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Civil Rights News | Aug. 10, 2021

Headline: Coast Guard Recognizes Trailblazer for Outstanding Contributions to Civil Rights

Mr. Paul Ziegengeist, Equal Employment Manager (EEM), has been named the 2021 Civil Rights Service Provider (CRSP) Superior Service Award recipient. This honor is given to a CRSP biennially whose outstanding contributions further the Coast Guard’s Civil Rights mission.

“I’m very honored to receive this recognition,” Ziegengeist said. “I know there are so many hard working and dedicated Civil Rights Service Providers in the Coast Guard, so it’s humbling to be honored like this.” Ziegengeist’s civil rights journey started in 2008 when, as a Coast Guard Reservist, he applied for and was assigned to be the Equal Opportunity Advisor for Region 2, Zone 5 in Norfolk, VA. After serving in this role, he returned to the Coast Guard Reserve in 2012, but his expertise and passion in the field led him to transition to the role of Equal Opportunity Specialist with the Civil Rights Directorate as a civilian. He currently serves as the EEM where his area of responsibility covers New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

For over ten years, Ziegengeist has found the most fulfillment in the field of civil rights through those he interacts with on a daily basis. “Helping people is my favorite part about my job. Whether it’s assisting someone who has come to me and is experiencing an issue, or having a Coast Guard Command reach out to me to help with their Civil Rights mission. It’s special to me when I can earn the trust of these commands and employees and have the opportunity to be the ‘go to’ person when their workforce needs help.”

One such command that recognized Ziegengeist was Sector New York. During the 2019-2021 award period, they acknowledged him for assisting them to transform multiple organizations and units and their efforts towards equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion; leading and advising the command with resolving allegations of harassment, race issues, social climate matters; and other EEO/EO instances. He also helped to qualify six Anti-Harassment and Hate Incident (AHHI) investigators who can now look into claims of harassment. During this time, Ziegengeist also took on additional functions by serving as the Manager for Zone 1 during a vacancy. Zone 1 provides EEO/EO services to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

The work that CRSPs do every day and their commitment to advancing civil rights and promoting its value is an essential foundation of the Coast Guard and is critical to the Service’s success

For more Civil Rights news, features, and content, subscribe to the Civil Rights “On Deck” newsletter. You can view July’s edition and archived copies of the newsletter in the Civil Rights Directorate’s newsroom.