The Coast Guard's strength resides in its people and their different perspectives. Equity-minded and culturally literate leaders are needed to address the complex operational and mission support challenges of the 21st century.
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy prioritizes the development of service ready officers critical to building and maintaining a diverse organization that fosters an inclusive workforce. One of the ways the Academy supports these diversity and inclusion efforts is through events like Eclipse.
Eclipse 2021 was held at the Academy April 8-10, in a hybrid format to allow some in-person participation as well as an extended opportunity to participate virtually for greater participation and adherence to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Friday, April 9 was designated an academic stand down day to allow for full participation in the event for cadets, officer candidates, faculty, and staff.
Eclipse is part of a cadet-run tradition established by the Academy’s Genesis Council in the 1970’s with a strong focus on diversity, inclusion, and mentorship. The annual event invites the greater Coast Guard community, local community members, and experts in diversity from across the nation to participate in mentoring and inspiring cadets to excel and prepare for lasting careers as inclusive Coast Guard officers.
This year's theme was "Stronger Together: Building Bridges through a Culture of Respect.” Keynote speakers included Mr. Dondre Whitfield actor and author of, "Male vs. Man; How to Honor Women, Teach Children, and Elevate Men to Change the World", and Ms. Jane Hyun author of “Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences.”
Whitfield’s presentation showed participants how to cultivate the psychological attributes of servant leadership at home, at work, and in our communities. His talk focused on men’s role as healthy and productive leaders who bring about positive change to their respective worlds.
Hyun’s talk focused on a proactive strategy for managers to navigate and leverage difference effectively and centered on “flexing” the art of switching leadership styles to more effectively lead people who are different from them.