U.S. Naval War College (NWC) hosted its first Gender Equity Engagement Project (GEEP) for faculty and staff, March 27-28.
Created by NWC staff and faculty members with the help of the college’s command assessment team, GEEP is an effort to have NWC leadership further explore the question of gender equity at the institution.
“We hope that this event will improve communication pathways at the college and will provide each participant with an enhanced appreciation for the perspectives of their colleagues,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Nava, a member of NWC’s command managed equal opportunity team. “We also want to highlight the important differences that contribute to our diversity and strength as an educational institution.”
Sam Richards, a teacher and sociologist, and Laurie Mulvey, executive director and co-founder of the World in Conversation Center for Public Diplomacy, facilitated the two-day seminar which involved senior NWC staff and faculty members in a facilitated discussion of gender equity issues. Both Richards and Mulvey are from Pennsylvania State University, State College.
“One of the things we’ve discovered is that the conversation about race, gender and class had gone into the world of political correctness where everyone has kind of learned what they’re supposed to say and how, when and where to say it so that people in the room feel okay,” said Richards.
During the seminar, a question and answer workshop took place to allow staff and faculty members to address any questions or concerns that might be present at NWC. Following the workshop, small groups met to discuss any issues and questions related to gender as well as successful and challenging interactions with colleagues.
“What individuals take with them is where I see the success,” said Mulvey. “It’s the only thing that allows me to be a teacher is to say, ‘I saw that transformation happen with that person; I saw a transformation happen between people,’ and that’s where I focus. The profoundness of what happens for people when they take this forward and they go into the world differently, that’s where I feel like the success is.”
The event concluded with an interactive presentation and question-and-answer session for the participants.
“This project is one of many initiatives college-wide to ensure that we are treating all members of the NWC family equally,” said Nava.