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Coast Guard Names Diversity Champions

'Diversity Champions' from Sodus Point Put Auxiliary in Limelight

Sat, 23 Nov 13   Posted by: Robert Stronach
Diversity Training ClassBMC Carey Jung and Division 4 Vice Commander Dave Linder conduct diversity training.

Thanks to Division 4 Vice Commander Dave Linder and Coast Guard Chief Carey Jung of Station Sodus Point, Coast Guard Auxiliary Atlantic West has been designed as the Coast Guard's Diversity Champions.

VCDR Linder and BMC Jung, both members of Sodus Point Flotilla 44, were cited for joining together to conduct "Understanding Diversity" training for Division 4 in the Ninth District's Eastern Region.

In announcing the honor in November, Capt. Andy Delgado, chief of the Coast Guard's Office of Diversity & Inclusion, said their "leadership, mentorship, and devotion to duty are exemplary and serve as a great example of the positive impact a small group can have on a community."

They shared personal stories involving bias and stereotyping and how they can have a negative, as well as positive, impact on personal and organizational performance. Jung related a story of a young man of Middle Eastern descent, who after 9/11 joined the Coast Guard. This young man was physically attacked in high school because of his race. The incident changed Chief Jung as a person. Linder, who is also the Division 4 diversity staff officer, spoke of how women where he worked were paid less for doing the same work that their male counterparts were doing. Male and female employees supported a change and worked together with company leadership to ensure that all people received the same pay for the same type of work.

"These two gentlemen talked about biases and stereotypes being a part of the way our brain functions," the Coast Guard announcement said. "We have so much data coming at us, that our brains actually pay attention to a small percentage of it. The rest is sorted by category, so we don’t have to think about it. Stereotypes apply to everyone and they affect everyone. Sometimes we 'see' what we expect and are looking for, rather than what is really there. If someone contradicts the stereotype, we may think they are the 'exception' rather than change our stereotype.

"Part of diversity training is to be able to recognize and resolve issues of bias and discrimination. VCDR Linder’s and Chief Jung’s experiences had a profound impact on their lives, and sharing them during this session assisted AUX members with a better understanding of diversity, their own biases and stereotyping."