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United States Naval Academy

Military Academy

Mailing Address
121 Blake Rd.
Annapolis, Maryland 21402
Phone
(410) 293-0998
Email address
inquire@usna.edu
School Information
"As the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Naval Academy students are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. Navy. They attend the academy for four years, graduating with bachelor of science degrees and commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Naval Academy graduates serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps" (Source: https://www.usna.edu/About/index.php).
General Information
USNA has engaged in numerous actions in support of DEI efforts and anti-racist teaching. For example, USNA created the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. USNA provides trainings on DEI throughout the year, in addition to countless resources. Annual training for all midshipmen, leadership, faculty, and staff will be a requirement soon. See updates below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • As part of the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, the academy will "require admissions specific cultural awareness and bias literacy training modules for everyone who directly support the admissions process and recruiting events (e.g. Admissions Staff, Blue and Gold Officers, Midshipmen, etc)."
  • As part of the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, the academy will "review admissions scoring process to identify if it is unintentionally discriminatory against students from underrepresented populations and disadvantaged school districts that do not have the same opportunities for extracurricular activities or academic support for SAT/ACT prep because of school resources or familial responsibilities."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy explained that, "The Class of 2024 will be the first group of midshipmen with a requirement to engage each other in these hard conversations as a part of their development as empathetic leaders of character."
  • The Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy said, "Training sessions about the importance of diversity to our institution are scheduled for all classes of midshipmen throughout the fall semester; all faculty and staff will also be trained on diversity, equity and inclusion."
  • As part of the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, the academy will "increase cultural aptitude of USNA population to promote inclusivity." Additionally, the academy will, "integrate cultural values and bias literacy into the leadership competencies and leadership classes" and "include a cultural values inventory within the freshman year."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As part of the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, the academy will "partner with Academic Departments in conducting a comprehensive curriculum review prioritizing the inclusion of marginalized scholarship and hidden histories within midshipmen education" and "develop a diversity and inclusion checklist and schedule to inventory and assess all academic classes and training events."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • As part of the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, the academy will "develop and maintain a comprehensive cultural awareness and bias literacy training framework that includes annual training for all USNA leadership, faculty, staff, and midshipmen with specialized modules for key areas of emphasis as they concern admissions, leadership positions, and members of selection panels."
  • As part of the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, the academy will "require specific bias literacy training modules for midshipmen leadership positions, all members of selection panels, and all personnel sitting on Midshipmen review boards."
Resources
  • There is an advanced course called Social Inequality - NL450. Its description reads, "This course investigates the social and physical constructs of race, gender, and ethnicity in the context of social inequality in America. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding how these constructs, both singly and in combination, affect American society and culture. The course examines how the social institutions of marriage and families, work and employment, education, media, and the state create and maintain inequalities. Marxian and conflict theories, Weber's multidimensional model, and the structural-functionalism of Durkheim and Talcott Parsons are covered in depth. Application of key concepts, principles, and theories to the American military and Naval Service is a cornerstone of this course, as is the understanding of cultural diversity. Upon completion of this course, the successful student will possess a stronger and broader understanding of how social stratification affects American society, and how this stratification contrasts with stratification systems in other societies."
  • The USNA Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) supports the Naval Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan Imperative One, which is “to recruit, admit and graduate a diverse and talented Brigade of Midshipmen by providing an inclusive community and environment with a number of diversity events, trainings, and resources."
  • USNA’s Center for Teaching and Learning has several faculty resources including PowerPoint Presentations on topics such as “You Don’t Have to Go Far: Cross-Cultural Competence through Experiential Learning” and “How to Create an Anti-Racist Classroom: Developing and Implementing an Anti-Racist Pedagogy,” Video Presentations on “Teaching Race,” and books such as “How to Be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi and “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.
  • The Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy explained that the academy's "Midshipman Diversity Team" is "developing a midshipman-led, comprehensive plan to identify midshipman-level shortfalls within our Naval Academy family with the goal of proposing a plan to resolve these issues of privilege, bias, and racial injustice."
  • As part of the Naval Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, the academy will "develop a representative diversity and inclusion oversight office with a mixture of uniform and civilian personnel based on supported population" and "hire full-time civilian diversity and inclusion staff for continuity in areas of leadership, training, and data analytics."
  • One presentation given to the navy, titled "DEI 101," includes topics such as "DEI Basics," "What is identity?" "Intro to Bias," and "Understanding Systemic Disadvantages and Unnoticed Advantages."
  • The Department of the Navy announced its "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Planning Actions," which ask the Chief Diversity Officer of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy to "lead a Strategic Planning Team and develop an action plan to promote DEI in Department-wide policies, programs and operations." The department "will release findings and actions it intends to take to remove existing barriers and advance diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the Department."
  • The Washington Examiner reported, "Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, previously released a 'professional reading program' reading list that included Ibram X. Kendi’s 'How to Be an Antiracist.'"
  • Breitbart News reported, "Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday released an updated recommended reading list for sailors on Friday, and books on critical race theory he had recommended last year are absent from the new list."
  • According to The Hill, Task Force One Navy's final report recommended "using artificial intelligence to reduce potential bias when selecting sailors for promotion."
  • Military.com reports that the Defense Department reversed a Trump administration action to "halt training on subjects including critical race theory and white privilege."
Symbolic Actions
  • USNA instituted mandatory annual Equal Employment Opportunity training for all staff. The academy states that the courses are "mandated by Department of the Navy instructions, Department of Defense instructions, and/or mandated by legislation for all federal civilian employees (appropriated and non-appropriated). Training is tracked and verified on a fiscal basis. All courses are available via Total Workforce Management Services (TWMS) or by PDF."
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards consist of a couple of dozen awards which are bestowed annually based on many types of affinity groups.
  • The English Department's statement on diversity reads, "The English Department strives to provide a safe, respectful learning environment for all students. Although admissions restrictions unique to service academies, such as military service fitness standards and geographic quotas mandated by statutory law, might limit the diversity of our student body, the faculty and staff of the English Department value diversity highly. We believe that an inclusive curriculum, diverse faculty and student body, and welcoming climate, are critical to academic excellence and a well-rounded education. With regard to faculty, since this institution is run by the federal government, restrictions related to legal work status do apply. Beyond that, we believe that our faculty should be diverse. We define diversity as encompassing differences in age, cultural identity, language background, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, faith, neurological make up (neurodiversity), geographic background, political and ideological perspectives, disability status, race, sexuality, social and economic status, and veteran status. Our students can rely on us to sustain a generative space for creativity, rhetorical and civic deliberation, scholarly inquiry, and an openness to new ideas. We oppose harassment or bullying of any sort, particularly that based on race, gender, religion, national origin, LGBTQ+ status, immigration status, age or disability. We welcome individuals, perspectives, and ideas that reflect the heterogeneity of the United States and the world."
  • The Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy said, "In short, diversity, equity, and inclusion are more vital than ever to our mission here at the Naval Academy of developing leaders to serve our Nation." The superintendent also announced, "Our Faculty Senate recently passed a resolution with overwhelming support to investigate and address any practices at the Naval Academy that perpetuate systemic racism."
  • According to The Hill, Task Force One Navy's final report recommended "adding 'Respect' to the Navy’s core values."
  • According to The Hill, Task Force One Navy's final report recommended "that the Navy assess 'problematic names' for ships, buildings and streets."
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley defended the study of critical race theory in a June 2021 congressional hearing. Milley said, "So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers of being, quote, ‘woke’ or something else, because we're studying some theories that are out there."
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in June 2021, "We do not teach critical race theory, we don’t embrace critical race theory and I think that’s a spurious conversation...We are focused on extremist behaviors, and not ideology, not people’s thoughts, not people’s political orientation."
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