EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect a change in the application deadline from Aug. 31, applications are now due Nov. 1
A group of certified Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) change agents are currently operating throughout the Coast Guard, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-127) is looking for more folks to join the team.
During group training sessions, change agents expand people’s understanding of what diversity, inclusion, and equity mean by demystifying concepts such as privilege, oppression, identity, and intersectionality. They also coach leaders on embodying inclusive, aware, and empowering behaviors, and create safe spaces to discuss topics of race, ethnicity, class, gender, disability, and more.
“By having these important, complex conversations, a supportive, respectful work environment is fostered, which leads to higher performance and wellness,” said Hope Balamani, chief of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-127). “Teams with high-levels of trust are correlated with greater ability to understand, plan, program, and fulfill mission requirements, even in the face of emerging threats. Trust is developed in empowering environments where people truly feel they belong and change agents can help grow these empowering environments,” Balamani said.
Change agents are a cornerstone of the Diversity and Inclusion Education and Awareness Program (DIEAP). After completing a six-month program, these agents provide diversity and inclusion (D&I) training sessions to members at the unit level as well as one-on-one coaching services to commanding officers, officers-in-charge, and program managers.
Serving as a change agent is a collateral duty. Applicants must submit a one to two-page memo that details interest in becoming a D&I change agent; commitment to furthering diversity and inclusion within the Coast Guard and deliberate actions they have taken in support of D&I; and previous D&I education and experience (e.g., through work, school, or volunteer experience).
Applications must also include their current duty station (unit name, city, and state). Active duty, reservists, civilians, and Auxiliarists are eligible. Military member applicants must have at least 24 months left of their current enlistment or signed service agreement and expect to remain at their current unit for at least the next 12 months.
Completed applications must be submitted by Nov. 1 at 11:59 Eastern.
The new cohort of change agents must participate in ten days of training; successfully demonstrate D&I training facilitation and a DIEAP service elevator pitch, and complete a six-month, mostly self-paced practicum that includes six mentor coaching hours, 16 peer coaching hours, nine virtual labs, and a writing assignment (500-word reflective essay).
After finishing the D&I change agent certification requirements, D&I change agents will receive a D&I Change Agent Certificate and have the D&I Change Agent Competency (DIEPCA) added to their record via Direct Access.
D&I Change Agent collateral duty assignment performance expectations include the following:
- Facilitate D&I Training Sessions (at minimum four sessions per calendar year).
- Conduct D&I Empowerment Coaching sessions (at minimum three sessions per calendar year).
- Support activities for unit leaders and LDACs (upon request).
- Review, be familiar with, and comply with all published guidance from Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-127) and the DIEAP.
- Complete reports and course evaluations requested by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-127) and DIEAP.
“D&I change agents have an incredible scope of influence,” said Melissa Purdy, CG-127’s Diversity and Inclusion Education and Awareness Program (DIEAP) manager.
D&I change agents operate at every level, from the deck plate on up, from Ensign to Captain, and in every district. Our Active Duty, reservist, civilian, and Auxiliarist D&I change agents all presently contribute and serve together in concert to help ensure the success of the Coast Guard’s proactive diversity and inclusion focused educational and awareness efforts.
For more information, email Melissa Purdy.