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Hanscom official champions diversity, inclusion

Steve Ober, Diversity and Inclusion manager at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., stands in front of an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft at Pease Air Force Base, N.H., in 2016. As the installation D&I manager, Ober will facilitate events, training and resources to create a more inclusive Hanscom community. (Courtesy Photo)

Steve Ober, Diversity and Inclusion manager at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., stands in front of an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft at Pease Air Force Base, N.H., in 2016. As the installation D&I manager, Ober will facilitate events, training and resources to create a more inclusive Hanscom community. (Courtesy Photo)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – As the discussion around diversity and inclusion continues, Hanscom officials have appointed a new D&I manager to keep the conversation moving.

Steve Ober has taken on the role of advocating for and distributing diversity and inclusion resources across the installation.

“Diversity is only one piece of the puzzle,” said Ober. “At the end of the day, having a diverse group doesn’t mean anything if not everyone is included.”

Ober, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Foreign Military Sales, Qatar Branch chief, said he put his name in for the additional-duty position because of how important the push for equality is to him personally.

 “I understand what it’s like to be part of a marginalized group,” said Ober, who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and partner in a biracial marriage. “I’m really passionate about having the types of discussions that will move us forward.”

Ober is part of a larger Air Force Material Command council of 30 D&I managers, and is currently undergoing official certification training for the role.

In conjunction with the Hanscom D&I Cell, Ober is working to strengthen community connectedness and involvement, with events like the Ruck Against Racism that took place this summer.

Carolyn McCafferty, installation community support coordinator and D&I cell member, said the group is geared to model inclusion by weaving diversity and inclusion into observance months and base events.

“This is how we can begin to shift our culture and really embrace what diversity and inclusion is,” she said.

Cell officials said they are looking for volunteers who want to be influencers and change-makers.

“I know there are members who have a real passion and zeal for continuing the dialogue,” said Ober. “They’re the ones who can help us keep this momentum going.”

For more information on the diversity and inclusion cell, contact Stephen.Ober@us.af.mil.