Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

February 9, 2021 / Posted in

By Ed Sheppard –

While serving on active duty as a Coast Guard Officer, my family and I were fortunate to live, work and travel in many locations where we experienced new cultures, traditions, languages, climates, foods, and amazing people. While assigned to Hawaii, we learned that Aloha was more than just a greeting and is truly a spirit of how to live your life. During our journey, we learned the value of having diverse relationships and perspectives and how the teams we served on, created, led, and coached were so much better because of the experiences, cultures, perspectives, and amazing foods people brought to those teams.

Severn Leadership Group (SLG) currently provides us with a great framework to define who we are and who we want to be as leaders and as humans. As a difference maker, I always want to challenge the status quo and look for ways to improve myself and the world.  

When I look at the world around me, sometimes I see people unwilling or unable to have conversations about important topics. The topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion can sometimes cause people to be uncomfortable, frustrated, or nervous. As leaders, one of the best ways to avoid complacency and to continue learning is to be brave and bold and step outside our comfort zones. I volunteered to lead this initiative because I wanted to arm leaders touched by SLG with additional experiences and tools so they would be better equipped for these types of uncomfortable conversations. Within SLG, we believe the future can be better than the present and we all need to be leaders in having the conversation to ensure all people experience hope, freedom, and well-being. 

The SLG chartered a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative in September 2020.  The purpose of this initiative is to advance the goal of enabling leaders to flourish from every corner of the global talent pool, inclusive of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.  A group of senior fellows and fellows are working to define the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion within SLG programs while creating a future desired state with transformation recommendations.  By reviewing and identifying gaps of doctrine, plans, and policies, curriculum, organizational leadership, recruitment, marketing, and development, the group has begun making recommendations to further enhance SLG’s vision; to shape a future where all people experience a life of hope, freedom, and well-being.  

To learn more about this important initiative, contact Ed Sheppard.


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