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Hill prepares to stand up Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office

Big changes are forthcoming for diversity, equity and inclusion at Hill AFB.

Big changes are forthcoming for diversity, equity and inclusion at Hill AFB. (Graphic by David Perry)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --

Forthcoming changes at Hill AFB will impact diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the installation.

Beginning in April, Hill will stand up the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office. The new office will combine Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Employment, Disability Program Management and Resource Advocacy under one director. The move provides the offices a closer working relationship to better execute the mission of diversity management and build a workforce based on merit, dignity and respect.

The new office will strive to ensure a culture of inclusion and in developing and retaining a high-quality, diverse workforce, while continuing to address the strategic impact of diversity, inclusion, and equity for civilians and military members of Team Hill.

“We are all very excited for this long overdue change,” said Samantha Morrison, Equal Opportunity director. “We’ll have the opportunity to be more proactive and will be more effective in breaking down barriers, advancing equity and helping increase inclusion of all Team Hill members.”

The DEI office will be overseen by a single leader aligned directly under the 75th Air Base Wing commander. Two new positions, DEI director and resource advocate will be stood up. The affirmative employment and disability program manager will re-align from the Civilian Personnel Flight to this construct.

Morrison, who took charge of the EO office in January, has been making changes of her own. Her biggest goal has been to remove negative connotations associated with Equal Opportunity and improve transparency of the process and procedures. 

“There should not be a stigma associated with seeking EO assistance,” Morrison said.  “Employees should not fear reprisal for using the EO process and managers should hold employees accountable without fear of being involved in an EO claim.”

She said everyone on installation should know their rights and responsibilities, and it’s the job of her and her team to get that information out, to both management and employees. She said she is making continuing education and training a priority for the EO Staff to ensure the office is providing the highest quality of support.

“It is the responsibility of the EO office to not only process claims, but to educate the workforce on all EO policies and procedures,” Morrison said.

She is also reinvigorating the Negotiation and Dispute Resolution program, which allows the Air Force to try to resolve complaints without resorting to the lengthy and often expensive administrative process. At the heart of program is mediation, and Morrison is seeking mediators to join the team and act as neutral third parties who are trained to assist the disputing parties in negotiating a resolution.

“In order to create a workforce based on dignity and respect, we need the workforce engaged in these types of programs, not just the EO and personnel staff,” Morrison said.

If you are interested in becoming a mediator, or if you have any questions about EO’s processes or procedures, the EO office can be reached at 801-777-4856 or 75ABW.EO@us.af.mil.