CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
The 27th Special Operations Support Squadron established its first internal working group and hosted its first diversity roundtable Sept. 17, 2020.
In response to recent events in the U.S. that have sparked discussions of diversity and inclusion, the roundtable was held to provide a space for civilians and Airmen of all ranks, ages and backgrounds to discuss topics that have been prevalent in conversations at all levels since June.
“Education, and the act thereof, should be ever-evolving,” said Master Sgt. Patrick Bailey, 27th SOSS aircrew flight equipment flight chief and member of the diversity council. “I am always eager to learn new things and educate others.”
Another member of the diversity council and participant in the roundtable was Staff Sgt. Yvonne Greco, 27th SOSS airfield management, who reiterated the importance of having an open forum.
“Everyone has strong views and opinions on certain things,” Greco said. “Healthy discussion is good discussion.”
The two-hour roundtable kicked off by having participants introduce themselves by only their first name, intentionally leaving off their rank.
“Rank removal sets the tone for a non-bias playing field,” Bailey said. “The roundtable wants everyone to feel comfortable with speaking their minds without repercussion”.
Privilege and the different types of privilege such as military, religious and gender were among the topics discussed during the roundtable.
“One of the goals for the group is to educate and define certain terms loosely used by the media and to build off that foundation,” Bailey said.
Open to many topics, the 27th SOSS will continue to hold future roundtables every training day and plans to discuss how unconscious bias could influence Security Forces Airmen in life or death situations.
“The same energy we put into our military training, our jobs, our dedication to the mission and freedom; we should also put toward our awareness of people’s differences,” Bailey said.