The Florida Peninsula Chapter of AUVSI, Inc. (AUVSI Florida), a regional chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), – the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics – has announced a new initiative designed to foster inclusion and increase diversity among its leaders and members.
During its monthly meeting held on Tuesday, January 25, the AUVSI Florida Board of Directors took action to help create a more inclusive environment surrounding chapter participation and activities.
AUVSI Florida’s Board voted unanimously to create at “Diversity and Inclusion” committee for the purpose of increasing chapter membership, expanding external partnerships, and creating new activities designed to engage diverse, underserved, and historically underrepresented populations within the State of Florida. The move comes on the cusp of Black History Month which starts on February 1 and runs through March 1.
“Florida has long been home to one of the most diverse populations anywhere in the world,” said Christopher Todd, President, AUVSI Florida. “From the indigenous Calos tribe who inhabited Southwest Florida approximately 12,000 years ago, to the Spanish explorers who founded St. Augustine in 1565, to the British who came in 1763, up to the current mix of Anglo, Afro-Caribbean, and South American populations, and the LGBT community, Florida has always been a leader in celebrating diverse cultures, ethnicities, and lifestyles. AUVSI Florida continues that tradition through this action by our Board.”
Lorean “Ty” Rozier, a businessman, FAA-certified remote pilot, U.S. Army veteran, and AUVSI Florida member, was appointed by the Board to serve as the inaugural chairperson for the AUVSI Florida Diversity and Inclusion committee.
“It is an honor to take on this new responsibility and lead the strategy for expanding inclusivity surrounding the work of the AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter,” said Rozier. “We’ll look to break down traditional barriers while welcoming participants across all cultures, genders, creeds, and lifestyles to engage one another in the realm of uncrewed and remotely piloted vehicle systems.”
Rozier says while specific initiatives to increase diversity will be announced in the coming months, the first priority will be to initiate communications that expand awareness about the benefits of having a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem – both within AUVSI Florida and across the entire industry.
“Putting people in the same room together – whether virtually or in-person – goes a long way towards breaking down barriers and opening up new avenues of opportunity among all participants,” says Rozier. “It all starts with communication.”
Eric Schwartz, Vice President, AUVSI Florida, completely agrees.
“This is about far more than corporate responsibility initiatives and public relations campaigns,” says Schwartz. “We are seeking to create measurable change by welcoming new participants into the AUVSI Florida family. Ultimately, that will help increase awareness and drive the growth and adoption surrounding uncrewed vehicle systems that we all want to see.”
To learn more about the AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter and how you can get involved, visit auvsiflorida.org.
About AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter
The AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter, Inc. (AUVSI Florida) is a Florida-registered, Miami-based 501(c)6 non-profit organization that serves as a regional chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). AUVSI is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics. AUVSI Florida is the official host chapter of XPONENTIAL 2022 – the world’s largest unmanned vehicle systems exposition in April 2022.
For more information about AUVSI Florida, visit: auvsiflorida.org