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Air Education and Training Command leaders are diligently working to remove barriers, promote mutual respect, and encourage tough conversations in safe spaces.

The First Command is leading efforts to strengthen diversity through deliberate actions to raise awareness about opportunities; developing partnerships with underrepresented groups; removing barriers to serve and providing mentorship to our current force.

 Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-7001, Diversity & Inclusion, broadly defines diversity as “a composite of individual characteristics, experiences, and abilities consistent with the Air Force Core Values and the Air Force Mission. Air Force diversity includes, but is not limited to: personal life experiences, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural knowledge, educational background, work experience, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity, and gender.” The Air Force increases its warfighting capabilities and lethality by attracting talent from a diverse body of applicants and leveraging their unique characteristics, experiences, and abilities.

 

Learn more about the U.S. Air Force Rated Diversity Improvement Strategy here. 

Learn more about the Department of the Air Force Barrier Analysis Working Groups (DAFBAWG) here. 

 

LIVE’s VR experience provides dynamic decision-making moments aimed at growing inclusive leaders

  • Published
  • By Dan Hawkins
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Air Education and Training Command officials are in the process of rolling out a virtual reality experience designed to help grow inclusive-minded leaders.

In line with the command’s effort to incorporate digital-age technology across the command, the Leading Inclusively Virtual Experience, or LIVE, program is a modernized learning tool that consists of a mixed virtual reality experience that uses a combination of interactive scenarios with authentic, real-time dialogue to challenge individuals to engage in difficult diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) conversations.

“The LIVE sessions offer dynamic decision-making moments and empowers the learning of cognitive skills, such as emotional intelligence, empathetic listening, and critical communication in a supportive environment,” said Maggie Laws, AETC’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. “Through the experience, front-line supervisors build skills engaging in difficult DEIA conversations. These types of experiences will help fully develop the Airmen who are our competitive advantage in strategic competition.”

The LIVE experience consists of a first-person interaction with an actor-controlled avatar followed by a facilitated discussion. 

“While one Airman or Guardian participates in the learning experience, other members are engaged as observational participants,” Laws said. “This design provides an experiential learning opportunity for all participants in an audience.”

A trained LIVE facilitator will lead a discussion following the scenario where experiences, perceptions and ideas are shared in a brave space, enabling learning and ultimately, reflection to occur, Laws said.  

“This is a great tool that should be considered for in-person unit training days, team-building and professional development opportunities,” Laws said. “Other options include courses like MAJCOM squadron leadership courses, SNCO/NCO professional development series courses, first sergeant symposiums, flight commander’s leadership courses, and civilian development courses.”

Facilitators will be nominated by commanders and should be those an E-7 or higher grade, O-3 or higher grade, or a GS-11 or higher grade. Nominees should be confident public speakers who also have previous experience instructing, teaching or facilitating, Laws said.   

If selected, facilitators attend a three-day course funded by SAF’s Diversity and Inclusion office at Air University’s Eaker Center located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. 

In 2022, three facilitator training courses were executed, training 52 facilitators across the Air Force.  In FY23, the team will host eight courses, training 160 facilitators at 20 students per course.

 

 

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