Hill Airforce base prepares to create new diversity office

Local News

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (ABC4) – Hill Airforce base officials say they are making some new changes that will impact diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Beginning in April, Airforce officials say they will “stand up” the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office.

Officials say the new office will combine Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Employment, Disability Program Management, and Resource Advocacy under one director.

The change is expected to provide the offices a closer working relationship to “better execute the mission of diversity management and build a workforce based on merit, dignity, and respect.”

Officials added that the new office will strive to ensure a culture of inclusion and make an effort to develop and retain a high-quality, diverse workforce, while continuing to address the strategic impact of diversity, inclusion, and equity for civilians and military members of the team at Hill Airforce base.

“We are all very excited for this long-overdue change,” says 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, according to officials.

Two new positions, DEI director and resource advocate will be created as part of this change. The affirmative employment and disability program manager will reportedly re-align from the Civilian Personnel Flight to this construct.

Morrison, who is said to have taken charge of the EO office in January, has been making changes of her own. Officials say 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 says. “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 says.

Officials say 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 the program is mediation, and Morrison is reportedly 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 says.

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