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OR&R Diversity and Inclusion Committee Prepares for the Future

AUGUST 5, 2019 — On July 30 -August 1, the OR&R Diversity and Inclusion committee (D&I) met in Silver Spring, Maryland, to develop an action plan for the next two years.

Group of people posing for a photo in a courtyard.
OR&R D&I team members. Front row, from left: Jessica White, LaTonya Burgess, Sherry Lippiatt, and Sarah Latshaw. Back row, from left: Alyson Finn, Vicki Loe, Lance Davey, Laurie Sullivan, Brian Julius, Caitlin Wessel, and Doug Helton. Image credit: NOAA.

Led by LaTonya Burgess, committee members from all OR&R divisions engaged in a review of lessons learned, where the group is headed, how well we are serving OR&R staff, and how we can improve. 

Key to the discussions was a presentation by Brian Julius of analysis of recent staff survey data that revealed trends in participation in D&I events and activities, attitudes regarding inclusiveness, and measures of perceived success in meeting our D&I mission. He showed us what D&I monthly presentations were the best attended over the past two years, giving us a lot of new information to work with as we move forward with planning. 

We were able to see how attendance has increased dramatically in the last year, due in part to use of the Google calendar as a key means of publicizing events. The group reviewed each comment and suggestion submitted by staff as part of the survey, as well as general feedback committee members have received from their colleagues. 

The meeting concluded with solid drafts of the new D&I action plan, standard operating procedures, and a list of ideas for future D&I events and initiatives, based on what we learned. 

Special thanks to John Kaperick, Shelby Cosby, and Jessica Pereira of OR&R Business Services group for their excellent facilitation and logistics support. 

And thanks to OR&R staff for providing us with honest feedback. There will be new opportunities for staff to contribute to the effort -- we value your suggestions, feedback, and participation. 

For further information, contact Vicki.Loe@noaa.gov.

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