Washington - U.S. Customs and Border Protection today kicked off its inaugural National Family Heritage and Diversity Month with employees joining leadership to recognize and celebrate the heritage of the American family, the CBP family and the diversity of our nation.
To be celebrated each August, Family Heritage and Diversity Month supports CBP's diversity and inclusion efforts designed to engage and leverage the skills of all employees as we fulfill our homeland security mission each day. By implementing the tenets of diversity and inclusion management, CBP's goal is to help all employees realize their full potential, and to ensure the agency and its people are successful by creating an inclusive environment that values and embraces diversity.
"CBP is striving to serve as an example of a diverse and inclusive organization where success is based on skills, ability and individual performance," notes Franklin Jones, executive director for the CBP Office of Diversity and Civil Rights.
CBP assistant commissioners representing the offices of Air and Marine, Internal Affairs, Administration, Training and Development, and Public Affairs were part of a panel discussing their personal family heritage and strategies used to address diversity challenges they have encountered in their personal and professional careers.
"We are the face of America. Our officers and agents are often the very first face that a traveler sees coming into this country," said CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar in his opening address to the headquarters audience. "Diversity goes straight to the heart of what it means to be human. It's about our unique qualities. We are all different, we all have different talents and opinions, and we as a nation are better and stronger for it."
CBP is comprised of more than 58,000 dedicated employees of varied heritage and one shared culture that embraces and values differences and includes all employees regardless of race, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, parental status, sexual orientation, political views, languages, generational, regional and occupational differences and family heritage.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.