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West Point Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

button-give-now.gifWest Point is the world’s premier leadership institution and among the top five public colleges in the country. Annually, it graduates approximately 1,000 leaders who will take their place in the “Long Gray Line” to serve the Army and the nation. It is critical that these graduates reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the Army they will lead, and of the American citizenry, they will protect. A diverse and inclusive organization that is representative of the society it serves will draw from the highest quality of available recruits, which inherently improves the force.

High-performing people are those who are highly capable, are willing to apply that capacity in an inspired manner in support of the mission, and are empowered to support the mission to the highest degree. It is important that West Point be able to attract top talent from all across America. As America becomes more diverse, that talent will be spread across a more diverse population. We must have an environment, resources, and a strategy to attract and retain that talent and ensure every cadet’s success at the Academy.

The Academy and the Army are committed to creating and sustaining a resourced (via appropriated dollars and private funding) institutional infrastructure that effectively and efficiently supports progress in achieving diversity and inclusion strategic outcomes. To that end, the Department of the Army has funded a new position at the Academy — Chief Diversity Officer. In addition, the Department of the Army has committed precious dollars towards West Point’s diversity and inclusion efforts.


Diversity & Inclusion Endowment (Top Priority)

As the amount of government funding fluctuates from year to year, West Point must rely on its Diversity & Inclusion Endowment to ensure that vital minority recruiting and inclusive programs continue to thrive even during uncertain funding scenarios. The purpose of this endowment is to support a diverse and inclusive environment within the Corps of Cadets and across the Academy. Funds from this endowment may be used to support, but are not limited to, programs such as the Academy’s minority recruitment and retention programs for cadets; the Excel Initiative; Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity in STEM (LEADS); cadet clubs; the Civil Rights Staff Ride; and related Academy Scholars opportunities.

West Point Diversity Leadership Conference

The vision is to establish the West Point Diversity Leadership Conference as a nationally recognized annual summit for diversity and inclusion professionals and leaders. The goals of the conference are to support the West Point Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan and the Army Diversity Roadmap, identify challenges to inclusive leadership practices at operational levels, support implementation of inclusive training and education programs to meet the demands of Army leaders in the 21st Century, reinforce practices that maintain an inclusive environment leading to enhanced West Point and Army mission readiness, and institutionalize talent management processes that sustain a diverse Corps of Cadets, staff, and faculty.

West Point Women's Leadership Conference

Every five years, the Academy and the West Point Association of Graduates host the Women’s Leadership Conference, also known as Athena’s Arena. The conference is guided and supported by West Point Women, a global network providing mentorship, education, and support to women graduates and cadets of the United States Military Academy. Members network and work collaboratively to pursue a diverse array of professional, personal, and philanthropic opportunities. This academic and professional level conference brings together Academy graduates as well as Army personnel, cadets, staff and faculty, scholars, and distinguished guests to look at the current Army and the role of women in that Army. It is an opportunity for learning, reflection,  and growth for the conference participants. View Women's Needs Brochure

The Center for Leadership and Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) aims to increase the representation and improve the academic performance of cadets from underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged populations in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through faculty recruitment and development, cadet mentoring opportunities, and curriculum development, among other aspects, the center endeavors to play a leading national role in reforming and enriching diversity within STEM to more accurately reflect the needs of our changing society.

Admissions Office
West Point seeks regional, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural diversity, as well as racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in its admissions. Such diversity will ensure that West Point cadets resemble the America that these exceptional men and women will someday serve.

Cadet Public Relations Council (CPRC)

Through this initiative, potential candidates have the opportunity to talk with cadets and ask questions about cadet life, West Point academics, and student activities. These opportunities are facilitated through West Point Societies, congressional offices, and civic organizations that invite cadets to speak at community events. The Campaign aims to raise a $1 million endowment to fully support this program. CPRC is particularly helpful for minority youth who are unfamiliar with the Armed Forces and West Point.

Minority Visitation Program

This visitation program pays for highly qualified minority candidates and an accompanying parent to travel to West Point and experience cadet life, including the barracks, academics, athletics, and cadet clubs. Not only does the program give qualified minority students the opportunity to experience West Point, but it also directly addresses many parents’ misconceptions about West Point. The Campaign aims to raise a $1 million endowment to fully support this program.

Excel Scholars Program

The Excel Scholars Program is a Dean’s initiative started in 2010 to promote the personal and professional excellence of high-performing cadets from underrepresented groups by encouraging them to strive for a higher standard and be an instrument for change. Excel accomplishes this mission through promoting diversity of the cadet leadership participant pool, identification of promising cadets from historically underrepresented groups, encouragement of ongoing excellence in the academic, military, and physical dimensions of the West Point Leader Development System (WPLDS), and the nurturing of the talent to compete for post-graduate scholarship opportunities. Excel provides targeted enrichment aimed at improving writing, communication skills, technical expertise, research opportunities, and leader development.

Diversity and Inclusion Cadet Clubs

These cadet clubs provide extracurricular, educational, cultural, spiritual, and social outlets that play a part in the development of cadets—militarily, physically, academically, moral-ethically, spiritually, socially, and support sustainment of an inclusive Corps of Cadets. The Diversity & Inclusion Clubs currently include National Society of Black Engineers, Asian-Pacific Forum, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Corbin Forum, Cultural Arts Seminar, Gospel Choir, Japanese Forum, Korean-American Relations Seminar, National Society of Black Engineers, Native American Heritage Forum, Secular Student Alliance, Society of Women Engineers, and Spectrum.

For more information contact:

Robert E. Lucas
West Point Association of Graduates
698 Mills Road
West Point, NY 10996
tel 845.446.1556