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Civil Rights News | Sept. 27, 2023

Empowering Change: Insights from the Department of Homeland Security Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Training Conference

By Patrick Ferraris, Civil Rights Directorate

In federal service, the commitment to fair employment practices has endured for 75 years, stemming from President Truman’s issuance of Executive Orders 9980 and 9981. This commitment found its epicenter at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity Training Conference, held at the Transportation Security Administration Headquarters in Springfield, Virginia, September 12-14. For the Coast Guard’s Civil Rights Directorate, it was an opportunity for Civil Rights Service Providers from across the nation to gather and build camaraderie and enhance their civil rights proficiency.

With the theme “Governing Fair Employment Practices: Honoring 75 years in Federal Service,” the training conference aimed to reshape how EEO and diversity professionals approach their roles and ignite a fire to make a lasting impact. EEO professionals from across DHS components, other federal agencies, and the private sector convened for the conference. This convergence of diverse perspectives and expertise allowed for a rich exchange of ideas and strategies and was a great way to build bridges and network across components.

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary, DHS, provided remarks to the attendees and reinforced the idea of empowering change among EEO practitioners. The training also offered various dynamic learning opportunities, including plenary sessions, approximately 40 general workshops, and specialized courses. The event served as a testament to the importance of fair employment practices in the federal government and helped reinvigorate the Coast Guard’s commitment to shaping an equitable future for all in the Service.