NNS stands with our Asian American and Pacific Islander Shipbuilders

NNS stands with our Asian American and Pacific Islander Shipbuilders

Published March 19, 2021

Dear Shipbuilders,

As we have experienced over the past year, what happens across our nation affects us all and shapes our perspectives. Today, we are witnessing a rise in reports of discrimination and violence against the Asian American community. While I don’t have answers nor am I able to offer a simple solution to the pain so many people feel right now, I want to make it abundantly clear that Newport News Shipbuilding values diversity, respect and civility in every way, and we stand with our Asian American and Pacific Islander Shipbuilders.

First: you are not alone. If you are struggling, I want to remind you about the HERO Program (access code: Huntington Ingalls), which is a free benefit to NNS employees and their families. HERO has professional counselors who are experienced with helping families work through life’s challenges.

Second: words matter. Know that you are coming to work at a company that values fairness, respect and equal treatment for all. Our team must remain united in our commitment to ensure a workplace free of harassment, intimidation and discrimination, and one where civility and teamwork are the standard. Although I am not aware of any specific incidents at NNS, I must repeat that hate speech, threats of violence, or support for acts of violence, harassment, racist, sexist or ethnic comments, jokes or gestures violates our values and our code of ethics, and will not be tolerated.

Third: shipbuilding is a team sport, and diversity always wins. Whenever I am asked what makes Newport News Shipbuilding successful, my first response is always our shipbuilders. We come together – 25,000 strong – from different cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds for a shared purpose: to build the greatest ships in the world. But our ships alone do not define us – our people do.

I ask for your continued leadership in building a culture of inclusion where treating each other with respect, dignity and compassion is the norm. And when others feel safe enough to share their personal stories, perspectives and concerns, let’s listen with an open mind, and treat each other as we want to be treated. It is through shared compassion, respect and empathy that we build a culture of mutual trust and mutual respect where all feel safe to speak up. This is fundamental to moving our company and our society forward.

Jennifer Boykin
Newport News Shipbuilding