Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol
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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I)

Welcome to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Page

"Embracing that people are wired differently and approach problems differently is healthy. It’s called Diversity – Thought Diversity." 

- Maj Gen Mark Smith CAP, Former Civil Air Patrol National Commander

Diversity & Inclusion

We seek to promote a supportive and enriching climate that allows all Civil Air Patrol members to thrive and succeed. By providing a comprehensive approach to diversity equity and inclusion through strategic planning and programmatic development, we hope to empower cadets and seniors to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive culture that values and respects all members into a place where all will thrive and grow.

The term Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) are three closely linked values to be supportive of different groups of individuals, including people of different races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations.    DE&I is used to describe three values that we strive to embody to help meet the needs of our members from all walks of life.  Variety as they say is the spice of life. If DE&I are words for variety, how can it enhance or flavor the world?

As we continue to develop our program it is important to grasp the individual meanings and implications of each of these terms:

  • Diversity refers to who is represented in the organization. Some examples of diversity in an organization include:

    • Gender diversity: What makes up the composition of men, women, and nonbinary people in a given population?

    • Age diversity: Are people in a group from mostly one generation, or is there a mix of ages?

    • Ethnic diversity: Do people in a group share common national or cultural traditions, or do they represent different backgrounds?

    • Physical ability and neurodiversity: Are the perspectives of people with disabilities, whether apparent or not, accounted for?

  • Equity refers to fair treatment for all people, so that the norms, practices, and policies in place ensure identity is not predictive of opportunities outcomes. Equity differs from equality in a subtle but important way. While equality assumes that all people should be treated the same, equity takes into consideration a person’s unique circumstances, adjusting treatment accordingly so that the end result is equal.

  • Inclusion refers to how an organization, embraces all members and enables them to make meaningful contributions. Organizations that are intent on recruiting diverse members must also strive to develop a sufficiently inclusive culture, such that all members feel their voices will be heard.

In a nutshell, it’s about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.

We seek to support our members by enhancing their unique talents, all the while keeping our CORE VALUES top of mind.   We aim to reflect the value of INTEGRITY by supporting our organization in acting with conviction and moral uprightness in recruiting and retaining a diverse membership group. We believe our commitment to VOLUNTEER SERVICE calls on us to include and empower members that add dimension, depth, and breadth to our capabilities and core missions, and that providing for the welfare of others is enhanced by the empathy and understanding inclusion builds into our organization. EXCELLENCE calls on us to go beyond “good enough” and set an example for exemplifying what we believe in. RESPECT calls on us to view everyone with a lens of fairness and appreciation for the uniqueness found in all of us. 

Our Team:
Maj Maria Prekop - Director of Diversity

Diversity Calendar 2023-2024

Articles and Biographies:
Brig Gen Jennifer Grant: Here
Astronaut Jeanette Epps: Here
Top AF Leaders Discuss Diversity in the USAF: Here
Astronaut Mae Jemison: Here
Astronaut José Hernandez: Here
Gen. Charles Brown USAF: Here
Tuskegee Airman Franklin Macon: Here
NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson: Here
Shawna Rochelle “Lex” Kimbrell - Air Force's 1st Black Female Fighter Pilot
Female CAP Commanders - Flying Above the Glass Ceiling
From Tuskegee Airman to CAP Wing Commander - Col. George Boyd
Willa Brown - Pioneer for Female & African American Aviation
Leah Hing - A Life of Service
Cadet's Canine Companion Awarded Honorary Membership
N.C. Cadet Overcomes Rough Start in Life to Earn Honor


“Diversity is being invited to the Party; Equality is being on the Planning Committee and Inclusion is being asked to Dance!”


Reviewed: 26 Sep 23

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