Harmony Council continues conversation

  • Published
  • By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – A new initiative in the F-16 Division co-located at Hill AFB, Utah and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, called the Harmony Council, was created to expand perspectives of members to see life experiences unlike their own. 
Col. Tim Bailey, F-16 Division chief, Vince Lewis, F-16 Deputy Program Manager for Nuclear Matters and Rosmarie Edwards, F-16 Avionics Engineer, all are involved with the Harmony Council and described their experiences during a recent episode of AFLCMC’s Leadership Log podcast. 

Bailey spoke about four experiences following the murder of George Floyd including a USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., video speaking about his experiences as an African-American Airman as well as a racially charged event that occurred a few years back in a parking lot at Wright-Patt that provided the impetus to take action. 
Recounting a podcast with Lt. Gen. James C. Slife, then Air Force Special Operations Command commander, Bailey spoke of his analogy of a cube. 
“If everyone in your leadership team has the same background, you only see a couple sides of the cube. In complex problems like what we're discussing today, you need different perspectives to have a holistic understanding about the problem and its potential solution,” Bailey said. 
“My hats off to the Harmony Council who responded to a call to help us keep focus on this,” he added.
Lewis spoke about a conversation he had with Bailey on some concerning results of the Diversity in the Workplace survey. 
“There was a dichotomy, a disparity between people of color who felt they had to work harder because of their color versus the majority,” Lewis said.
“One of the questions we asked,” Bailey added, was, ‘do you feel a need to work harder to prove yourself because of your race or ethnicity.’ We had good support from that survey well over 200 of our civilians answered it and the responses were so stark.” 
Only 4% of Caucasian members said yes to the question, while amongst African-American members 88% of program office members said yes.
“I believe it's sometime in late September, Colonel Bailey had reached out to me and basically said, ‘hey Vince, I'm interested in starting a diversity council and would you be interested in taking the lead on that?’ I was more than happy to do so.”   
With several years in private industry before joining the Air Force civilian ranks, Edwards said she was disappointed to see the lack of diversity in the workforce.  After several years of trying to start a conversation on how to change things, she was approached to work on the Harmony Council. 
“It is a place where I feel like I can make a difference in my own small way, so I’m very excited to be part of the Harmony Council and very excited Colonel Bailey had the foresight to start this in our organization,” she said.      
To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/BUSG2VvGy-M.  You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.