USAFA Cadets Collaborate with Naropa on Inclusion

Written by C1C Krista Kelly and C1C Haley Merrill

First meeting with a faculty member and two cadets from the United States Air Force Academy. They are working on a senior project which involves collaboration between the USAFA and Naropa University on a topic of Diversity and Inclusion.

Many people see a military uniform and see discipline, protection, honor… maybe some see conservative beliefs about America, others may see violent individuals who don’t think about the consequences of war.

Many people see a student that attends a Buddhist-inspired institution and see kindness, peace, strength… maybe some see liberal beliefs, and others may see passive individuals who have an over-idealized view about the world.

The United States Air Force Academy is working with Naropa University to start building bridges over possible stereotypes that we may believe about each other. It would seem that our two cultures are very different, but we would like to challenge that. What if we aren’t so different after all?

One of the most vital parts of developing leaders of character is utilizing diverse worldviews to further possible solutions to issues, make the Air Force as strong as possible, and change our perspectives for better. Our goal is to create contemplative, high-impact learning experiences with both groups of students through the Spring 2017 semester and beyond. The relationship has blossomed incredibly over the last semester, and now it is time to put it into action. We are looking for people willing to step out of their comfort zones and take an introspective break through the stereotypes we may hold about each other.

Dinner with five from the U.S. Air Force Academy and five from Naropa University (Staff, Faculty, and Students/Cadets).

In order to facilitate this discussion, we will be holding a Town Hall Panel on 22 February with six cadets at your disposal to ask questions about a number of topics: how they define themselves, what their values are, and how we may actually be more similar than we initially realize.

Please join us from 12pm-1:30pm to explore the world of diverse perspectives, reaching out of our comfort zones, and being present in this new and exciting relationship. We look forward to bridging the gap with you!

*The views expressed are those of the authors and are not representative of the United States Air Force or the Department of Defense*



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