Major General Ronald P. Clark | July 31, 2020
Read about the event here: Major General Ron Clark Talks about Race, Diversity and Inclusion in the U.S. Army
On July 31, Professor David Schanzer joined Major General Ronald P. Clark in a conversation about race, diversity, and inclusion in the U.S. Army. Maj. Gen. Clark began with his personal history, noting in particular how his parents taught him to think about race and how to be prepared to deal with racial issues and comport himself accordingly. The discussion turned to his assessment of issues of diversity and inclusion in the Army, and he noted that the Army, as with other military institutions, is a source of opportunity to help the country through social issues, but it also has to deal with the need to reform itself. He emphasized that the Army has equal opportunities built into the fabric of the institution, but as it is comprised of people there may be issues in how equal opportunities are applied. The conversation shifted to the recent letter written by West Point graduates highlighting racial issues at the academy, with Maj. Gen. Clark praising them for the courage to relay their experiences with overt racism. He spoke about issues that need to be addressed to improve racial diversity, encourage empathy, and better reflect the diversity of the Army.
Maj. Gen. Clark then spoke about his idea of leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion, noting that the most important aspects are listening and setting an example. He suggested that it requires the courage to recognize problems and allow people to talk about the issues they are facing; this requires starting the conversations and helping others to understand that they are important conversations. The discussion then shifted to a Q&A, where Maj. Gen. Clark answered questions about how to increase diversity among General and Flag Officers, diversity in mentorship, branch preferencing within the military, how to address Army bases named for Confederate Generals, and the experience of transgender individuals in the military.
Watch the event here.