and that any conflicts or misunderstandings that occur between colleagues are addressed fairly and productively.
DEI Directorate staff serve as principal advisors to command leadership on EEO and Diversity; provide staff with an avenue for registering DEI-related complaints and concerns; facilitate mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution; host tailored focus groups; ensure proper workplace accommodations for individuals with disabilities; and conduct trainings to increase awareness of issues and opportunities for more inclusive and equitable approaches.
Members of the DEI Directorate also support the command’s personnel recruitment efforts and plan and execute a variety of educational outreach activities, many of which highlight the unique contributions of different cultural groups to the Army. Recent events organized by the directorate include a Women’s History Month panel and National American Indian Heritage Month observance, while upcoming events are scheduled for Holocaust Days of Remembrance, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride Month, Juneteenth, Women’s Equality Day, National Hispanic Heritage Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. More recently, the DEI Directorate is planning a series of Professional Development panels, featuring guest panelist from across the Army and other organizations.
More broadly, the DEI Directorate champions Equal Opportunity and fair treatment for military personnel, family members and Department of the Army Civilians alike, specifically addressing “work-related circumstances surrounding race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origins,” Walker explained. The work of the directorate takes place across headquarters and throughout the command, supporting 59 distinct organizations with a total population of over 17,000 personnel worldwide.
What makes the DEI Directorate at Army Futures Command particularly impactful, according to Johnson and Walker, is its ability to place all people first, always.
“The people are absolutely the best and largest asset that any organization or company has,” Johnson said, explaining that the directorate is committed to “making sure that people feel that they can come to work and be free of harassment, or not have to come to work and work in a hostile work environment.”
The DEI Directorate also wants to ensure “people know that if they feel that they have experienced some form of discrimination, that there is somewhere that they can go to take those issues, and those issues will be taken seriously, and those issues will be rectified in one way or another,” Johnson said.
“That’s the most important part of my job, and that’s also the most rewarding part – knowing that I played a part in helping someone rectify a situation that has adversely impacted them mentally and emotionally,” she elaborated.
“There’s no true organization without the people,” Walker emphasized, adding that “when it comes to the people in that organization, sometimes they just want to be heard.”
Walker sees the DEI Directorate’s ability to uphold the value of each individual as something that directly strengthens command operations and activities, as well as staff’s sense of connectedness to their work.
“It shows them that the leaders are listening,” he said.
Army Futures Command staff can reach the DEI Directorate at the following email addresses:
Reasonable Accommodations: email@example.com