FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2021
Contact: Diversity in National Security Network
Diversity in National Security Network is a Movement, We All Must Continue the Work
In December 2018, the Diversity in National Security Network (DINSN) made its mark on the greater foreign policy and national security community with our inaugural list of 2018 Black American National Security & Foreign Policy Next Generation Leaders and an accompanying article stressing the importance “Bringing More Diversity to the National Security Arena.” We sought to highlight the wealth of “talented national security and foreign policy experts across diverse communities” especially at the mid-to-senior level. Since then, through our continued partnership with New America, we have worked to create a platform to elevate their voices and accomplishments. Collectively, we have highlighted and celebrated the talents of 230 foreign policy and national security experts who self-identify as Black American, Latino American, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) American, and Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) American. You can see all of our honorees here.
Collectively, we have highlighted and celebrated the talents of 230 foreign policy and national security experts who self-identify as Black, Latino, AAPI, and MENA Americans.Tweet
In addition to honoring the accomplishments of talented mid-to-senior career diverse practitioners, we have worked to further elevated the voices and talent of #NextGenNatSec honorees through training, a mentorship partnership with WestExec, the #DiverseVoices Juneteenth Social media campaign, the #OurVoicesInNatSec campaign, a collaboration with What in The World? podcast and Transition-related coordination. We were also pleased to have DINSN featured in the Brooking Institution report, “A Time to Heal, A Time to Build”. More importantly, in August 2020, we were honored to leverage DINSN’s extended network and the partnership with New America to convene a virtual panel discussing how the national security community must move forward in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. The dialogue around race and systemic racism in national security and foreign policy has evolved beyond merely workforce diversity, to include real policy.
We have been able to do this critical work through the volunteer leadership of our co-founders Asha Castleberry, Laura Kupe, and Camille Stewart; the support of our volunteer board of advisors, Bunmi Akinnusotu, Marcus Coleman, Carrie Kagawa, and Mahlet Mesfin; our inaugural National Security Fellow Clifford Pulley, and our volunteer steering committee members throughout the years. We have seen our #NextGenNatSec honorees advance in their fields, appear on television, publish books and articles—now we are starting to see them join the new Biden-Harris Administration. We are all extremely proud of this work and the community we have created.
However, it is imperative that every institution in the national security and foreign policy apparatus, regardless of its political leanings, take up the mantle to dismantle systemic racism and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is a call to action for every government agency, think tank, civil society organization, and private company that touches this mission to redesign its workforce and reconsider national security policies from the lens of race and ethnicity. Our diversity is our nation’s greatest asset.
This is a call to action for every organization that touches this mission to redesign its workforce and reconsider national security policies from the lens of race and ethnicity. Diversity is our nation’s great asset.Tweet
Given that so many changes lie ahead for many of us in the network, the organization will continue to support the community by amplifying its voices in a more ad hoc manner. Much of the organization’s leadership is either transitioning to the new Administration or otherwise taking on new opportunities. We will keep you informed of the next steps as we work to figure out our role in the next phase of this fight for change. We recognize that until this mission is woven into the very foundation of this work, there is much to be done which is why we must call up the entire national security and foreign policy community to rise to the occasion.
To our partners and those seeking to connect with this community, please continue to engage with NextGen NatSec through the lists to enrich your panels, projects, and candidate pools with diverse, knowledgeable and more than capable talent. We are also happy to continue to share opportunities with those in the network. Last, we look forward seeing diverse appointments at all levels of the Biden-Harris Administration and across the national security apparatus. We will share where our community members have landed in the Biden-Harris Administration.
To the DINSN/#NextGenNatSec family, we encourage you to use the listservs to share opportunities with the community, collaborate on projects, and be the change we so desperately need in this country. We could not have been successful without your work and presence in this space.
Finally, regardless of who is in office, now is the time for everyone to lead and work fearlessly from wherever you may find yourself. The journey has only just begun.Tweet
We look forward to continuing to serve our nation, honor the sacrifices of the many leaders who came before us, and help America live up to the ideals outlined by our forefathers.
Yours in service,
NextGen NatSec & Diversity in National Security Network Leadership